Getting to know the .M4V Format?

What is an .M4V Format

In the past, people didn’t look upon a video with regards to file formats, in digital age, video file formats like MP4 and M4V are plentiful. You would run into M4V files if you are using Apple’s iTunes Store or an iOS device much like the iPhone, ipod itouch or iPad. M4V files act like MP4 — which means MPEG-4 files, with several notable differences.


M4V Definition

The version from the MPEG-4 file format with the extension “.M4V” is usually a video file format most often used for videos in Apple’s iTunes Store. When you download movies, Television shows and music videos on the iTunes Store, they may be in M4V format. M4V resembles the MP4 format, with the exception that of M4V files. Often contains Digital Rights Management protection, or DRM. You should definitely be protected by DRM, M4V files works with a number of applications and media players.


Should you have M4V files that are DRM-protected, you need to be logged into Apple by using an authorized device. Devices include your computer, and then you must play DRM-protected M4V files in iTunes, or iOS devices much like the iPhone or iPad. Apple permits you to authorize five machines for viewing DRM-protected content, which you may do through iTunes when logged along with your Apple ID.

Why DRM?

Apple uses the M4V format in combination with DRM to avoid file sharing and copyright theft with video contents downloaded on the iTunes Store. Should you buy a motion picture, Tv program or music video that is DRM-protected, the only method to share it with a friend would be to authorize that friend’s computer. Seeking to play a DRM-protected file while on an unauthorized machine ends up with a note from iTunes informing you that you have to authorize while using Apple ID that purchased it.

Compatible Applications

Don’t assume all M4V files have a DRM and those which are not compatible with other applications besides iTunes. Apple Quicktime, VideoLAN VLC player, RealNetworks RealPlayer, Adobe’s Flash, Microsoft’s Windows Media Player and PCF’s Miro are a couple of the applications that will open DRM-free M4V files. Applications including Apple’s QuickTime will even convert your MP4 files to M4V format for iOS device compatibility.

Pros and Cons


You can have easy access to a number of files from iTunes Store, downloading for music and other multimedia files.

The iTunes store has a great library of multimedia that you can have access to.


File Sharing is not available

You have to apply for an Apple ID on the site to access the iTunes Store for downloading .M4V files and others as well.

Somewhat limited to PC users, since it only applies to a Mac users because for accessing and having an Apple ID with you.



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