Introduction Digital Video & Audio files are also known as container formats. These “containers” are digital files with video and audio information compressed by means of standardized audio/video codecs (compressor/decompressor). The container file is used to identify and store the different data types.
Introduction 2 Simpler container formats can contain different types of,audio codecs(AIFF, WAV & MP3) while more advanced container formats can support multiple audio and video streams, subtitles, chapter-information - along with the synchronization information needed to play back the various streams together. The most frequent types of audio/video files you will come across will be: 3GP, AVI, WMV, MOV & MP4
3GP 3GP is a file format which is used in mobile phones to store media (audio/video). 3GP stores and delivers high-quality format videos, for mobile phone screens. 3GP is a simplified version of the (MP4) format, designed to decrease storage and bandwidth requirements in order to accommodate mobile phones. A 3GP file, stores and transferring the most significant bytes first. It also contains descriptions of image sizes and bitrate.
AVI Audio Video Interleave, known by its acronym AVI, is a multimedia container format introduced by Microsoft in November 1992 as part of its Video For Windows technology. AVI files can contain both audio and video data in a file container that allows synchronous audio-with-video playback. Like the DVD Video Format, AVI files support multiple streaming audio and video, although these features are seldom used.
WMV Windows Media Video (WMV) is a compressed video file format for several codecs developed by Microsoft. The original codec, known as WMV, was originally designed for Internet streaming applications, as a competitor to RealVideo. WMV has gained adoption for physical-delivery formats such as HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc.
MOV The QuickTime (.mov) file format functions as a 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). QuickTime is particularly suited for editing, as it is capable of importing and editing in place (without data copying).
MP4 MPEG-4 Part 14, formally ISO/IEC 14496-14:2003, is a multimedia container format standard specified as a part of MPEG-4. It is most commonly used to store digital audio and digital video streams, but can also be used to store other data such as subtitles and still images. Like most modern container formats, MPEG-4 Part 14 allows streaming over the Internet. The official filename extension for MPEG-4 Part 14 files is .mp4, thus the container format is often referred to simply as MP4.