Avi vs Mov: 10 Important Difference Between Avi and Mov

What is the difference between AVI and MOV?

Do you know the difference between AVI and MOV? It’s probably safe to say that most people won’t be able to tell you the exact difference. That’s because the average person tends to use either AVI or MOV files, but not both. So why do we have two different video file formats at all? Well, let me explain and put an end to this question once and for all.

What is AVI?

AVI is an audio and video multimedia container format developed by Microsoft in 1992. It is used to store audio and video with a variety of codecs like DivX and XviD.

AVI files are meant to be played in a computer media player. These animated files contain information about how to decode the audio and video data for playback.

This format is less compressed than others, so the files will be larger than those in other formats like Quicktime and MPEG.

How do I open an AVI file?

You can open AVI files in various video players, such as Microsoft Movies & TV (Windows), Microsoft Windows Media Player (Windows), Apple QuickTime Player (macOS), and Adobe Premiere Pro (multiplatform).

You can also play AVI files on iOS and Android devices. For example, you can use VLC for iOS, VLC for Android, J2 Interactive MX Player (Android), or olimsoft OPlayer (iOS).

Things to Remeber:

Some video players can’t play AVI files even if they support the file format. Make sure your player supports the codec used to encode the video data. For additional information, view the FileInfo.com Playing AVI Files support.

What is MOV?

A MOV file is an Apple QuickTime Movie file in a QuickTime File Format (QTFF) container.MOV files can store sound, video, and text in the same file, or they can point to data stored elsewhere. It was developed by Apple Company and is used in their Quicktime program as part of their MP4 file format. Its file structure is the basis of the MPEG-4 file format.

If you have an Apple device like an iPhone or iPad, you may have noticed that video files from those devices have the extension .mov.

How do I open a MOV file?

You can open MOV files in various video players, such as Apple QuickTime Player (Mac), Microsoft Windows Media Player (Windows), and VLC media player (multiplatform).

You can play MOV files with the VLC for Android and iOS, olimsoft OPlayer (iOS), and J2 Interactive MX Player (Android).

In addition to being a MOV video player, VLC media player can also convert MOV files to other formats. For example, you can use VLC to convert a MOV video to an .MP4 file or a MOV audio file to the .OGG format.

Difference Between AVI and MOV: AVI VS MOV (Tabular Form)

The AVI format is an old container developed by Microsoft and was used as the file format in its media player.DefinitionA MOV file is an Apple QuickTime Movie file in a QuickTime File Format (QTFF) container.
It stands for Audio Video Interleave.Stands ForIt stands for Metal Oxide Varistor
Microsoft in 1992Developed ByApple Inc. in 1998
No native support for MP4 codecs Codec supportIt supports MP4 codecs like H.264
Poor qualityQualityHigh-quality
Very popular as its supports many devices.PopularityLess popular as it supports few devices.
Big file sizeFile sizeSmall file size
video/avi video/msvideo video/x-msvideoInternet Media Typevideo/quicktime
Apple QuickTime Player
Microsoft Windows Media Player
VideoLAN VLC media player
CyberLink PowerDVD 14
Programs that open AVI/MOV filesMicrosoft Windows Media Player
VideoLAN VLC media player
ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre
Roxio Toast 11

Difference between AVI and MOV: AVI VS MOV

The AVI or Audio Video Interleave format is an old container developed by Microsoft, and was used as the file format in its media player. The MOV or QuickTime format was developed by Apple for its Mac OS and the QuickTime application. One key difference between the two is native support of lossy codecs like H.264. The MOV format supports these encoders, while AVI does not.

In Internet communities, where compatibility expectations are high, AVI became very popular. It is supported by all players, even portable devices like video players and smartphones. . But Microsoft abandoned the AVI container in favor of WMV, which supports more features with a higher version of its Windows Media Player software.

Though AVI lacks native support for lossy codecs, people have created workarounds for this problem and the bigger overhead often results in a larger file size than a container with native support like MOV. As well, AVI lacks support for advanced features like B-Frame encoding that are available in containers with native support.

AVI files do not contain information about the pixel aspect ratio. Some media players, including Windows Media Player, stretch or squeeze an AVI file’s image based on the player’s default pixel aspect ratio.

AVI is a video-file format that has been nearly universally replaced by an advanced container such as MOV, which can store the same video better and in a smaller size. Despite this fact, AVI is still used widely because it is supported by most media players.

QuickTime (.mov) media files include one or more tracks—each of which has a data type: video, audio, effects, and text (e.g., for subtitles). A track can either be an encoded media stream or reference to another file containing that data. Tracks are maintained in a hierarchical structure called atoms. 


So MOV file format use a new compression technique which make it small while also retaining the quality of the video. AVI use a old compression technique which result in bigger size file but retain the same quality.

In most cases .mov will give you a better quality video than .avi because .avi generally uses less compression than .mov. However, some cameras will offer higher quality video in .avi format than in .mov format so there are exceptions to this rule.

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