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How to Play MP4 Files with Free MP4 Player

The videos on iPod, iPhone and PSP look great because of its MP4 format. Since MP4 offers better sound quality than MP3 and is capable of storing video, it is being used in greater numbers. Though you must have heard about MP4 format, you might have no idea of which MP4 Players should be use and how to play MP4 files with MP4 software. Read on, and you will find answer here.

What is MP4 and MP4 Player?

MP4, known as MPEG-4 Part 14, is a multimedia container format standard specified as a part of MPEG-4. Since the introduction of MP4, it has been attracted more and more attention. And the most porpular MP4 compression mode is DivX Codec. It is most commonly used to store digital audio and digital video streams, especially those defined by MPEG, can also be used to store other data such as subtitles and still images.

The description of MP4 Player from Wikipedia here: The name MP4 player is a marketing term for portable media players that comply with certain standards and formats. The name itself is a misnomer, since most MP4 players are incompatible with the MPEG-4 or the .mp4 container format.

Here, we`ll talk about the MP4 format and the player which can play MP4 format.

How to Play MP4 Files with MP4 Player software?

To playback MP4 files, there are three basic things required for you - splitter (to access the actual video and audio data), decoders (codecs/filters) and playback software. Usually, Windows OS are loaded with Windows Media Player, but in order to play MP4 files, it needs to 'split' a given file to access video and audio data. Sometimes, even if you have playback software that has a built-in support to open MP-4 files, it can't guarantee that you can play the video/audio data without additional software. This guide will introduce several ways for you to play MP4 files with free MP4 player.

1. The easiest method to play MP4 files is to download and install VLC player.

This MP4 Player package includes playback software to play MP4 files and supports decoding a huge number of audio and video formats. After you run this player, click "Open File" from the "File" drop-down list, select the MP4 file that you want to watch by clicking "Browse", and then click "OK" to start to play the video you chose with VLC MP4 player.

VLC MP4 player fullscreen

2. Another option is to download the Haali Media Splitter.

After you run the Haali Media Splitter, you need to agree to their terms and conditions and you will be asked to select a destination folder where you want to save the software. The default location is fine. Before installing it, make sure the option of "Enable MP4 support" is checked. It only takes a few minutes to install on your computer. Now, since Windows Media Player is capable of open MP4 files, all you need is to provide support for the video and audio information in the files to ensure playback.


3. You may also download FFDShow on your computer.

It is best compatible with Windows XP (Including Windows 8). When installing the software, it is important to ensure that under "Decode the following video formats with ffdshow", H.264 / AVC, DivX, and XviD options are selected. Scroll down further until you reach "Decode the following audio formats with ffdshow" and just ensure that AAC is selected (these settings are usually default) and also selecting MP3 won't do any harm. When you click "Next", you will come to a "Management of compatibility issues" screen. It is best to use FFDShow for video only with the programs listed in it to prevent any compatibility problems with any other MP4 software.


When the installation is finished, your playback software will now be able to decode video and audio stored within MP4 files. Try playing them now in Windows Media Player or Media Player Classic. If you suspect your file should have subtitles, then play it with Windows Media Player and keep an eye on the small application icons to the right of your taskbar. When the file begins to play with WMP, you will see the Haali Media Splitter icon show up. Right click it to see if any subtitles are available.

To play with Windows Media Player, right click the MP4 file and go to "Open With" and then the "Choose Program" option. From the list, select Windows Media Player.

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