[FFmpeg-user] Difference between mpeg4 and msmpeg4v2 encoders?

Moritz Barsnick barsnick at gmx.net
Fri Mar 15 17:52:46 EET 2019

On Fri, Mar 15, 2019 at 10:37:20 -0400, FFmpeg user discussions wrote:
> My understanding is that msmpeg4v2 is a Microsoft variant on mpeg4.

That's what I also understand.

> What did they do to it?

I'm too lazy to check the details. It appears the codec is implemented
against a pre-version of the MPEG4 standard, and not quite compliant to
the final version. I also recall it supports only a restricted set of
MPEG4's features.

> Why would one choose msmpeg4v2 vs plain mpeg4?

For some version of Microsoft Windows - I believe XP before SP2 - this
was the "best" codec which was part of Windows. I.e. if you wanted to
encode for a user who would not add additional codecs (or VLC ;-)) to
their Windows, and who should be able to decode out of the box, you
would have chosen msmpeg4v2 as the most modern option. (For coverage of
older Windows versions, you would have chosen an "older" codec,
probably MPEG2. DivX - another MPEG4 variant, IIRC, was hacked into
some old MS codec DLL, but I don't recall what they had originally

> My output container is AVI, and I'm targeting playback on Windows, but my
> limited experiments show that the Windows systems playback mpeg4 just fine.

You can probably assume that anything older than XP shouldn't be
allowed to play videos anymore anyway. ;-) XP may still be supported in
some corporate environments, but is *way* past end of life. I
personally would assume at least Windows 7.


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