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MOV vs MP4 in PrE 2018

Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 28, 2017

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I was surprised with a new camera as a gift.  It is a rugged Olympus TG-5.  It shoots 4K MOV files.  I've been editing 4K MP4 files from a couple Panasonic cameras for about two years. 

I was expecting issues if I mixed the two in a project.  I did some googling and found a suggestion you could change the file name of a clip from MOV to MP4 and it would still function!  It does.  PrE 2018 doesn't care!  It will use either, both or even files with name changes.  Camera specs say the codec is H.264.

Obviously, I'm pleased because I can now mix and match 4K footage from three great cameras.  It all works.

The point of my post is to ask why.  I've googled all morning and remain confused.  Are MOV and MP4 containers actually the same?  Is it just file naming? 

Thanks in advance!

Bill

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Steve Grisetti | Adobe Community Professional

An MOV is just a container, and this container can use any of hundreds of codecs to compress your video files.

The most common codec is the H.264 codec, which produces MP4s. In your case, your MOV was using the H.264 codec, so it was just an MP4 in an MOV wrapper. So, in your case, you can use the files interchangeably, for the most part.

This is not true of all MOVs, however. Depends on their codec.

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MOV vs MP4 in PrE 2018

Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 28, 2017

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I was surprised with a new camera as a gift.  It is a rugged Olympus TG-5.  It shoots 4K MOV files.  I've been editing 4K MP4 files from a couple Panasonic cameras for about two years. 

I was expecting issues if I mixed the two in a project.  I did some googling and found a suggestion you could change the file name of a clip from MOV to MP4 and it would still function!  It does.  PrE 2018 doesn't care!  It will use either, both or even files with name changes.  Camera specs say the codec is H.264.

Obviously, I'm pleased because I can now mix and match 4K footage from three great cameras.  It all works.

The point of my post is to ask why.  I've googled all morning and remain confused.  Are MOV and MP4 containers actually the same?  Is it just file naming? 

Thanks in advance!

Bill

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Steve Grisetti | Adobe Community Professional

An MOV is just a container, and this container can use any of hundreds of codecs to compress your video files.

The most common codec is the H.264 codec, which produces MP4s. In your case, your MOV was using the H.264 codec, so it was just an MP4 in an MOV wrapper. So, in your case, you can use the files interchangeably, for the most part.

This is not true of all MOVs, however. Depends on their codec.

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Dec 28, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 28, 2017

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An MOV is just a container, and this container can use any of hundreds of codecs to compress your video files.

The most common codec is the H.264 codec, which produces MP4s. In your case, your MOV was using the H.264 codec, so it was just an MP4 in an MOV wrapper. So, in your case, you can use the files interchangeably, for the most part.

This is not true of all MOVs, however. Depends on their codec.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 28, 2017

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Thank you Steve. 

Someday I'm going to find a book or something that explains what you mean by "just an MP4 in an MOV wrapper".  I get that the parts inside are from H.264, but I don't get the naming of the wrappers or what the differences are.

I'm pleased and lucky that the footage from the Panasonic source and the Olympus source are matched enough that editing will not get screwed up. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 28, 2017

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whsprague  wrote

Someday I'm going to find a book or something that explains what you mean by "just an MP4 in an MOV wrapper".

Have a look here:

containers & codecs

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 28, 2017

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Thank you Bob.  There is a lot of reading there!  I had been doing searches with other terms but had not tried "codecs and containers".

Bill

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 29, 2017

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Here's an excellent 4-minute video explanation of codecs.

Codecs and Formats Explained! (And Why You're Probably Wrong) - YouTube

And this 10-minute video is one of the best explanations I've seen explaining the difference between codecs and container files.

Codecs and Containers - the wonderful world of video files - YouTube

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Dec 29, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 29, 2017

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Thank you Steve.  I put those two YouTubes on my to do list for this afternoon. 

After reading some of the links Bob provided, I answered a question on another forum this morning!

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Dec 29, 2017 0