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Is an MP4 file for a video smaller or larger than that of a FLV format?

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closed as not a real question by Breakthrough, slhck, ChrisF, Mehper C. Palavuzlar, Mokubai Sep 6 '11 at 20:47

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1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

MP4 and FLV are just container formats. The size of the container depends on the content within it, which can use an arbitrary compression format (depending on the compression format supported by the MP4 and FLV containers).

You need to compare the compression format of the file, not the container.

Even if you were to compare the relative compression rates of different video encoders, it also depends on bitrate, colour depth, framerate, resolution, and much more. In general, however, the use of H.264 often results in relatively good quality with low filesizes - and is supported in both .MP4 and .FLV files.

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so depending on compression formats, in one instance a flv file could be smaller where as for some other file, it could be larger? –  Shamim Hafiz Sep 6 '11 at 19:09
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Exactly. The FLV is just the container (think of it as holding each stream in the file, since video and audio are two separate streams), it says nothing about what the video itself is (or the quality, size, etc...). The container basically glues the individual streams together (so some containers can have multiple audio streams, for example to have different languages). –  Breakthrough Sep 6 '11 at 19:10
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@Gunner If you want to, you can read up on that here: What is a Codec (e.g. DivX?), and how does it differ from a File Format (e.g. MPG)? –  slhck Sep 6 '11 at 19:12

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