|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
|Internet media type||
|Developed by||Apple Inc.|
|Container for||Audio, video (H.264, AAC, and Dolby Digital)|
|Extended from||iTunes video format|
The M4V file format is a video file format developed by Apple and is very close to the MP4 format. The differences are the optional Apple's DRM copy protection, and the treatment of AC3 (Dolby Digital) audio which is not standardized for the MP4 container.
Apple uses the M4V files to encode TV episodes, movies, and music videos in the iTunes Store. The copyright of M4V files may be protected by using Apple's FairPlay DRM copy protection. To play a protected M4V file, the computer needs to be authorized (using iTunes) with the account that was used to purchase the video. However, unprotected M4V files without AC3 audio may be recognized and played by other video players by changing the file extension from ".m4v" to ".mp4". Under QuickTime, M4V video with FairPlay attached to it is identified as AVC0 Media.
Besides Apple iTunes and Apple QuickTime Player, M4V files can also be opened and played with Media Player Classic, RealPlayer, Zoom Player, VLC media player, MPlayer, DivX Plus Player, and Nero Showtime (included with Nero Multimedia Suite). The format, with DRM removed, can also be played in the webOS Video Player for use on the Palm Pre, Palm Pixi smartphones. It is also playable by the Android operating system with its video player. It is used as the default video conversion format for HandBrake and Air Video Server on the Macintosh.
Handbrake produced M4V files can also be played on the Playstation 3, with full Dolby Digital 5.1 surround support.
See also 
- MP4 (MPEG-4 Part 14)
- Container format (digital) definition and article
- Comparison of (audio/video) container formats
- List of multimedia (audio/video) codecs
- M4V file extension—FileInfo.com
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