Difference Between MP3 and MP4

You love recording, listening to podcasts, watching movies, YouTube videos, and other multimedia. Sometimes even wonder how these files download, work, and play on your laptop, PC, Android, or iPhone.


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Well, these folders need the help of coding support or file extensions to work.  

Using less computational resources and access to multimedia data is a necessary part of it.

Coding is algorithmic data that help with computer programming.

With efficient processing in minimal time in the form of streaming, it is an undeniable process. It is a vast topic rather than a multimedia extension in the digital world.  

Key Takeaways

  1. MP3 is a compressed audio file format that only contains audio data, while MP4 is a digital multimedia container that can hold audio and video files.
  2. MP3 files are smaller and take up less storage space than MP4 files.
  3. MP4 files have better video quality and can contain additional features like subtitles and chapter markers that MP3 files do not.

MP3 vs MP4

MP3 is a compressed audio format; it contains audio only. MP4 is a compressed video format that can also include audio. Both have varying versatility, storage, and compatibility. They support contrasting folders and distinctive extensions.  

MP3 vs MP4

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Mp3 and mp4 are the small parts accommodated by ‚ÄėMPEG‚Äô (moving picture¬†experts¬†group) Firm.

Plenty of people confuse MP3 and MP4 with each other.

These extensions are the most used and flexible file extension formats while computing. 

Comparison Table

Parameter of Comparison MP3 MP4 
Description MP3 is a Binary Audio Coding Configuration invented by the Fraunhofer Society (Germany) and European and US digital expert teams.MP4 is a Binary Audio, Video, and Text Coding Configuration invented by ISO (International Organization of Standardization). 
Purpose It is made for a better listening experience. It is made for a great audio-visual dual-user experience. 
Features Only audio files can be played with this extension. Both audio-visual (multimedia) files can be performed with this extension. 
Compatibility Compatible with all the music players and audio devices. Compatible with iPhones and iPods. 
File Extension Names .mp3 is the file extension of it..mp4, .m4a, .m4p, .m4b, .m4r, and .m4v are the extensions of it.
Defined As Formerly, MP3 is used to define MPEG-1 Audio Layer III. Later, it extended to MPEG-2 Audio Layer III and MPEG-3 Audio Layer III.MP4 is defined as MPEG-4, part 14. 
Media Format Audio/mpeg, Audio/MPA, Audio/mpa-robust Video/mp4 
Standards The Specified standards for MP3 are ISO/IEC 11172-3 and ISO/IEC 13818-3. Following are the Specified standards for MP4: ISO/IEC 14496-14. 
Video Compression It is not possible with MP3 format.Yes, it is possible with MP4. 
Versatility The format is not as versatile as it only supports audio files. The format is more versatile; it supports audio and video files. 
Data Storage  Audio files take up a smaller storage space. Video and multimedia files take up larger storage space. 

What is MP3? 

MP3 is a digital audio coding configured file formation. With the help of a team of European and US digital experts, mp3 was successful.

t is a formation by the ‚ÄėFraunhofer Society (from Germany).

Later the extended version was MPEG-2 audio layer III, and now it is MPEG-3 audio layer III. Its purpose is to make the listening experience better.

The extension .mp3 only plays audio files. The folder is compatible with all music players and audio devices.

It works with media formats Audio/mpeg, Audio/MPA, and Audio/mpa-robust. 

Mp3 does not support video files; it is only an audio extension. So, it might, does not as versatile as MP4, but it focuses on audio files.

It even takes a smaller storage capacity for any of its files. Formerly, it used to be known as MPEG-1 audio layer III. 

mp3 1

What is MP4? 

MP4 is a digital text, audio, and video coding configured file formation.

It supports any multimedia type. It is formed; by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO).

The purpose of this extension is to provide a great audio-video dual experience to its users.  The folder is compatible with iPhones and iPods.

It plays video files in .mp4, .m4a, .m4p, .m4b, .m4r, and .m4v forms.Also, it is known as MPEG-4 part 14 and forms into video/mp4 format.

It works smoothly with any audio or video files. It is more versatile than MP3, as it supports both files.

It needs a larger storage space for keeping than mp3.  The format is a Quick Time format coding.

You can see it in a 3D formation. This file type is also convertible into MP3 format (Only audio). 


Main Differences Between MP3 and MP4 

  1. On MP3, only audio files are supportable to play. Conversely, On MP4, audio, video, and multimedia files are supportable.  
  2. Better listening experience with MP3, and with MP4, it’s great audio + video dual experience.  
  3. MP3 files compressed into ‚Äė.mp3‚Äô format. On the other hand, MP4 files have more options such as, ‚Äė.mp4,‚Äô ‚Äė.m4a,‚Äô ‚Äė.m4p,‚Äô ‚Äė.m4b,‚Äô ‚Äė.m4r,‚Äô and ‚Äė.m4v.‚Äô¬†¬†
  4. MP3 is available in audio/mpeg, audio/MPA, and audio/mpa-robust media formats. And MP4 is available in video/mp4.  
  5. MP4 is more versatile as it supports both the media files and MP3 in just one.  
  6. MP3 has compatibility with all music players, Whereas MP4 is compatible with just iPhones and iPods.  
  7. MP3 does not support video compression, while MP4 for video compression.  
  8. Audio files take up smaller storage space, and video files take the large storage. 
Difference Between MP3 and MP4


  1. Mobile technologies, podcasting and language education (igi-global.com) 
  2. Mobile Learning: Education Book Chapter | IGI Global (igi-global.com) 
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