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I have made many videos with different generations of iPhones.

The vast majority of my videos are in *.mp4. However, I still see older videos in *.mov and *.m4v.

Are *.mov and *.m4v files considered legacy formats today?

Should I convert these videos to *.mp4? New iPhones don't seem to produce files in *.mov and *.m4v anymore.

It seems *.mp4 is an industry standard across manufacturer boundaries. *.mov and *.m4v is something specific to Apple ecosystem?

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From Wikipedia:

The International Organization for Standardization approved the QuickTime file format as the basis of the MPEG-4 file format.

Because both the QuickTime and MP4 container formats can use the same MPEG-4 formats, they are mostly interchangeable in a QuickTime-only environment.

I visit an online forum, which won't upload .mov files; but if you just rename them .mp4, then it uploads them and displays the video correctly.

I wouldn't re-encode them using Handbrake until you've determined that they don't work as .mp4.

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    "I visit an online forum, which won't upload .mov files; but if you just rename them .mp4, then it uploads them and displays the video correctly." Note that mp4 and mov are very similar but not identical container formats! Many/most players may be able to play the renamed file without issue because they aren't stringent about adhering to the spec, but your mileage may vary. By contrast, I think (not 100% sure) that m4v and mp4 are actually the same. May 1 at 20:25
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    As an example of the subtile differences, mp3 audio technically isn't allowed in an mp4, so QuickTime won't play such audio tracks in an mp4 video file, but it will play them in a mov. VLC will player them in either, which is completely wrong, albeit arguably better UX. May 1 at 20:27
  • @Wowfunhappy Yes. Hence "in a QuickTime environment". Apple-created content is likely to work.
    – benwiggy
    May 2 at 7:36
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I would just leave the files as they are. Any modern video player can easily play all of these formats just fine.

Your hunch is correct though, .mov and .m4v were developed by apple, but today there should be few compatability issues. However, they are certainly not legacy.

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