Identical to MPEG-4, M4V is a video format that is often used to encode files on Apple devices. Due to the FairPlay DRM copyright protection, some users can’t open M4V files on their computers with the built-in browser. Luckily, all those that want to play M4V on Mac will be able to use the solution we identified to watch M4V and other codecs no matter if they are using Mac or Windows.
Developed by Apple Inc., M4V is a video container format that is very similar to MP4, especially when talking about keeping a good balance between video quality and its size. Apple uses this format to encode video files, such as music videos, TV shows in the App Store. Apple often uses DRM protection on their files leading to issue in playback if you don’t have the proper player. It allows them to choose the computers that can play with certain files.
Unfortunately, sometimes you can’t play M4V files in Apple Music or QuickTime Player. M4V files have to meet specific requirements to be played on Apple Music. M4V file has to be either encoded as 540 kbit/s (minimum) MPEG-4 video (H.264) with an approximately 128 kbit/s AAC audio track or as a 1.5 Mbit/s (minimum) MPEG-4 video (H.264) with a minimum 128 kbit/s AAC audio.
So if you have an M4V that doesn't meet the above requirements you'll have to go through format conversion and codec search and installation. Or you can download a third-party Mac M4V player to play M4V files as they are.
2. Choose the file and play.
Add M4V files to Elmedia Player either of the ways:
3. Enjoy the video.
If you’re curious what are the main differences between the popular MP4 format and M4V, we have you covered. First of all, there’s the DRM technology that makes latter harder to play without a proper player. However, there are other differences as well and we’re going to explore them in the following paragraphs.
From an encoding point of view, M4V and MP4 are very different. First of all, they use different codecs and M4V’s container is only compatible with H.264 while MP4 can also use MPEG-4, H265, and others. From an audio point of view, both formats can hold MP3, AC3, or AAC codecs. Taking all these into consideration, we can conclude that the quality will be similar but the file size is more extended for M4V.
In terms of compatibility, you won’t need a special M4V player Mac app to enjoy MP4. QuickTime is more than capable of playing this format and Windows Media Player can handle it as well. On the other side, if you want to play M4V on anything than an Apple device, you’ll hit the DRM protection.
Another difference comes when comparing how easy it is playing M4V files on Mac compared to doing the same with MP4. It goes without saying that MP4 always wins the popularity contest since it doesn’t have any DRM protection and it doesn’t need any dedicated software. However, if you only stick to Apple products, M4V is a very good idea as you won’t have any issues and you will be able to enjoy the full Apple experience.
After talking about the main M4V and MP4 differences you need to be aware of when choosing your M4V player Mac software, it’s time to put everything in a table. You will be able to easily compare the two formats in all aspects.
|Developer||Apple Inc.||Moving Picture Expert Group (MPEG)|
|Video Coding Formats||H.264||MPEG-4, H.264, H.265, and others|
|Audio Coding Formats||MP3, AAC, AC-3, and others||MP3, AAC, AC-3, and others|
|Supported Devices & Players||Only Apple players and devices||Almost all players and devices|
|Copy Protection||Often protected by DRM software||No copyright protection in most cases|
|Pros||The proprietary copyright protection makes this format better for paid media, such as the one you get through iTunes.||Easily played by most devices and players which makes it very popular. Also users can copy, upload, and convert MP4 files. Can be used by almost all media players and devices due to its great compatibility; and users can easily upload, copy and move the files.|
|Cons||Reduced Compatibility for players and devices that are not developed by Apple.||The maximum supported resolution is 1440x1080.|