10 Important Difference Between MP3 And MP4 (Tabular Form)

What is the difference between MP3 and MP4?

Many customers wish to download music from the internet. But many tracks have an MP3 and MP4 extension, leaving them perplexed. So, how do MP3 and MP4 vary from one another? Let us have a brief understanding of them.

MP4 and MP3 are two different data storage formats for storing media. The difference between MP3 and MP4 is that MP3 is an audio file format, whereas MP4 is a multimedia file format that includes audio, video, text, and images. These two formats compress data to take up less space on the hard drive.

What is MP3?

MP3 stands for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3. Brandenburg—who is often called the “father of MP3” created it to save audio data in a digital format with small file sizes than the formats used by CDs at the time.

The invention of MP3 compression could reduce file sizes by up to 95%. That means an MP3 with a bitrate of 128 kbit/s, for example, will be 90 percent smaller in size than CD-quality audio.

 Here lossy compression is used in MP3s to reduce the size of an audio file while barely affecting its quality. This method removes all sounds outside the hearing range of the average individual and then compresses the remaining sounds as efficiently as possible.

MP3 has become one of the most widely used audio formats and has long been the industry standard for audio files. Most digital audio players employ the MP3 format to send and play music as the default standard of digital audio compression.

What is MP4?

MP4 is denoted by MPEG-4 Part 14. The Moving Picture Experts Group designed this file format (MPEG). MP4 is a container format that may hold video, audio, and other data like images. MP3, on the other hand, is used to hold audio-only.

It can be hard to determine what an MP4 is. Is it the Batman movie or the music from within that movie? It’s now easy for Apple users, though: The company began using the.m4a file extension for audio-only MP4 files and.m4v for video files in 2009.

MP4 files can also contain video, pictures, and text in addition to audio. The file extensions indicate the kind of data contained within the container. The following are a few of the most common:

  • MP4 – Only official extension
  • M4A – An unprotected audio format.
  • M4P – FairPlay Digital Rights Management encrypts audio in M4P format.
  • M4B – Audiobooks and podcasts are found in this format.
  • M4V – MPEG-4 Visual bitstreams.

At less than 1Mbps, the MP4 format allows us to watch DVD-quality videos over the Internet. An MP4 file can be downloaded or kept on a hard disk and streamed over the Internet.

Most mobile devices, such as Apple’s iPad, iPod touch, and iPhone, along with Android smartphones support MP4 files by default. So if someone sends you an MP4 video over text or email or posts an MP4 video on a website that you want to watch, you won’t need to download an app.

Also Read: Difference Between SDHC, SDXC and SDUC

Difference Between MP3 and MP4: MP3 VS MP4

MP3 stands for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3.Stands ForMP4 is the abbreviation of MPEG-4 Part-14
Mp3 is an audio coding format

MP4 is a digital multimedia container format
Audio formatFormatContainer format
Only audio files can be playedFeaturesBoth audio and video files can be played
Apple iOS and macOS devices including iPhones and iPads, QuickTime Player, Sony Walkmans, iPods, MP3 Players, Digital Multimedia Players, Microsoft Windows, Linux OS, Android OS.OS and CompatibilityApple iOS and macOS devices including iPhones and iPads, iPods, Video Players, Digital Multimedia Players, Microsoft Windows, Linux OS, Android OS, QuickTime Player, portable movie players, and similar devices.
Make use of lossy compression algorithmCompression Technology
Make use of AAC (advanced audio encoding) and AVC (advanced video encoding).
 ISO / IEC 11172-3, ISO / IEC 13818-3.
ISO StandardISO / IEC 14496-14.
Karl Brandenberg and the Franhofer Intitute, Philips, CCETDevelopersInternational Organization for Standardization 
Low qualityQualityHigh quality
.mp3 and .bit (before 1995)Filename Extension.mp4, .m4a, .m4p, .m4b, .m4r, and .m4v
1993Released In2001

MP3 vs. MP4: Which One Is Better?

If you already have a large collection of 256kbps or higher MP3 files, don’t re-encode them to MP4s. You won’t be able to tell much difference in sound quality even if you have high-end audiophile equipment.

Or, if you’re ripping CDs from scratch or converting analog sources to digital, an MP4—especially one that uses the lossless ALAC codec—is the way to go.

Furthermore, MP4s can usually use Advanced Audio Coding, or AAC, which can improve the audio of an MP4 even though it may have the same bitrate as an MP3.


The fundamental difference between MP3 and MP4 is that MP3 only handles audio, but MP4 handles audio, video, text, and images.

In conclusion, if you’re looking to save music for usage on portable devices, MP3 is the way to go. If you wish to preserve video or stream your content over the internet, MP4 is the format to utilize. Although MP4 works for audio files, it is not the best option.

If you are concerned about disk space, MP3 is the way to go; if you have no concern about disk space and are more interested in sound quality, buy the MP4 version.

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