Users who have favorite podcasts or a huge music library may have noticed that some songs have mp3 format and others have mp4. Should this concern you? Does it influence the quality of what you hear? Let’s find out more about each format and how they differ from each other. The comparison will deliver a better understanding of which formats you should pick.
What is mp3?
The term mp3 stands for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3. It has been around for over 28 years! At first, it brought a groundbreaking compression capacity. There was no other alternative to it. The music and any other kind of audio were fit for storage, streaming, and transfer.
This format of audio files was approved to make the transmission easier and faster. The audio was compressed and reduced to this now very common format. So, the shortest definition of mp3 is that this format keeps the size of the file by eliminating the sounds the human ears can’t grasp. Earlier, there used to be mp1 and mp2 as well. However, only mp3 proved to be the most convenient option which preserved the quality of the sound in the process. So, the peculiarities of mp3 files:
• It’s an audio coding format,
• The compression leads to lower audio quality,
• Virtually any music player can read mp3,
• They are relatively small in size,
• The file’s extension is .mp3.
What is mp4?
This is the format which is much younger and was finalized in 2003 only. The term stands for MPEG-4 Part 14. Interesting enough, the Apple QuickTime MOV format gave it grounds. Nowadays, both mp3 and mp4 peacefully co-exist. Mp4 was originally invented to compress media data in small files. Since then, the format evolved a lot. Nowadays you can compress the whole variety of media types like M4A, M4V, M4B, etc. One of the reasons for this huge difference in the situation is that they are very different. Moreover, mp4 was developed by ISO. The peculiarities of the format:
• The file can contain images, text, and video,
• Far from all players can support it,
• The files take more space,
• You’ll get a higher quality of content.
The main differences
The difference in one digit actually means much more. You must remember that these are not 2 editions of the same format. These formats have multiple differences and versatility is the most important from them.
Mp4 is very versatile. That sets it apart from mp3. In most cases, mp3 is an audio-only file. Mp4 can handle both audio and imaging as well as other types of content. It’s a multimedia container which can preserve video, stills, subtitles, text, etc. The format can store data instead of a code.
When you understand this difference, you realize that there is no one definite answer on which format is better.
The truth about audio files is that there is no perfect format which offers excellent sound. However, mp4 can be an upgrade compared to mp3. The format can use AAC. It stands for Advanced Audio Coding and encode audio in a higher bitrate than mp3. Remember than the bigger this index is the higher quality of sound you’ll get. Moreover, the bigger this file will be.
Hopefully, mp3 and mp4 are very different. You can see now what to expect from the two types of files and get the one you need. Use high-quality files to enhance your experience.