MP3 Or MP4


New Member
Jul 28, 2006
Hello everybody. This is my first post. What is the diferrece between MP3 and MP4? Which is a better format?
MP3 or MP4

Most downloadable music on the Internet is currently available in the MP3 format. MP3 is a file format that allows computer users to download and store music in a relatively small amount of hard drive space. As a general rule, one minute of music requires 1 MB of storage space. The technology is used widely by aspiring musicians who wish to distribute their music to a global audience. It is also used by individuals who wish to copy their existing audio CD into a digital format for playback on their computer or a portable music device.

MP3 is an audio-specific compression format. It provides a representation of pulse-code modulation-encoded audio in much less space than straightforward methods, by using psychoacoustic models to discard components less audible to human hearing, and recoding the remaining information in an efficient manner. Similar principles are used by JPEG, a lossy image compression format.

The MP3 format uses a hybrid transformation to transform a time domain signal into a frequency domain signal:

32-band polyphase quadrature filter
36 or 12 tap MDCT; size can be selected independent for sub-band 0...1 and 2...31
Aliasing reduction postprocessing
MP3 audio can be compressed with different bit rates, providing a range of tradeoffs between data size and sound quality.

The term MP4 has been claimed as a brand name by Internet company Global Music Outlet (GMO). The company is probably benefiting from confusion among Web music fans who seek an upgrade to MP3. While GMO's own MP4 technology does offer improved compression and audio over the popular MP3 standard, it is not the official successor to MP3. That title goes to the MPEG-4 audio standard developed by the International Standards Organization.

The MPEG-4 standard, which was completed in October 1998, is an object-based format that encompasses much more than music. It also addresses the next generation of digitally delivered multimedia, including video and 3D applications.

What is an MP4?
Just like MP3s work by compressing music and audio files without affecting the audio quality, MP4 files are compressed video files. MP4 is also known as MPEG-4 AVC, or advanced video coding. This new technology is going to make video files decrease in size so that they are easier to work with and support. What used to be massive video files of motion and audio are now compressed versions of the same material, called MP4s.

How MP4 Technology Works
MP4 files work through compression; similar to how MP3 audio files are compressed, except these are more complex. The way these videos are compressed into very small files without affecting the quality is through dealing with specific coding issues, minimizing certain aspects, such temporal and spatial redundancies, transforming motion estimation and intra estimation into the frequency domain, and generally through compression and decompression, commonly referred to as codec.

The MP4 player works in a very simple manner. You simply purchase the ?sold separately? electronic device and attach it to your computer, notebook, or TV. It?s that easy.

Advantages of MP4 Technology
MP4s produce videos of DVD-quality at less than 1 Mbps through a broadband connection. This means that with an MP4 player, you can retrieve videos through an Internet connection and watch them with your MP4 player. MP4 players can also play lower MP versions, such as audio MP3s.
Hello Banerjee,

Its actually a wrong question to ask from people who strive for their high end gears here. If quantity of song matters much more to you rather than quality, i suggest you find some better site on free music downloads and sharing sites!!! i might sound rude here but thats not the way music should circulate. Its an IPR which feed millions everytime a person buys a CD. And again, value is extremely important. Imagine somebdy gives u a car for free. Would u care pressing brakes on spead breakers? Ofcourse not. But what if u paid through ur nose for it? You 'll sweat the hell out saving ur baby from the smallest pit holes on the road! Thats how a music industry suffers. The singer will get his contract money and he will be happy and enthusiatic again to cut a new album for us. But imagine the music industry. Where will it get its money if we keep on sharing music for free. Its illegal and a slow poisoning for everyone.

Its unfortunate that we dont understand these things. Its not over exaggerated...but its actually very tough out there for guys who truly want to make and sell music for us. Stop these bloody MP3s and MP4 guys. They are killing all of us.

banerjee only asked which was better format - mp3 or mp4 and not asked for how to download. While I agree that piracy is not good at all, for archiving, back-up, etc. one may prefer smaller file sizes so that in case original bought CD is damaged, lost, one need not buy again what you have paid for.

Once you have bought a CD, one should have every right to make copy for back-up, personal use such as home-office-car, etc.

Banerjee - if you are interested in back-up / archiving, look at lossless formats - flac, etc. These sort of work like zip compression, when uncompressed, you get original wav/audio file back.
Hi Sandeep,,

I m glad i kept my username as diehardmonte as my name is also Sandeep. Glad to meet ya...Sandeep!!!

Well Mr. Banerjee..or infact anybdy has full right to keep backups for something he has already paid for. I didnot mention anywhere that u should not copy from ur own disc. Its is entirely on music piracy and should be taken in the way it is banerjee was not pin pointed....i make myslf clear here.....after all we've got to keep this thing alive and see that nobody gets a wrong info or do something which is ethically or legally worng!

Well, actually in India taking even a backup entitles the law to throw you in jail!!! It is so badly drafted. While in most countries making copies for personal use is always allowed in unlimited form. Ultimate test is that if you are making copies and not benefitting commercially, law allows that.

Nowadays exception is coming in the form of digital rights management which is also becoming very harsh and ensures even music you purchased (at low bit rates that too) you have to re-purchase if your HDD or iPod fails.
I recently purchased the new cd - anoushka shankar, rise and I noticed that it had copy control.

Copy-controlled CDs have become the bane of many music-lovers' lives!

From the very first time that I heard about the notion of "copy controlled CDs" (or "copy-protected CDs" as they were known at that time), it was clear that this was a bad idea. The basis of the technique is the observation that computer CD-ROM drives are generally cleverer than simple CD players and are more likely to notice errors on the disc. By putting intentionally bad or misleading data onto a disc, it was found that it was possible to confuse most computers but still have the majority of normal CD players play the disc apparently without problem.

However, over those two years, computer CD-ROM drive development continued to move forwards. Many newer drives were designed and tested with copy-controlled discs in mind. Where there were playback problems with copy-controlled discs, the CD-ROM drive designers fixed them, working around the intentional corruption added to the disc by the copy-control companies. It is obvious that a drive that plays more CDs correctly would be more attractive to the consumer. Not only that, but many CD-ROM drive mechanisms are also used in car CD players, DVD players and high-end audio systems where playback of the latest copy-control discs was a requirement, not merely an advantage.

This has left the copy-control designers in something of a quandary. The ground has moved under their feet, and their formats have become even less effective than they were to begin with. In a sense, computer CD-ROM drives have become closer to normal CD players. To maintain the illusion of effectiveness, the copy-control designers have had to consider ever more devious technical tricks and to use ever more aggressive modifications to the CD format in order to continue to cause problems for computer drives.

We are now starting to see the side-effects of this. More and more users are reporting problems playing these copy-controlled discs on normal CD players. Pops and clicks in the sound are commonly reported, as well as more subtle artifacts. Discs skip at predictable places in predictable songs; sometimes a CD player will simply stop dead part-way through a track.

Well I just hope this stops somewhere. Else the word Hi-Fi from cd's will perish!
Very true, Jagat. In fact as much as possible, we must boycott copy control CDs. Why can I not make additional copies for my backup, car, iPod, etc.? After all I have paid money for it. As has been found, this sort of copy control only hurts the genuine buyer who has paid good money. Yes, a friend may borrow it and make a copy.

But if prices were reasonable - say Rs. 100 - 150 instead of 400-500, nobody would even bother. In fact the sales volume would jump 10 times, thus realising more revenue profit for the artist / co. Today I simply do not impulse buy CDs since they are so expensive.

The pirates easily bypass this and tons of CDs are available at any nook or cranny in any town. So all this copy control is only irritating the genuine buyer who next time will prefer to buy pirated from the roadside, instead of genuine at a shop.
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