MP4 vs M4A

M4A file type is primarily associated with 'MPEG-4 Audio Layer'. Files in .M4A format are actually the audio layer of (non-video) MPEG 4 movies.

MP4 is a multimedia container format standard specified as a part of MPEG-4. The MPEG-4 video format uses separate compression for audio and video tracks. Video is compressed with MPEG-4 video encoding.

Summary:
1: M4A stands for MPEG 4 Audio and is a filename extension used to represent audio files.
2: MP4 and .M4A, for naming audio-only MP4 files has been a source of confusion among users and multimedia playback software.
3: Apple Inc. started using and popularizing the .m4a filename extension, which is used for MP4 containers with audio data in the lossy AAC or its own lossless ALAC formats.

Other Comparison: 3GP vs 3G2 / MP4 vs FLV / MKV vs MP4 / MP4 vs MP3 / 3GP vs MOV / 3GP vs FLV / M2TS vs MP4 / MP4 vs 3GP

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