Difference Between MP3 and MP4

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

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

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

Coding is algorithmic data that helps with computer programming.

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

MP3 vs MP4

The difference between MP3 and MP4 is that their purpose. MP3 file extension is made only for audio files.

Whereas; MP4 for multimedia files, including audio and video.

Both have varying versatility, storage, and compatibility. They support contrasting folders and distinctive extensions.  

MP3 vs MP4

Mp3 and mp4 are the small parts of these and are accommodated, with ‘MPEG’ (moving picture experts group) Firm.

Plenty of people confuse MP3 and MP4 among 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 Fraunhofer Society (Germany) and European and US digital expert’s team.MP4 is a Binary Audio, Video, 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 as 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 Following are the Specified standards for MP3: 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 as well as video files. 
Data Storage  Audio files take a smaller storage space. Video and multimedia files take 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 ‘Fraunhofer 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 the music players and audio devices.

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

Mp3 does not support video files, as 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, video files.It is more versatile than MP3, as it supports both the 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 type of file is also convertible into MP3 format (That is only audio). 


Main Differences Between MP3 and MP4 

  1. On MP3, only audio files are supportable to play. Conversely, On the MP4, audio, video, multimedia files are supportable.  
  2. Better listening experience with MP3, and with MP4 its great audio + video dual experience.  
  3. MP3 files compressed into ‘.mp3’ format. On the other hand, MP4 files have more options such as, ‘.mp4,’ ‘.m4a,’ ‘.m4p,’ ‘.m4b,’ ‘.m4r,’ and ‘.m4v.’  
  4. MP3 is available in audio/mpeg, audio/MPA, 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 just one.  
  6. MP3 has compatibility with all the 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 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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