MKV vs. MP4 – Which One is Better for Your Video


When you download video files, often times the files will have .mkv or .mp4 extensions. As a matter of fact, it seems that these two are the dominant file types where ever you look. What’s with these two? Are they dominating the video world because they’re that good? How do these two compare?

MKV vs. MP4

First, let it be clear and both MP4 (MPEG-4 Part 14) and MKV (Matroska Video) are NOT video compression formats. They are containers that contain, among other things, video codec, audio codec, and subtitles.

A container makes things convenient. Having all three important components of video in the same file makes transfer and playback simpler. Instead of having to deal with three files at once, one only needs to deal with one.

With a container, users also have the freedom to choose and combine different codecs to suit their tastes. For instance, you can opt for a high-quality video codec but with medium-quality audio to save space.

“Which one has better quality, MP4 or MKV?”

Since both are containers, their quality is dictated on the quality of its components. If you use low-quality audio for your MP4 videos it will sound worse when compared to an MKV video with higher audio quality.

“Can I convert MKV to MP4?”

Sure you can.  If you use the online video converter, not only you can convert MKV to MP4, you can also change the screen size, video bitrate, audio quality, audio codec, video frame rate, and more. You can also use

“So, are MKV files better than MP4 files? “

Which one suit you better depends on what you want and what you need. If you wish to combine multiple videos as separate streams, MKV can do that for you?

“Multiple streams?”

Yes, suppose you have two or three video files with same resolution, you can put them in one container. When you open that single file, using VLC for example, each video will play in its own window.

“So, I should go with MKV?”

Well, both MKV and MP4 support high quality H.264 video, but the support for MP4 is more widespread. If you wish to play your videos on mobile devices, MP4 is the way to go. If you know you will only use certain video players like VLC, PotPlayer, or XBMC to play your files, then can’t go wrong with MKV.


MKV is open source, supports higher audio quality, and has more features packed into it. Matroska is based on EBML (Extensible Binary Meta Language) which is a very flexible framework. It can support all video and audio compression formats known today and extensible to future formats. In a sense, MKV is more future-proof compared to MP4.


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