Definitions

Container formats

Comparison of container formats

This table compares features of container formats. Note that DirectShow filters allow playing on any DirectShow-based player, including Windows Media Player. To see which multimedia players support which container format, look at comparison of media players.

Information

Name and file extension, if different Standard owner Support for B-frames Variable bit rate audio Variable frame rate Chapters Subtitles Video formats supported Audio formats supported Metadata/Tags supported Supports Menus (like DVD)
3GP 3GPP
Advanced Systems Format (.asf, .wma, .wmv) Microsoft
AVI Microsoft not officially
DivX Media Format (.divx) DivX, Inc.
EVO MPEG
Flash Video (.flv) Adobe Systems not on its own
Matroska (.mkv, .mka) public domain virtually anything virtually anything currently under development by corecodec.org
MCF BSD-style license for specs, GNU for tools
MP4 MPEG
MPEG Video File (.mpg, .mpeg) MPEG
MPEG-2 PS Program Stream (.ps) MPEG
MPEG-2 TS Transport Stream (.ts) MPEG
NUT NUT Project/GPL Virtually anything Virtually anything
Ogg/OGM Xiph.org Theora, almost anything through VFW
Quicktime (.mov, .qt) Apple Limited to what is available to the QuickTime codec manager Limited to what is available to Sound Manager or CoreAudio
RMVB RealNetworks
VOB MPEG
Standard owner Support for B-frames Variable bit rate audio Variable frame rate Chapters Subtitles Video formats supported Audio formats supported Metadata/Tags supported Supports Menuing

Media supported

Audio formats supported

Lossy compression Lossless compression

MP3 WMA RealAudio Vorbis Musepack AAC AC3 DTS APE FLAC ALAC SHN WV
QuickTime
AVI
OGM
Matroska
MP4

Video formats supported

MPEG-1 MPEG-2 MPEG-4 (A)SP H.264 VC-1/WMV RealVideo Theora
QuickTime
AVI
OGM
Matroska
MP4

Notes and references

See also

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