What are Video Containers?
File extensions of video files are video containers—and contain a host of necessary files and information required in video playback.
- This includes metadata or "data about data" that provides information on the video file's resolution, bitrate type, last modified date, date of creation, captions, SEO etc. The metadata also carries information on the codec.
- Video containers also contain information on the video & audio stream—to direct the video player regarding what video will be displayed on the screen and which sound will be played for a specific video.
Common Video Containers
Everyone should know three common video containers: AVI, MP4, MOV, or MP4.
- AVI: Also known as Audio Video Interleave, Microsoft launched it in the 1990s and was replaced by WMV in the 2000s. However, both video containers are known for higher-quality videos that take up larger storage space due to lower compression levels.
- MOV: Apple's MOV is analogous to AVI. It is compatible with QuickTime player and is ideally used with feature-length films. MOV is supported both by Windows and Mac OS.
- MP4: Also known as MPEG-4, it is the most commonly used video container. It stores audio and video data alongside subtitles and other metadata images. MP4 is considered a versatile industry standard in video content distribution; however, it doesn't provide high quality.