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School me on MP4 video

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School me on MP4 video

Old 08-08-05, 06:18 PM
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School me on MP4 video

A friend of mine sent me a file that is an .mp4 video. Never heard of it, but figured it was the next thing on the horizon from mp3. My media player wouldn't play it, so I go to microsoft and search about it and come up with....
http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=kb;en-us;Q316992
MPEG-4 (.mp4)
MPEG-4 is an International Standards Organization (ISO) specification that covers many aspects of multimedia presentation including compression, authoring and delivery. Although video compression and file container definition are two separate and independent entities of the MPEG-4 specification, many people incorrectly believe that the two are interchangeable. You can implement only portions of the MPEG-4 specification and remain compliant with the standard.

The MPEG-4 file format, as defined by the MPEG-4 specification, contains MPEG-4 encoded video and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC)-encoded audio content. It typically uses the .mp4 extension. Windows Media Player does not support the playback of the .mp4 file format. You can play back .mp4 media files in Windows Media Player when you install DirectShow-compatible MPEG-4 decoder packs. DirectShow-compatible MPEG-4 decoder packs include the Ligos LSX-MPEG Player and the EnvivioTV.

For more information about the Ligos LSX-MPEG Player, visit the following Ligos Web site:
http://www.ligos.com/lsx_mpeg_player.htm
For more information about EnvivioTV , visit the following Envivio Web site:
http://www.envivio.com/products/etv/download.jsp
Microsoft has chosen to implement the video compression portion of the MPEG-4 standard. Microsoft has currently produced the following MPEG-4-based video codecs: Microsoft MPEG-4 v1
Microsoft MPEG-4 v2
Microsoft MPEG-4 v3
ISO MPEG-4 v1
MPEG-4 video content can be encoded and stored in an .asf file container by using Windows Media Tools and Windows Media Encoder. You can then play these files in Windows Media Player. For more information about Microsoft and MPEG-4 support, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/win...WM7/mpeg4.aspx
A few places on their site say they don't support it, but then the bottom says that you can encode it to a .asf file (don't know what that is, ether).

Just wondering what the deal is. Why would there be a video format that they would not support? Is it just too new? Is there something evil about it, such as being owned by a competitor, etc?

School me, please.
Old 08-08-05, 06:32 PM
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1. Search for, download, install, and use VLC (Video Lan) to play it.

Last edited by stevevt; 08-08-05 at 07:03 PM.
Old 08-08-05, 06:51 PM
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Do you know any more about it than "Boom?" Anything about the format, etc.? Thanks for the reply.
Old 08-08-05, 07:03 PM
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not a new format.. or a very good one for that matter
if Im not mistaken (which I probably am).. it was one of the formats that microsoft was pushing for counter divx for a lower quality but small file size video format.

http://www.videohelp.com/play
Old 08-08-05, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
Do you know any more about it than "Boom?" Anything about the format, etc.? Thanks for the reply.
Not sure what you're talking about.


[everyone but kvr]Has Dave lost it?[/everyone but kvr]
Old 08-08-05, 07:24 PM
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Okay, I'm retarded.

But you're retardeder.
Old 08-09-05, 11:20 AM
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Microsoft's stuff will play it, it's just that you don't have the right codecs. However, explaining the weirdness that is MPEG 4 codecs is difficult. Easy to give that a miss and go for alternate players.

Apple's Quicktime Player will play it by default. You can load it up in there.

Alternatively, the VideoLan Client Player (aka VLC) will play it without codecs. VLC is quite good, I recommend it.
Old 08-09-05, 01:25 PM
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Isn't MPEG-4 a more advanced and potentially superior format than MPEG-2 which is currently used on DVDs? Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are going to use it along with MPEG-2 and a few other formats.
Old 08-09-05, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by twikoff
not a new format.. or a very good one for that matter
if Im not mistaken (which I probably am).. it was one of the formats that microsoft was pushing for counter divx for a lower quality but small file size video format.

http://www.videohelp.com/play
Yes. You are mistaken. It is not a lower quality. Video codecs based on MP4 will be used on the new HD disc formats and DirecTV will in the future be converting to it. It is more efficient than MPEG2.
Old 08-09-05, 02:02 PM
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MPEG-4 is what DirecTV and Dish are converting to for their HD feeds. Same quality, with less use of bandwidth.
Old 08-09-05, 06:24 PM
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Ah, very interesting. Makes it most interesting that MS doesn't support it in Media Player.
Old 08-09-05, 10:00 PM
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MS has been trying to get their proprietary codecs established as the de facto standard so they've limited their support for MPEG. They actually did release a basic MPEG 4 codec, but it was sort of crippled since they didn't want people to actually use it for encoding. Someone hacked it and that's how the original "divx;-)" codec was born. The irony is that eventually led to Project Mayo and the Divx/Xvid codecs which has largely been kicking the ass of the various codecs that MS has been releasing with each new iteration of Windows Media Player.

MS has had some success with their newest codec called vc-1. I think it's the same as vc-9 which was first released with Windows Media Player 9; but they submitted the codec to SMPTE and some other standards bodies to try to build industry support and they had to make a few changes and concessions while doing so and its since been renamed vc-1. That's what's been adopted by the Bluray and HD-DVD groups for their hi-def video disc formats as one of two mandatory video codecs. The other mandatory codec is an advanced form of MPEG 4 named MPEG 4 AVC or h.264 as it's been blessed by the ITU.

Anyway, most all MPEG 4 video is distributed in .avi container files. I actually haven't paid much attention to .mp4's since new container formats tend to come and go without ever gaining enough traction to be worth using. Though, it looks like .mp4 actually has more standards backing behind it so maybe if the hardware vendors jumped on it, it could eventually hit critical mass.
Old 08-09-05, 10:14 PM
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i do believe the world's greatest player will play them....

http://www.free-codecs.com/download/...er_Classic.htm
Old 08-10-05, 01:55 AM
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belboz: Basically, everybody except for Microsoft is backing the MP4 container format. Quicktime uses it by default now, as basically it's Apple's standard that got pushed through the MPEG group. Apple's AAC files made by iTunes are just renamed MPEG 4 files using the AAC compression method. Apple Lossless Audio is stuffed into a slightly non-standard MPEG4 container. Lots of cell phones and other mobile devices support MPEG 4 now, or the mobile version of it called "3GP".

Anyway. AVI is dying as a container format, mainly because it sucks. Yes, a lot of the pirated movie scene still uses it, but beyond Divx and Xvid usage, AVI is gasping it's last. The MPEG 4 container will eventually win this battle.

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