What Is M4V and More You Want to Know

Posted by Nick Orin on Feb 12, 2020 10:48 AM.

m4v format

1. What Is M4V Format?

M4V is a video container file format, also known as iTunes video format, which is developed by Apple Corporation. Apple uses M4V format to encode the video files in its iTunes Store, including movies, TV shows and music videos with FairPlay DRM copy protection. By doing so, it prevents others from viewing or copying these iTunes videos on a non-Apple device.

Term M4V
Developer Apple Inc.
Initial release 2003
Filename Extension .m4v
Internet Media Type video/x-m4v
Container for Audio, video (H.264, AAC and Dolby Digital)
Extended from iTunes video format

M4V format is very similar to MP4 format and both are based on MPEG-4 video container format. The main difference is that M4V files from iTunes are encrypted by Apple's copy protection. Other differences between these two are that M4V files can only hold the H.264 video codecs, deal with AC3 (Dolby Digital) audio files, and allow the storage of chapter info.

2. How to Open an M4V File?

A DRM-protected M4V file can only be played on a computer that is authorized to do so. You need to use the same iTunes account that was used to purchase or rent the video to authorize it. These protected iTunes video files can also be played on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch that bought the video.

To open and play a DRM-free M4V files, you can simply double click the video. The built-in Windows Media Player on Windows and QuickTime Player on macOS can open them natively. They can also be played in VLC media player, MPlayer, MPC-HC, PCF Miro, as well as many other media players. Since M4V and MP4 are based on the same container format (MPEG-4), you can change the extension from .m4v to .mp4 and open it on any device for playing that supports MP4 format.

  DRM-protected M4V Files DRM-free M4V Files
Windows iTunes iTunes, Windows Media Player, VLC, Winamp, VideoStudio 2019, Media Player Classic, Miro
Mac iTunes, QuickTime Player iTunes, QuickTime Player, Elmedia Player, VLC Media Player, Miro
Linux × VLC, Miro
Web × Google Drive
iOS Apple Music Apple Music, VLC, PlayerXtreme Media Player

3. How to Convert an M4V File?

As we said above, you can rename the .m4v file to .mp4 by changing the file extension, but it doesn't mean that the file is converted to a new format, it just makes an MP4 player recognize it and play it. To convert an M4V file to MP4, WMV, AVI or other formats, what you need is a M4V file converter.

There are many video converters in the market that can convert DRM-free M4V files to other formats. But if you want to convert DRM-protected iTunes M4V format, ViWizard M4V Converter is a nice option. It can help users convert iTunes movies, TV episodes and other iTunes video files from M4V to MP4, AVI, MOV, 3GP, MKV, FLV, MP3, and other formats. Besides, it can convert M4V videos at fast speed with lossless quality, including AC3 5.1 audio tracks and all subtitles.

ViWizard m4v converter

What Can ViWizard M4V Converter Do for You?

  • Get rid of DRM restriction from iTunes movie rentals and purchases
  • Convert iTunes M4V to MP4, MKV, MOV, AVI, etc.
  • Convert iTunes movies and TV shows at 30X faster speed
  • Retain AC 5.1 Dolby audio tracks and CC subtitles
  • Free download, upgrade and technical support
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is a review writer, software geek and Mac OS enthusiast. He spends all his free time in searching useful software and gadgets to share with others.

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