The Apple iPhone smartphone device comes with a number of apps preinstalled, including an iPod app that lets users listen to music and watch videos on their iPhone. If you wish to place a video onto the iPhone, however, you need to make sure the video is in the correct format, as only certain video formats work with the device.
H.264, also known as MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding, is a high definition video file format that offers a higher quality image at a smaller compression size than its standard MPEG-4 counterpart. The iPhone supports H.264 videos at up to 720p resolution and up to 30 frames per second, making the pixels in the images that appear on the iPhone's screen indistinguishable by the human eye. H.264 videos can have either the .m4v, .mp4 or .mov file extension.
MPEG-4 is the industry standard video file format developed by the Motion Pictures Experts Groups for encoding digital videos. It has slightly larger compression sizes than H.264 files and is only supported on the iPhone at up to 2.5 Mbps and at a resolution of 640 by 480 pixels. MPEG-4 files, like H.264 files, run at 30 frames per second and can have the .m4v, .mp4 or .mov file extension.
Motion JPEG, also known as M-JPEG, is a video file format that compresses each frame of the video into JPEG format to allow for easy editing. M-JPEG files are often very large and the videos compressed in this format are very high-quality. The iPhone can run M-JPEG files at up to 35 Mbps and at a high definition resolution of 1280-by-720 pixels. These files can run at up to 30 frames per second and come with the .avi file extension.
Verifying File Compatibility
If you have a .m4v, .mp4, .mov or .avi file that will not play on your iPhone, iTunes can verify that the file is in the right format and convert the file to a format that will work with your device. Launch iTunes and drag the video file onto the iTunes library. Highlight the file, click the "Advanced" tab and select the "Create iPod or iPhone Version." ITunes will automatically begin the conversion process and will add the newly converted file to your iTunes library when it is finished. Drag the newly converted file onto your iPhone for viewing on the go.
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