Written by : by Satyam Maitrai

Jan. 31, 2020

Which one's better: 3GP or MP4

Some of you may be aware of what 3GP or MP4 is, whereas some of you might be clueless. If you are wondering what they are, let me tell you. You must have seen some videos, online or offline, on your mobile phone or computer. You must have noticed that some videos are of very good quality, whereas some videos have quality pretty compromised. If you have observed this, you know what is 3GP and MP4 already.


Get to know 3GP and MP4:

3GP and MP4 are multimedia container format specialized. If you have used age-old feature mobile phones, you must have noticed that the quality of the downloaded video was quite poor. The online streaming of video was worse.


These low-quality videos in your age-old phones were in 3 GP format. But, 3 GP videos are not "all bad and no good." Do you remember how less was your mobile storage back then? Many feature phones still have a maximum extendable memory of up to only 64kB. 3 GP format video requires very little storage space. Moreover, with low internet speed back then, it was only possible to stream video in 3GP. With the advent of technology, as mobile phones have enhanced its storage capacity and internet connectivity scaled up to 4G and 5G, 3 GP didn't remain as popular as before.


But that doesn't mean 3GP has vanished among users. Users who deal with a huge number of videos and are not worried much about the video quality still prefer 3GP format.


MP4 files, on the other hand, are the enhanced quality files. MP4 video and audio files give you quality much better than 3 GP. Moreover, MP4 brought in the concept of Subtitle. MP4 files also have high bandwidth and high storage. So, if you don't have any space-crunch in your device, you may like to go for MP4 format files.

With access to high-speed internet, people prefer streaming MP4 format files online. So, if you have an option for the best, you would always go for it, isn't it?


Getting a bit techie with file formats-

Now, once we have seen the visual differences between 3GP and MP4, let us look at the techie side of the two formats. 3GP files came up along with the 3G network. But it also runs in 2G networks. You may have experienced a very common problem while streaming a video online, where you may be watching a video of high quality, and suddenly the video quality falls. You know at once that your network is getting weak.


When the network gets weak, though you may have the 4G network service, it may switch to 3G or lower to maintain the basic services, and consecutively, your audio or video streaming online may switch from HD quality to MP4 and 3GP as per requirement.


Though both MP4 and 3GP file formats can play audio and video, 3GP evolved specifically for phones, whereas MP4 evolved for computers, television, DVD players, and portable video players. 3GP uses H.263 for the best compatibility. On the other hand, you will see that MP4 uses multiple codecs like 2/H.265, MPEG-2 Part 2, MPEG-4 ASP, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, H.263, VC-1, Dirac, etc.


Now, the question arises if you can play 3GP on computers? The answer is tricky. Not all video players in your computer support 3GP format. 3GP files can be run on QuickTime, VLC, and RealPlayer. On the other hand, MP4 files can not only run on QuickTime, VLC and RealPlayer; it can be uploaded to iTunes and Windows Media Player as well. You can also upload your MP4 file in Apple iPod Touch, Apple iPhone, and Sony PSP without any problem.


Now you can very well understand the wide compatibility of MP4 files as compared to 3GP. You might be wondering what you are going to do if you have a series of 3GP files? Do you want an MP4 version of them? Don't worry! Nowadays, there are numerous 3GP to MP4 converters available online, free of cost! You can, in fact, also get your MP4 to 3GP converted if you need them. In a blink of time, your file formats will change.


Choosing between MP4 and 3GP

If you are choosing between MP4 and 3GP, it's always good to use MP4 files if you are using them on your computer. When you are using a computer, nowadays, you need not think of the memory crunch. So,it’s best to get MP4 files and enjoy enhanced resolution. Also, with the rapid growth of mobile technology, now you hardly need to think of memory even on your smartphone. So, you can easily opt for MP4 files to enjoy the better quality.


But if you are using a feature phone, you have only one option- you have to go with 3GP. Today, people with a high-tech smartphone prefer HD files as their phone has HD resolution. In competition with HD, MP4 is still going quite well. MP4 files are much more memory efficient than HD and yet maintains a comparable quality to HD.

But in this long-run, 3GP formats are facing a real set back among the commoners. The major reason for the same is - limited compatibility and quite a lot of issues in resolution. People are hence switching from 3GP to MP4 and in most recent times to HD.


To conclude

With rapidly developing technology, the world is moving towards perfection every day. Every one of us has noticed, the growth of the digital world has been the most prominent in the past few years. The growth of 3GP and MP4 is not age-old. Within a very short time, 3GP rose to its popularity and declined to give space to MP4. As MP4 has enhanced quality with good memory management, MP4 gets a higher place than 3GP these days, making MP4 a better choice for users.


The rise and fall of numerous technologies are taking place every-day. To pace with the running technology, we have to constantly update ourselves with it. So, always stay tuned with the run of technology and grow with it to have the most amazing experience of the digital world.

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