Friday, 25 July 2014

Video & Audio Containers & Codecs

"You may think of video files as “AVI files” or “MP4 files.” In reality, “AVI” and “MP4? are just container formats. Just like a ZIP file can contain any sort of file within it, video container formats only define how to store things within them, not what kinds of data are stored. (It’s a little more complicated than that, because not all video streams are compatible with all container formats, but never mind that for now.)

A video file usually contains multiple tracks — a video track (without audio), plus one or more audio tracks (without video). Tracks are usually interrelated. An audio track contains markers within it to help synchronize the audio with the video. Individual tracks can have metadata, such as the aspect ratio of a video track, or the language of an audio track. Containers can also have metadata, such as the title of the video itself, cover art for the video, episode numbers (for television shows), and so on." from

Container​ ​Extension Common Video Codec​ Common Audio Codec​ Alfresco registered MimeType Comment​
​MPEG4 ​.mp4
​H.264 ​AAC ​.mp4: video/mp4
.m4v: video/x-m4v
Developed by ISO.
​The MPEG 4 container is based on Apple’s older QuickTime container (.mov).
Can also be used to store other data such as subtitles and still images.
MP4 files can contain metadata as defined by the format standard, and in addition, can contain Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) metadata.
More recent versions of Flash also support the MPEG 4 container.
​WEBM ​.webm ​VP8 ​Vorbis ​video/webm Audio-video format designed to provide a royalty-free, open video compression format for use with HTML5 video. Development is sponsored by Google.
Based on Matroska Media Container
Adobe has also announced that a future version of Flash will support WebM video.
​OGG .ogv ​Theora (=Ogg Video) ​Vorbis (=Ogg Audio) video/ogg ​Ogg is an open standard, open source–friendly, and unencumbered by any known patents
Ogg is a free, open container format maintained by the Xiph.Org Foundation.
The Ogg container format can multiplex a number of independent streams for audio, video, text (such as subtitles), and metadata.
​Flash Video ​.flv ​​H.264
VP6Sorenson Spark
​video/x-flv ​Developed by Adobe Systems
Prior to Flash (a.k.a. Flash Player 9 Update 3), this was the only container format that Flash supported
Audio Video Interleave​ ​.avi ​MPEG-4 part 2 ​MP3 ​video/x-msvideo ​The AVI container format was invented by Microsoft in a simpler time.
It does not even officially support most of the modern video and audio codecs in use today.
​Matroska .mkv ​H.264 ​Vorbis ​The Matroska Multimedia Container is an open standard free container format, a file format that can hold an unlimited number of video, audio, picture or subtitle tracks in one file
RealMedia​ .rm ​RealVideo ​RealAudio ​RealMedia is a proprietary multimedia container format created by RealNetworks. It is used for streaming content over the Internet.
​3GP .3gp ​​H.264
​It is used on 3G mobile phones but can also be played on some 2G and 4G phones.
3G2 ​H.264
​video/x-3gpp2 ​It is very similar to the 3GP file format, but has some extensions and limitations in comparison to 3GP.
​QuickTime ​.mov
​H.264 ​AAC ​video/quicktime ​Apple Inc.
Multimedia container file that contains one or more tracks, each of which stores a particular type of data: audio, video, effects, or text (e.g. for subtitles)
​Advanced Systems Format ​.asf
​Windows Media Video ​Windows Media Audio ​video/x-ms-asf
​Microsoft's proprietary digital audio/digital video container format, especially meant for streaming media.
Files containing only WMA audio can be named using a .WMA extension, and files of audio and video content may have the extension .WMV.
Both may use the .ASF extension if desired.

​Container Extension​ Common Audio Codec​ Alfresco registered Mime Type​ Comment​
OGG​ .oga
Vorbis (=Ogg Audio) ​audio/ogg ​Lossy audio compression
Xiph.Org Foundation recommends that .ogg only be used for Ogg Vorbis audio files.
​MP3 ​.mp3 ​MP3 ​audio/x-mpeg ​Lossy audio compression
An MP3 file that is created using the setting of 128 kbit/s will result in a file that is about 1/11 the size than the CD file
created from the original audio source.
Several bit rates are specified in the MPEG-1 Audio Layer III standard: 32, 40, 48, 56, 64, 80, 96, 112, 128, 160, 192, 224, 256 and 320 kbit/s,
and the available sampling frequencies are 32, 44.1 and 48 kHz.
Additional extensions were defined in MPEG-2 Audio Layer III: bit rates 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, 48, 56, 64, 80, 96, 112, 128, 144, 160 kbit/s
and sampling frequencies 16, 22.05 and 24 kHz
A sample rate of 44.1 kHz is almost always used, because this is also used for CD audio, the main source used for creating MP3 files.
Most MP3 files today contain ID3 metadata
MP3 format allows for variable bitrate encoding, which means that some parts of the encoded stream are compressed more than others
​WAV ​.wav ​PCM ​audio/x-wav ​Microsoft & IBM
Advanced Audio Coding​ .m4a
​AAC ​audio/aac ​​Lossy audio compression.
AAC generally achieves better sound quality than MP3 at similar bit rates.
AAC is also the default or standard audio format for iPhone, iPod, iPad, Nintendo DSi, iTunes and PlayStation 3.
​​​Matroska ​.mka ​Vorbis
Advanced Systems Format ​.wma ​MP3 ​audio/x-ms-wma An audio data compression technology developed by Microsoft.
The name can be used to refer to its audio file format or its audio codecs.

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