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Commonly-Used Universal Video Formats

You probably paid attention to the fact that several video files have separate formats. But have you ever wondered why there’re so many video formats and what are the universal video formats?

Because initially these formats were developed with different intentions. Some video formats can store several subtitles and audio tracks, while other formats don’t. Some video file formats are more appropriate for broadcasting, while other formats are more suitable for editing.

So, today we have decided to describe the top 5 most universal video formats in this article. This is also why people choose to convert the video to formats like MP4, MOV, FLV, etc.

The 5 Most Universal Video Formats

Each video format is a different balance of different specifications. The only way to find the right format is to first determine the platform.

Some of the most popular video formats find their way onto the Internet easily due to their high compatibility with online platforms. Others are best suited for USB storage and playback on a TV. And according to recent statistics on video marketing, mobile phones are gaining more and more popularity every year, and third formats are better suited for them.

All of these available platforms require different playback specifications, and choosing which platform to use is the first step in determining the format. To help demystify your choices, we’ll try to explain video formats through the following explanation.

Let’s look at the description of the most universal video formats here.

1.     MP4


MP4 is a video file of one of the specifications of the MPEG-4 standard. This format is very close to the MOV format and has almost the same capabilities. It’s one of the most popular video formats in the market because it’s widely accepted by media players and computers.

MPEG-4 Part 14 (MP4) formats can store multimedia like subtitles, audio, and video. This file format is generally used by Apple as well as other mobile manufacturers. It allows you to use audio, static video, or images.

Because of its popularity, people tend to convert the video using a video converter to MP4 format for better compatibility.

Opens with programs: QuickTime Player, Windows Media Player, VLC media player, etc.

2.     MOV


MOV is developed by Apple for QuickTime. Luckily, QuickTime is available for download by Microsoft users as MOV is regarded as one of the most attractive and universal video formats and can store text, video, and audio effects.

This is the format of the Mac OS X operating system. It is played on the Windows operating system. Files of this format are used to store movies and various videos.

This format can contain multiple video and audio tracks, subtitles, animations, and panoramic images. This format is convenient for editing.

Like AVI, you can play this on most USB-compatible TVs, but its quality and features take up plenty of space. Alternatively, this video format is compatible with a large number of online exchange platforms. If the MOV file format is not more than 4 GB, Instagram, and Facebook may publish it.

Opens with programs: QuickTime Player, CyberLink PowerDirector, Windows Media Player.

3.     FLV


FLV (Flash Video) is a video format created for transmitting video over the Internet. This is one of the most universal video formats on the Internet.

It’s widely used on numerous video hosting sites that are designed to store video files. The main advantages are good picture quality at low bitrate, the ability to watch the video until the video file is fully loaded, and the use of this format for various operating systems.

Previously, installing the Flash Player plugin in the browser was normal, which is why FLV was among the most important and universal video formats for online usefulness. FLV formats are very little and even more compact than MP4 formats.

Eventually, the plugin was kicked out of browsers as the industry moved to HTML5, as well as Adobe announced in 2017 that Flash Player was being discontinued.

Opens with programs: browsers with Adobe Flash Player, FLV Player, VLC media player, Media Player Classic Home Cinema.

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4.     AVI


AVI (Audio-Video Interleaved) is a file developed by Microsoft Corporation. It is one of the most universal video formats. Various codecs can be used in this format.

AVI has been around for a long time and is compatible with a wide range of media players released before and after its release in 1992.

Since it has a wide range of codecs and runs on different systems such as Windows, Macintosh, and Linux, AVI is usually the default for storing videos on a computer.

On the other hand, its high quality can make it difficult to compress the video and this video format may not be ideal for streaming.

Opens with programs: Windows Media Player (Windows Media Player), CyberLink PowerDVD, QuickTime Player, VLC media player, Winamp.

5.     SWF


SWF (Small Web Format or Shockwave Flash) is one of the most important and universal video formats for vector graphics, flash animation, audio, and video on the Internet. The picture saved in this format is scaled without visible distortion, the video clip is small in size, and the video file is loaded and played faster.

Opens with programs: browsers with Adobe Flash Player, VLC media player, Media Player Classic Home Cinema.

Bottom Line

There are a huge number of different universal video formats that are different in their properties, application, and purpose. The five common video formats explained in this article are very popular and hence people prefer to convert the video format to them.

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