When it comes to transferring your old VHS tapes onto newer, more modern formats, you may be wondering which format is right for you. Whilst there are many benefits to transferring VHS tapes onto DVD, you could also consider the option of MP4. The MP4 format comes with some unique benefits that differ from DVD. But what exactly is MP4, and what can you do with an MP4 file?
What is MP4?
MP4 is a file format created by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) as a multimedia container format designed to store audio-visual data. MP4 is largely replacing earlier multimedia file formats. It is one of the more common video file formats used for downloading and streaming videos; MP4 is a highly versatile and compressed video format that, along with video and audio, can also store subtitles and still images.
What are the Benefits of MP4?
MP4 format offers essentially everything a DVD can. You have all the same advantages over VHS, such as being able to forward, rewind, skip and pause the footage to your heart’s content, without any concern of damaging its quality. But MP4 has a few different benefits that might be better suited to your needs than DVD conversion.
- Easy to Send and Share
MP4 is a digital format, not restricted by the physicality of DVDs. As a result, sharing an MP4 file is just more convenient than sharing a physical copy of a DVD. Say you have relatives who emigrated to Australia or New Zealand and you want to share some home videos with them; sending them a physical DVD could cost around £10 for a standard delivery, or around £60 for quick, three day delivery (or you could go for the cheapest price but then you’re looking at up to 84 days waiting time).
Alternatively, you could send them the footage as an MP4 file over the internet at no cost to you, and they will receive it almost instantaneously. So, if you’ve got home videos you want to share with people far away, you might want to consider MP4 over DVD to make the sharing process much more convenient.
- Can Run on Most Media Players
Like DVD, MP4 can be played on lots of different devices. Almost all video players support MP4, and to open a file, all you have to do is double-click on the file, and it will open with your operating system’s default video viewer. Android and iPhones will also support MP4 as well, so you can view your footage even on your mobile device.
- Save on Space
Whilst the switch from VHS to DVD has already proven to be a serious space saver, MP4 takes that a step further. DVDs are thin, and you can stack many of them onto a shelf but that still might not be enough. Sometimes, you might just not want a physical copy at all, no matter how small the case. MP4 is entirely digital and won’t take up any room (other than on your hard drive). You won’t need to find a place to physically store your footage, it’ll be ready and waiting on your device for you. You could even put it on a cloud computing system, so it doesn’t even take up room on your device.
- Can Be Copied
Making a copy of a DVD is possible and relatively easy, but not quite as easy as copying an MP4. An MP4 can literally be copied at the click of a button. You can copy a file as many times as you like and save it anywhere you want to ensure you always have your footage to hand and so you don’t have to worry about misplacing it.
- Can Be Edited
An MP4 file has the advantage of being able to be imported into video editing software. You could put together a nice gift for a relative by adding some special effects or trimming the clips so they flow better. Or you could even add some subtitles to your footage for someone who is perhaps hearing impaired. You can do this very easily with MP4 format, simply import your footage into the editor and you can edit it in any way you like to suit all your needs. And if you don’t like what you’ve done, you still have the original file available, so there’s no worry about ruining it, either.
MP4 truly is a wonderfully convenient format. In fact, the only drawback with MP4 is the lack of there being a physical item, and that’s only a problem if you wanted to gift someone some footage, in which case a physical DVD might make a more satisfying format in which to deliver it. Otherwise, it’s makes a great choice of format for people who want more versatility with their old VHS footage. Contact Video2DVD today to find out how we can transfer your old Video to DVD or MP4.