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Detailed Guide on How to Convert M4V to MP4 with FFmpeg

M4V and MP4 are two popular options that are widely used for storing and sharing video content. However, while they share some similarities, they are not interchangeable, and sometimes you may need to convert one format to another to meet your specific needs. FFmpeg, a powerful multimedia framework renowned for its versatility and efficiency, provides an excellent solution for converting M4V to MP4 format. In this detailed guide, we'll explore the intricacies of using FFmpeg for this conversion task, covering everything from installation to execution.

Part 1. What Is M4V and MP4 Formats?

Before delving into the conversion process, it's crucial to understand the differences between M4V and MP4 formats. M4V is a video container format developed by Apple, commonly associated with iTunes and often containing DRM-protected content. In contrast, MP4 is a widely compatible format used for storing audio and video data.

Part 2. How to Convert M4V to MP4 with FFmpeg?

FFmpeg, an open-source, cross-platform multimedia framework, provides a powerful toolset for converting videos between different formats, including converting M4V to MP4. We'll cover the prerequisites, step-by-step instructions how to convert M4V to MP4.


Before proceeding with M4V to MP4 conversion using FFmpeg, ensure you have the following prerequisites:

  • 1.FFmpeg Installation: Install FFmpeg on your system. You can download FFmpeg from the official website or use package managers like Homebrew (for macOS) or apt-get (for Linux).
  • 2.M4V File: Obtain the M4V file you wish to convert. Ensure it is accessible and not DRM-protected, as FFmpeg cannot handle DRM-protected content.

Step-by-Step M4V to MP4 with FFmpeg Conversion Process:

Follow these detailed steps to convert M4V to MP4 using FFmpeg:

  • Step 1:Open Terminal (or Command Prompt): Launch Terminal (macOS/Linux) or Command Prompt (Windows) on your computer.

  • Step 2:Navigate to File Directory: Use the "cd" command to navigate to the directory containing the M4V file you wish to convert.

  • Step 3:Execute FFmpeg Command: Enter the following command in Terminal (macOS/Linux) or Command Prompt (Windows):
    ffmpeg -i input.m4v -c:v copy -c:a copy output.mp4

    how to convert m4v to mp4 ffmpeg

    Replace "input.m4v" with the name of your input M4V file and "output.mp4" with the desired name for the output MP4 file.

    Explanation of FFmpeg Options:

    • “-i input.m4v”: Specifies the input M4V file.
    • “-c:v copy”: Indicates that the video codec will be copied from the input file to the output file without re-encoding.
    • “-c:a copy”: Specifies that the audio codec will be copied without re-encoding.
    • “output.mp4”: Specifies the name of the output MP4 file.
  • Step 4:Execute Conversion Command: Press Enter to execute the FFmpeg command. FFmpeg will begin the conversion process.

  • Step 5:Monitor Progress (Optional): FFmpeg will display real-time progress information during the conversion process. You can monitor this information to track the progress of the conversion.

Once the conversion process is complete, locate the output MP4 file in the same directory as the input M4V file. Verify the conversion by playing the MP4 file using a media player to ensure it was successful.

Part 3. Best FFmpeg Alternative to Convert M4V to MP4 Effortlessly

FFmpeg, although a powerful and widely used tool, may not be suitable for everyone due to its complexity or compatibility issues. Therefore, seeking an alternative like HitPaw Video Converter that offers similar functionality but with a more user-friendly interface or simpler operation can be beneficial. It provides a straightforward way to convert videos between different formats, including M4V to MP4, while maintaining high-quality output and offers additional features like batch conversion, customization options, and support for various platforms.

  • Seamlessly convert M4V to MP4 without compromising quality, and vice versa.
  • Convert M4V to MP4, MOV, MKV, AVI, FLV, WMV, MPEG, and more.
  • Effortlessly convert multiple M4V files in bulk in a single operation.
  • 120X faster conversion aided by hardware acceleration,.
  • Perfect M4V to MP4 converter for beginners and professionals.
  • Step 1:Download and install HitPaw Video Converter. Add your M4V files using the "Add Video" button or by simply dragging and dropping them into the interface.

    convert m4v to mp4 ffmpeg
  • Step 2:Select "MP4 Video" as the desired output format from the provided options. Customize output settings such as resolution, bitrate, and frame rate according to your preferences.

    ffmpeg convert m4v to mp4
  • Step 3:Choose an output folder for the converted files. Initiate the conversion process by clicking the "Convert" button.

    convert mp4 to m4v ffmpeg


With FFmpeg, converting M4V to MP4 format is a straightforward process. By following the detailed steps outlined in this guide, you can effortlessly convert your M4V files to MP4 format with ease and efficiency. With HitPaw Video Converter, converting M4V to MP4 is a breeze, ensuring efficient and high-quality results every time.

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