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MP4 VS WMV: What's the Difference and Which One Is Better?

Author by Michelle

Updated at July 29, 2020

MP4 and WMV are commonly-used video containers. But some people are still confused when making choices between them, wondering MP4 vs WMV, what exactly are their differences. Is MP4 better than WMV? This article will expose their strengths and weaknesses to you, read on to know more. In case you need to change video to your preferred format, here is a program provided for you:

Part 1. What are MP4 and WMV?

MP4, or MPEG-4 Part 14, is the commonly used container format to store video, audio, and text. It also allows multimedia streaming over the internet like many other container formats. It is developed by International Organization for Standardization and receives large popularity among different platforms.

WMV stands for Windows Media Video. It has a family of video formats developed by Microsoft, the other video formats are WMV Screen and WMV Image. When we say WMV, we usually mean WMV only, which is the most recognized format within the WMV family. It was originally designed for online streaming applications and has been adopted for high resolution uses like Blu-ray Disc, HD DVD, etc.

Both are popular video formats and serve a similar purpose. But when it comes to MP4 vs WMV, many differences can still be found between the two.

Hot search: AVCHD vs MP4 | H.265 vs H.264 | 4K vs 8K | MTS vs M2TS | DSD vs FLAC

Part 2. What's the Difference Between WMV and MP4 and Which One Is Better?

Speaking of WMV vs MP4, the criteria below can enable you to see intuitively their differences and help choose MP4 or WMV as your preferred video format.

MP4 vs WMV: Popularity


MP4 is the most popular video format loved and used by almost everyone, especially on the internet. WMV is also very popular and favored by Windows users and most Blu-ray and DVD collectors.

Winner: MP4 wins slightly

WMV vs MP4: Compatibility


MP4 has the best compatibility. It is supported nearly on any platform/device, from Apple, Android to Microsoft. WMV is mainly played on the Windows system. It is not supported on IOS devices and many Android ones unless you have a third-party WMV player.

Winner: MP4

MP4 vs WMV: Video Quality

3.Video Quality

This is an often-mentioned issue in choosing WMV or MP4 as the better format, and it is widely acknowledged that MP4 has better quality than WMV. But in fact, it has no clear answer because the quality of a video has little to do with the container format itself but more with the encoder, bit rate, and original source of the video, which means that both the MP4 and WMV can contain high-quality videos.

Winner: MP4/WMV

WMV or MP4: File Size

4.File Size

Theoretically, since the MP4 file is not as highly compressed as WMV, so it is relatively larger than WMV file under the same video quality. But this is true only under the condition that both are using the same level encoder. Yet the truth is, WMV is still using the old series of codecs - WMV1, WMV2, and WMV3, while MP4 can adopt to more advanced codecs, such as H.264 and H.265. Here comes the tricky part, with a more advanced encoder, you can realize a video of high quality but with a smaller size. That means for videos with the same quality, the size of MP4 file encoded with h.264 or h.265 could be actually smaller than that of WMV file encoded with the inferior codecs.

Winner: WMV/MP4

As it has been shown above, either MP4 or WMV has its unique and clear merits and flaws. It is hard to draw a final conclusion between the two. The result depends on which part matters to you most. If you are more familiar with the Windows system and prone to have video small in size but with high quality, WMV might be your better choice. But if you are a phone addict and like to share videos with others, MP4 suits you the most. In all, the decision lies in your hand.

Part 3. Extra: Convert MP4 to WMV and Vice Versa

If you are in the need to change MP4 into WMV or WMV to MP4, here is a solution. WonderFox HD Video Converter Factory Pro is the optimal choice for you. Not only can you use it to convert between MP4 and WMV, you are also allowed to freely download videos/audios from various websites and convert them into 500+ formats/devices. Have a look at how it works:

Import MP4/WMV into Video Converter

Step 1. Import MP4/WMV into Video Converter

Before start, please free downloadfree download the software.

Launch WonderFox HD Video Converter Factory Pro. Click “Converter” on the first left. In Video Converter, hit “Add Files” to choose your file, then click “Open” to import. Or you can directly drag and drop your file into this program.

Choose Output Format

Step 2. Choose Output Format

Hit the format icon on the upper right. Under the Video tab, choose MP4 or WMV. You can also choose any other common formats and even specific device models under corresponding sections.

Start Conversion

Step 3. Start Conversion

Before conversion, you can personalize the parameters of your output video in “Parameter settings” on the lower right or have a “Quick setting” to change the resolution of your video. Then, you can click on the inverted triangle in the bottom area to choose a specific output folder for your video. Of course, none of these two operations are necessary. If you don’t have anything to change, you can straightly hit the “Run” button to start conversion.

Tips: If you have multiple videos to be converted, you could import them into this program at one go and start batch conversion.

At last...

You have reached the end of this article, I bet you already have an answer in your heart. Make your choice now!

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