The Most Common Video File Format
The Most Common Video File Format
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The Most Common Video File Format

By Elaine Elliott

With so many different video file formats out there, how do you decide which one to choose? Each format comes with pros and cons. Unfortunately, there isn’t one single video file format that is universally superior in quality and compatibility.

However, the same video can always be saved in multiple different formats.

Once you receive your new digital file from Legacybox, keep the original file untouched. You can always transfer files but remember to “save as” and create a separate video file format to prevent losing the higher quality from the original video.


Along with holding on to the mother file, you should create multiple formats regardless of your personal file preference. Why? Because video technology and file formatting is constantly changing. Certain websites or devices might opt out of using certain video file formats in the future (for example, iOS no longer uses Adobe Flash files even though they did years ago), so it’s always good to have a backup plan.


Most file types are accepted by website builders such as Wix. Many video file formats can also be transferred to other formats. Depending on your desires, you’ll have to choose to compromise on file size, quality, or compatibility depending on your device.


Without further ado, here is a list of the most popular video file formats along with the pros and cons of each format:

Top 4 Video File Formats: Pros and Cons



Surely this format must be popular, especially since we return all your tapes and files using this format! Apple created MP4 to use as an audio and video file, or just solely audio. Due to its low compression formatting, the quality tends to be lower than most video file formats. Nonetheless, MP4 has become more common than FLV because of its compatibility with Apple products, websites like YouTube, social media platforms like Instagram, mobile browsers, and other devices like Xbox360.


.MOV (or .QT):

QuickTime movie format was created by Apple but has an adjustable version available for Windows players. .MOV is common for people downloading or sharing files through their TV or computers because of the higher image quality than MP4. File sizes are typically larger due to the higher quality.



AVI is one of the oldest and highest quality formats. Developed back in 1992 by Microsoft, the file is still simple enough to run on various systems like Apple and Microsoft alike. Of course, the high quality also entails a large file size, making .AVI ideal for video files stored on computers or hard drives.



FLV was designed by Adobe using the Adobe Flash player. It was a common web browser plugin for streaming and game sites. But ever since iOS devices stopped supporting Flash, the video file format has lost significant popularity. If you and your loved ones all use Android, then FLV is still a useful format. Even when compressed, the .FLV video file format quality remains sharp and vivid.


Long story short, the most popular video file format depends on your wants and needs. If you want to show off old family films during a family reunion gathering at home, then use an .AVI format straight from your computer. But if you want to share these family films to relatives through social media or the internet, consider a .MP4. Hence why multiple file versions of the same video will come in handy!

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