There are a lot of file formats that videos can be saved in and every video is optimized for its platform or device. If you’re a video editor or a photo editor wanting to get the best performance, then knowing what formats are available and how to pick the right one for editing is important.
MKV is the best video format for editing, streaming, and downloading. It is mostly suited for video clips that contain several languages as this file format can include an unlimited number of video and audio tracks, uncompressed digital HD videos, subtitles, menus, etc. Also, MOV is great for editing videos or viewing on a larger screen.
The most common digital video formats
- Stand for MPEG-4 Part 14
- The most common type of video file format
- Universally compatible
- Capable of storing text, subtitles, audiovisual files, and still images together
- Apple’s preferred format
- Compatible with both Windows and iOS
- Supported by popular devices such as the Xbox 360, Apple devices, phones, TV sets, and even DVD players
- Works well for videos posted on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
- The most ideal format for storing and streaming videos online
- Providing high-quality videos without making the size too large
It can be not easy to edit as it ends up crashing a lot, and that’s why Standard Adobe Premiere doesn’t save files in the MP4 format.
- Stands for QuickTime Movie
- Developed for QuickTime Player by Apple
- Used for watching videos and saving movies on the Internet
- Playable on a majority of USB-compatible TV sets
- Stores high-quality video, audio, and effects in a large size
- Supported by Facebook and YouTube, and it works well for TV viewing
- Famous in the media and film industry because it employs a multimedia container file that can be separated into a variety of tracks
- Since MOV was specifically developed for QuickTime players, it might not be compatible with most media players.
- MOV compresses files to compact sizes, so there might be some data loss which will affect the overall quality.
- Stands for Windows Media Viewer
- Developed by Microsoft
- One of the best video file formats for archiving
- Supported by all Windows devices and software
- Good video quality and large file sizes like MOV
- Supported by YouTube
- Small size for multiple purposes
- Supported for Apple users only by downloading Windows Media Player for Apple
- You can’t select your aspect ratio in WMV
- Widely used for selling digital copies of video content on the Internet due to its licensing and copyright protection function
- It is impossible to choose compression proportions manually and the image quality may reduce during and after compression.
- In some cases, it is impossible to restore the licensing information.
- Not many video players accept the WMV format.
- Stands for Audio Video Interleave
- Developed by Microsoft
- Works with nearly every web browser on Windows, Mac, and Linux machines
- The highest quality but also large file sizes
- Best suited for TV
- Adaptable, versatile, and compatible with different file formats and several web browsers including all Windows devices, Android, Xbox, PSP game consoles, MacOS X and Linux.
- One of the best video formats you can use for short videos, teasers, and promos
- Good quality even after compression
- Supported by YouTube and works well for TV viewing
- Guarantees high-quality audio and video
- AVI isn’t the best video format for streaming because it uses less compression than other video formats and has a large file size.
- AVI does not support program subtitles.
- AVI has a large file size.
- AVI is not widely used anymore.
- Designed for Adobe Flash Video Player
- Commonly used to stream videos on YouTube
- Best used for websites as it can help you add animations seamlessly
- Simple to use and flexible to add some stunning effects
- Small size and quickly downloadable
- The best video format for the Internet (because of the small size)
- Can easily be viewed or downloaded in areas with no high-speed connection to access or upload videos
- Not supported by or compatible with iOS devices
- Not recognizable by search crawlers.
- Also called Matroska
- One of the best video file formats
- Free and universal container with an open-source code that works seamlessly on all operating systems
- Support unlimited picture, audio, and subtitle tracks
- Allows you to incorporate audio, video, metadata, menus, and subtitles – all under one file
- Similar to MOV and AVI files with a much larger amount of storage
- All-in-one video format
- Provides excellent quality but might take up more space
- Smart choice if you expect your video to be viewed on a TV or computer using an open-source media player like VLC or Miro
- Mostly suited for video clips that contain several languages as this file format can include an unlimited number of video and audio tracks, uncompressed digital HD videos, subtitles, menus, etc.
- MKV uses a complicated compression process when compared to other video file formats.
- Since MKV is not an application standard, not all gadgets and media players support it.
WEBM or HTML5
- Open-source video format introduced by Google for HTML5
- Very small file size and supports high-quality video
- It can easily compress and decompress video data
- Supported by major browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Edge, and Internet Explorer
- Best for videos embedded on personal or business websites
- Small files to be loaded quickly and streamed easily
- An ideal choice if you’re a videographer and want to set up a portfolio or share a video on a website
- Handy for digital marketers when a video needs to be distributed to a large group
- Requires HTML to play it
- Weak compatibility with mobile and other portable devices
- Designed specifically for camcorders
- Squeezes video data down to small sizes
- You can store hours of high-quality videos using less space
- Highest-quality audio and video that also includes subtitles, menu navigation, and a slideshow with music.
- Supports high-resolution videos and the newest version and also 3D video
- Specifically developed for video recording and is the original format of Panasonic and Sony
- The best video format you can use if you want to record high-quality clips with digital equipment or for editing or recording on Blu-ray.
- Popular among pro-videographers for high-quality picture and sound
- Limited compatibility with other devices for being the original format of Panasonic and Sony