Are MP4′s days numbered?

iphone 4 video

MP4 conversion, I hate it. I’d spend hours converting avi movies to mp4, copy them to my library, sync to my iPhone, watch them back and then the audio would be out of sync. A mouth would flap but no words would be heard or vice versa.

I searched high and low for the correct software for encoding and finally chose one. However, I begrudged every second of that search. I also begrudged every second of the conversion process.

I was therefore delighted when CineXPlayer was launched a few weeks ago and eagerly tried it out. I was most satisfied at cutting out the conversion step and enthusiastically recommended it to friends, who thanked me for it.

The options then doubled with the long-awaited arrival of the VLC Player for iPhone which works almost exactly the same. Though with Cinexplayer stealing a march on VLC it has more functionality, such as closed captioning, orientation Lock and even TV-Out.

So, iPhones can play avi files just fine; you even have a choice of apps to do it with. Why bother with conversion? Are mp4s no longer required? What do you think? Pour in your thoughts in the comments section below.

-Greig Byrne

  • Id3als

    Why oh why did apple not allow use of avi from day one??!! I may actually use the phone for tv/movies now yay

    • Cybox

      In pretty much all OS’s mp4 just works. If you want to view divx/xvid/avi’s you need additional codecs to download and install, not the easiest of things for a “end-user” to understand and carry out. With most codec packs you get a bunch of malware/spyware/ads/un-wanted additional apps. Most “end-users” just click next, next, next, yes, etc which is why they always get infected by viruses… (well on windows platforms that is) ;)

  • Cybox

    mp4′s will never die out as long as the major players support and continue to use them. Apple for example, mp4 works on all their devices, iPad, iPhone, OSX and of course its DRM friendly.
    DivX’s, avi’s etc are a great format but most widely used for piracy. Do you really think a format so widely used as a way to distribute pirated movies/TV Shows etc will gain dominance?

  • Greig Byrne

    @ Cybox so you think it breaks down between “official” content, i.e. straight from the Apple Store, as MP4 whereas pirated movies will be avi?

    What about home videos, or legitimately backed-up DVDs etc?

    That’s true about the various devices that support MP4 though.

    • Cybox

      Home movies are generated in whatever format you generate them. iPhone movies are mp4 for example and anything you produce on a mac is mp4. Windows tends to try and get people using wmv no matter how crap the format is. As h.264 is the preferred codec for mp4, and this codec is used everywhere (html5 for example), it smore likely that avi and divx’s may dissapear quicker than mp4. Just my 2p worth ;)

  • Acbc2k

    VLC on iPhone is rubbish. Most of my SD files are unplayable. Had to convert into AVI and play using CineXplayer instead.

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