M4V VS MKV: What is the Difference and Which one to Choose

M4V and MKV are both the common video format. Sometimes, if you want to convert the videos into another format, you may feel confusing between these two formats: M4V and MKV. M4V or MKV? Which video format is suitable for your player or device? Actually, the differences between M4V and MKV is really clear. Here we will show the detailed information about M4V and MKV to help you understand the two video formats better.

Definitions of M4V and MP4

M4V is a video container format especially designed for Apple products like iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, iTunes, etc. It’s open in iTunes by default. With the gradually rising popularity of Apple iPhone, iPad, M4V is widely accepted by more and more media players and gadgets.

MKV, the file format for Matroska Multimedia Container, is an open standard free container format, a file format that can hold an unlimited number of video, audio, picture or subtitle tracks inside a single file. It is intended to serve as a universal format for storing common multimedia content, like movies or TV shows. MKV can hold all of the same digital elements of MP4. MKV can also compress high quality videos into smaller files.

Differences Between M4V and MKV

Format M4V MKV
Media Player Supported Can’t be played on almost all the Media Player. Can be played on almost all the major media players.
Portable Devices Supported iTunes, Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, etc. from Apple family. Can’t be played on almost all the portable devices.
Pros Protect the copyright of the media file and can be transfer among Apple products at will. MKV supports H.264/AVC which is needed for efficient HD content playback. This makes MKV the preferred format for HD videos and Blu-ray rips.
Cons Apple places the FairPlay DRM copyright protection on most iTunes M4V files The size of the file can be quite large. Due to the support for the additional features, MKV tends to be larger in size than other container files.

Note: Though the majority of M4V files are protected by Apple’s DRM protection, there are still some non-FairPlay versions of its files available on iTunes, which can be purchased and then transferred to other devices freely as if they were MP4 files. Once the M4V DRM protection removed, M4V files is the same with MP4 format.


From the comparison above, we know M4V is just a file format in MP4 container developed by Apple Inc. Almost all of the video file with .m4v file extension are encrypted by DRM protection to prevent form transferring and sharing. But if you need to choose a video format to play on your portable device except Apple products, the best choice is MKV format.

Eager to Convert Protected M4V to MKV?

To convert protected M4V to MKE, all you need is an iTunes DRM removal tool. DRM Media Converter is highly recommended as the best DRM removal for Apple iTunes. With it, you can effortlessly remove DRM protection from iTunes M4V video and convert them to MKV format or other popular format for playing on your media player or portable devices. Get the program right now and free your iTunes library with ease!

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