MPEG-4 Part 14 - History of MP4

History of MP4

MPEG-4 Part 14 is an instance of more general ISO/IEC 14496-12:2004 (MPEG-4 Part 12: ISO base media file format) which is directly based upon QuickTime File Format. MPEG-4 Part 14 is essentially identical to the QuickTime file format, but formally specifies support for Initial Object Descriptors (IOD) and other MPEG features. MPEG-4 Part 14 revises and completely replaces Clause 13 of ISO/IEC 14496-1 (MPEG-4 Part 1: Systems), in which the file format for MPEG-4 content was previously specified.

The MPEG-4 file format specification was created on the basis of the QuickTime format specification published in 2001. The MPEG-4 file format, version 1 was published in 2001 as ISO/IEC 14496-1:2001, which is a revision of the MPEG-4 Part 1: Systems specification published in 1999 (ISO/IEC 14496-1:1999). In 2003, the first version of MP4 file format was revised and replaced by MPEG-4 Part 14: MP4 file format (ISO/IEC 14496-14:2003), commonly named as MPEG-4 file format version 2. The MP4 file format was generalized into the ISO Base Media File format ISO/IEC 14496-12:2004, which defines a general structure for time-based media files. It in turn is used as the basis for other file formats in the family (for example MP4, 3GP, Motion JPEG 2000).

MP4 file format versions
Version Release date Standard Description
MP4 file format version 1 2001 ISO/IEC 14496-1:2001 MPEG-4 Part 1 (Systems), First edition
MP4 file format version 2 2003 ISO/IEC 14496-14:2003 MPEG-4 Part 14 (MP4 file format), Second edition

The MP4 file format defined some extensions over ISO Base Media File Format to support MPEG-4 visual/audio codecs and various MPEG-4 Systems features such as object descriptors and scene descriptions. Some of these extensions are also used by other formats based on ISO base media file format (e.g. 3GP). A list of all registered extensions for ISO Base Media File Format is published on the official registration authority website The registration authority for code-points (identifier values) in "MP4 Family" files is Apple Computer Inc. and it is named in Annex D (informative) in MPEG-4 Part 12. Codec designers should register the codes they invent, but the registration is not mandatory and some invented and used code-points are not registered. When someone is creating a new specification derived from the ISO Base Media File Format, all the existing specifications should be used both as examples and a source of definitions and technology. If an existing specification already covers how a particular media type is stored in the file format (e.g. MPEG-4 audio or video in MP4), that definition should be used and a new one should not be invented.

Read more about this topic:  MPEG-4 Part 14

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