Thursday, September 13, 2012

Post about Download File Types. WMV vs MP4

I may write more about this in the future.  But for now, let me repost something I recently sent up to our yahoogroup regarding file types for downloadable video, which has prompted me to make this post.

After researching and trying and erroring, I am still not sure if I should abandon WMV and produce only MP4.  I'm right now delivering in both formats simultaneously, based on what I think people prefer.  I would like to reveal that MOST people we deal with are opting for WMVs, with a much smaller minority selecting MP4s.  The MP4 people are out there, I can see, but, again, they are a much smaller percentage of users.

I will also reveal that I can get a slightly higher bit rate into an MP4 than I can into a WMV of the same file size.  Basically, if I aim to make a file 200 MB in size, I can squeeze a tad higher bit rate into the MP4 version without going over the 200 mark, as I have discovered.  It could be a difference of, say, 3 mbps vs 3.45 mbps, just as a random example that I am making up off the top of my head.

But the playback is nearly identical.  If I scrutinize, I might be able to pick out playback differences.  And I would be interested in doing that at some point when I have time.  And I'd like to report back about it.

I do know that a small minority of Mac users should choose MP4 over WMV (as we produce them post-HD-upgrade) because of issues with the sound encoding.  But most users, especially tech savvy users, on either a Mac or PC, using the VideoLAN player, report no preference between the two file types.

Ok, now to the writing that inspired the above writing:

From my yahoogroup post:
This is the less exciting tech end, but just a reminder....

I am about to close the poll in our Doom Maidens yahoogroup regarding the file type people prefer for downloadable videos.  So far, there haven't been too many votes one way or another, but WMVs are leading the pack.

Remember to vote in that poll, since it closes this week:

(link went here)

And I will say, people do seem to prefer WMVs when given the choice in our MixedWrestlingNYC clips4sale store.  Some of you may have noticed that recent videos are being released in both WMV and MP4.  Our dear friend Hanz Vanderkill is kind enough to point out that MP4s are playable on mobile devices, just a side note.  But WMVs (Windows Media Video) are apparently the preferred choice of Windows / PC users.  But Mac users have enjoyed them as well, courtesy of the VideoLAN player.

Anyway, new videos in the store are also coming as both WMVs and MP4.  Customers will get both files, with the option to download either/or, as they prefer.  If a video has a MP4 version as well as the default WMV version, it will be noted on the product page.

Ok, enough from me for now.  Go vote before it closes.