Does MP4 provide lossless compression?

What you need to know about the popular mp4 video compression format.

MP4 is one of the most common video formats, used by everyone from basement content creators to professional editing houses. It’s known as a “container format,” which is a format that allows you to package audio and video files into a smaller file size.

The problem is, when you compress audio and video files, some formats discard certain information to make it smaller. This is known as a “lossy” format. For editors looking for formats that retain all the file information, no matter how many times it’s saved and re-saved, they seek out “lossless” compression formats. So, which one is mp4?

Is MP4 “lossless” or “lossy”?

MP4 is widely used because it’s a universal file format that all operating systems can read. It also yields a smaller file size than other formats and allows you to attach metadata to your audio and video files.

However, mp4 is a lossy format. This means that every time you save the same audio or video file as an mp4, you lose a little bit of data, and thus a little bit of quality. If you re-save an mp4 file enough times, eventually, the quality will be unrecognizable. This is a very rare occurrence, but it does happen.

So, if you’re a video editor looking for a small final file size that you don’t plan on reproducing over and over, mp4 may be the perfect file format for you. If you’re looking for a lossless format that can be copied again and again, you’ll want to look at different file formats to ensure you don’t lose quality.

Once you compress your video files, sharing is easy.

Now that you know how to reduce your video file sizes, it’s time to share your creative vision with the world. Get more video tips to help you build your skills so that nothing stands in your way.

Explore what more you can do with Adobe Premiere Pro, including the ability to edit with and save dozens of different file formats.