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Video Basics, Video Compression

What is M4V? What Media Players Can Open It?

M4V Explained

Last updated on January 23rd, 2024 at 02:33 am

  1. There are two types of M4V files – copy-protected and unprotected
  2. MP4 and M4V have the same properties but different extensions -.mp4 and .m4v
  3. You can open an unprotected M4V file in an unsupported player by changing its extension to MP4

If you’ve come across M4V and have been wondering what it is all about, this post will clear your doubts.

What does M4V Mean?

M4V means MPEG-4 Visual. It was developed by Apple and is the format used for video files over their iTunes Store.

There are two types of M4V – one is the iTunes Store files which are protected by Apple’s FairPlay DRM copyright protection.

These files can’t be downloaded without special authorization. You must have purchased these files through a valid account and files can only be played through approved apps or software.

Also, you can only play these M4V files through the account used to purchase them.

The other type of M4V file is the unprotected type which could be played through most media players. These are non-iTunes M4V files.

Is M4V the Same as MP4?

Yes, they have the same properties only their extensions are different – .m4v and .mp4.

How do I play M4V files?

The best media player to open M4V files is the VLC Media Player. As you may already know, this swiss knife of a media player can open almost any video or audio file thrown at it. However, only an unprotected M4V file can be played back over VLC.

Can I just change M4V to MP4?

In some instances, the extension of an unprotected M4V file can be renamed to MP4 to be played back on any media player. However, this doesn’t always work.

The best way to convert M4V to MP4 is to use a video converter. Almost all video converters, even the free ones, support the conversion of M4V to MP4 to enable it to be played over a wide variety of devices.

Does YouTube accept M4V ?

M4V is not among YouTube’s supported video formats, which include MOV, MPEG-4, MP4, AVI, WMV, MPEG-PS, FLV, 3GPP, and WebM.

In order for MV4 to be uploaded to Youtube, it must first be converted to a format supported by YouTube.

If you have a relatively small M4V file size, you can use a free online video converter to convert it to any of the supported formats.

Can Windows Media Player Play M4V ?

Yes, provided the copy protection is removed if the files is from the iTunes Store.

Does VLC Support M4V ?

As you may be well aware, VLC is a versatile player that can play almost any video and audio format. However, when it comes to M4V, it can only play an unprotected M4V file and not an M4V file downloaded from the iTunes Store.

Can QuickTime Play M4V?

Yes, Quicktime Player supports the playback of M4V. However, it must be an unproytected M4V file. It will not playback an iTunes Store M4V file, however.

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