Difference Between MP4 and AVI

There are many different multimedia container formats for playing media on the internet For Example. MPEG-4(MP4), Wave file Audio File(WAV), MP3, MOV, AVI, etc.


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The most commonly used multimedia formats are MP4 and AVI. The most common multimedia container format MPEG-4 Part 14 also known as MP4 is used to store video,audio, subtitles,still images,etc.

Like all modern formats of containers it also allows streaming on the internet.

Another common multimedia container is AVI or the “AUDIO VIDEO INTERLEAVED(media format)”. It is used to play the audio and video data synchronously.

A big difference between MP4 and AVI is the portability of AVI files. The AVI files are very large and media platforms like YouTube recommends posting content which is in MP4 format instead of AVI

MP4 vs AVI

The difference between MP4 and AVI is that AVI was released (1992) almost 10 years earlier than MP4 (2001) thus MP4 is more advanced than AVI, has more advanced features and supported and used widely for streaming on the internet

MP4 vs AVI

Comparison Table

Parameter of
CompressingHighly compressedLess or no compression
Size of FileSmallLarge size because of less compression
CompatibilityMac, PC, iPhone, Android, iPadMicrosoft products,Consoles
No Apple devices supported
QualityIt supports very high quality videos till 4k UHD resolution contentSupported till FHD+ 1080p resolution
Players supportedMostly all media playersAll the windows based players are supported

What is MP4?

MPEG-4 PART 14 officially known as MP4 is a method of compression of audio and visual digital data which was introduced by MPEG (MOVING PICTURE EXPERTS GROUP) in the late 1998.

MP4 is basically a container for multimedia format most commonly used to store digital video and audio streams, mostly those given by MPEG and also used to contain other data like subtitles , moving images and still images.

MP4 was built being inspired from the QuickTime File Format. Later it was much developed and used to a large extent by APPLE.

The fact that MP4 as a format was embraced by itunes made apple reach the peak in terms of worldwide notoriety.

It’s advantages include the fact that it is used on many different video players like VlC,GOM Player, Windows Media Player. Thus MP4 files run well on the majority of well known media players.

The largest video sharing platform YouTube has helped and the support is well justified by the things the format has to offer Example-

Closed caption file format, which helps much in showing subtitles,can easily be integrated over a MP4 VIDEO. The quality of the format is also unquestionable.

MP4 as a format is helpful in streaming video on the internet losing only very little of its quality in the process. The quality output of MP4 files are near DVD like quality.

Most video sharing platforms encourage their users to upload their files in the MP4 format because it is compatible with most modern technology.

The fact that it has all the support for 3d objects makes it of great importance in making presentations.


What is AVI?

Audio Video Interleave or AVI is one of the popular multimedia container formats as part of Windows tech introduced by Microsoft in 1992 as a replacement for MOV file format, developed by Apple.

The files in AVI format can have both audio and video data in a file container supporting synchronous audio with video playback.

The main advantage of AVI has always been the fact that it is supported very widely. This is no less because of the reason that from the beginning , AVI was the default video format for most of the world’s major camera brands.

It’s also very important that both PC and MAC devices support the format. The AVI codecs help compress the file size sacrificing little of the video quality so there is no wonder why the format has retained much of its popularity.


Main Differences Between MP4 and AVI

  1. A major difference between MP4 and AVI is that AVI does not support HEVC/H.265 or VP9 ultra HD codecs. AVI supports HD and FULL HD files. MP4 supports HEVC/H.265 or VP9 formats thus it can hold 4k Ultra High definition (UHD),Full HD and HD files.
  2. Another difference between MP4 and AVI is in subtitles. Natively MP4 supports two subtitle types VodSub and MPEG-4 Timed Text. Subtitles can’t be held itself by AVI but it can contain SubRip,XSUB,SubStation Alpha via third party modification and DivX.
  3. MP4 is a kind of lossy video format. It(MP4)uses MPEG-4 or H.264 compression techniques and the AAC compression algorithm. AVI in comparison does less compression in storing the audio/video files, instead the AVI files can also be stored without undergoing any compression. The AVI files have very large size when compared to MP4.
  4. MP4 was developed by International Organisation for Standardization whereas AVI was developed by Microsoft hence AVI can only be run on windows while MP4 can run almost everywhere
  5. MP4 is more upto date and more advanced than the older simpler AVI format
Difference Between MP4 and AVI


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/9094593/
  2. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ef45/045fa08d3fd147a3e154e125d4b4aa448d60.pdf
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