M4V vs MKV | Which One is Better? 2024

M4V and MKV are two popular video file formats. Both are good in different situations, and it is hard to declare one as better than the other. Here is the detailed differentiation to help you choose the better one. Find out more!

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Jane Zhou

Updated on Mar 21, 2024

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M4V and MKV are two popular video file formats. So, which one to choose? It depends on how you use your video file. Keep in mind that both are container formats. The codec defines the encoding of the video file data, which stores every pixel of every frame, taking a lot of storage.

There are many codecs available but, container formats don't support all of them. So, it is not wise to ask which video format gives better quality. Because the codec, not the container, defines the quality, one can use the same codec for both formats. What distinguishes the two formats are the features, compatibility, and implementation. Let's find out M4V vs MKV, and which one is better, with a guide on how to convert M4V to/from MKV.

M4V vs MKV: Which One is Better?

You might be confused about M4V and MKV formats for your output videos. Keep in mind that a container file selects and combines different codecs into one file. Before deciding what file container to select, there are three aspects to consider: Video Quality, File Size, and Compatibility.

Video Quality: This matters the most if your video is mainly for watching purposes. You would want a lossless file with good colors and precise details. The low-quality streams play videos in low quality. MKV is open source and is more flexible than M4V. Thus, MKV makes your videos digitally lossless, preserving the little details and colors. The lossless the file, the larger the file size. You should choose MKV for good quality videos in larger sizes and M4V for smaller size videos in low quality.

Compatibility: Both formats are limiting. For Apple users, M4V is great. Those who use media players like VLC should use MKV. Moreover, unprotected M4V is more user-friendly than MKV. You can import M4V video to most of the popular video editors like Adobe Premiere. That is why M4V should be your choice if you want to edit the video. For uploading purposes, M4V being small is more user-friendly than MKV. It takes them less time to upload and stream. 

What is the M4V format?

ITunes has M4V as its primary file format. M4V itself is developed from a container for MP4 files. M4V can support Dolby audios (A3C). If you have a protected M4V file, you can open it with a licensed version of Apple products. Or you can authorize the device on which you are using Apple iTunes.

For unprotected files, any program that accepts MP4 can open M4V. Moreover, many codecs are officially registered for M4V. The most widely supported ones are H.264 and H.265. You can download other codecs and add them to the software you are using for M4V files.

What is the MKV format?

MKV is a container media format that is free and open source. It is supported by a vast number of platforms. It can contain many data streams in a single file. Moreover, an MKV file can have multiple media streams in one file. This means that you can encode a movie in an MKV file to contain dual language audio tracks in a single file.

One MKV file can save individual files separately. You can store multimedia files in an MKV file and play them. Also, it becomes easier to organize a lot of data. Many tools support MKV format on Mac and Windows.

How to Convert M4V to/from MKV

To make M4V to/from MKV, try tools like EaseUS Video Converter and ConvertFiles. One is the desktop converter, and the other is an online tool. 

Tool 1. EaseUS Video Converter

Supporting 1000+ media files for conversions, this Windows converting software can deal with different formats. Converting M4V to/from MKV is an easy task when using this tool. No matter having one single file or a number of files, this tool uses its batch converting function to increase more efficiency. 

Also, it's a dedicated converter that allows more media formats to be converted. For example, you are allowed to convert M4V to audio formats like MP3, M4A, WAV, M4R. 

Main Features:

  • Batch converting function to increase efficiency
  • Allow 30X faster converting speed
  • Extract the target audio file from a video
  • Support 500+ video formats for conversions
  • Allow the functional GPU acceleration

Now, try this functional Windows converting software!

How to convert M4V file to MKV:

Step 1. Download EaseUS Video Converter. Choose the "Video Converter" tab. Then, prepare your target video file and import it into this Windows converting software. Hit the "Choose Files" button from the main interface. 

choose video converter

Step 2. Once the video file is imported, hit the Settings icon. From various options, choose MKV as the output format. Based on your needs, select the target Quality and Resolution. Meanwhile, apply more options by clicking "Edit". At the same time, you can change the saving location from the "Save to" selection. 

Then, hit "Convert All" to start your conversion. 

video mkv format

Step 3. Click "Finished" from the top side. Here you can view the MKV file. Right click it to play, delete, and rename it. 

output to mkv

Tool 2. ConvertFiles

ConvertFiles is an online converter that has a fast speed when converting between two file formats. M4V and MKV are included. All it takes for the file conversion is three simple steps, making it the easiest video converter.

Moreover, you can sync it with your email. Every time you convert a video, you can get the download link in your email inbox. This tool has a good privacy policy, not allowing any third party to access your media regarding data safety.

convertfiles m4v convert to mkv

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to convert M4V to/from MKV:

Step 1. Open the ConvertFiles on your browser.

Step 2. Click "Browse" and select the video file you want to convert.

Step 3. Then, choose the converted format in "Output format". Click "Convert".


M4V and MKV are two video container formats, and people are usually confused between them. However, choosing one format depends on your preference and device. MKV files are high-quality but take larger storage and are hard to stream. M4V is suitable for Apple users. Both formats store MP4G-4 and H.264 video codes but, MKV can also hold H.265 and VP3.

FAQs About M4V vs MKV

Follow this part if you want to know more solutions to this conversion. 

1. Is M4V better than MKV?

If you want your video to be high-quality, M4V is better than MKV. M4V is a lossless video format, but it takes larger storage. For compatibility, it is not supported by most popular video editors like Adobe Premiere, making MKV the better one.

2. What is better, MKV or MP4?

Both are relatively small size files with good-quality footage. MKV format can save individual tracks in one file, something that MP4 does not offer. MP4 is easy to stream as it supports MPEG-Dash Streaming protocols. MKV is hard to stream.

3. Is MKV the same as MP4?

MKV and MP4 are not the same entirely. They can share some similarities but are majorly different. Firstly, MP4 is a proprietary file format that MPEG controls. It means that MP4's working is patented. However, MKV is an open specification and is not patented. MP4 is used for playing videos. And MKV is used for converting Blu-ray discs to video forms.

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