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Supported And Unsupported iPhone Video Formats

You want to record video with your iPhone, but you’re not sure which formats are supported.

It’s frustrating when you try to play a video and it doesn’t work. Sometimes the problem is that the file formats isn’t supported by your device, sometimes it’s because the file has been corrupted or damaged in some way.

Wondering which video formats are supported by iPhone?

This article will help you understand what formats are supported on an iPhone and how to avoid these problems in future recordings.

Supported And Unsupported iPhone Video Formats

Which Videos Formats Does iPhone Support?

iPhone supports the following video formats, depending on your device model.

Note that formats are listed as they would be shown in the files and folders, not necessarily by their identifiers:

– MPEG-4 Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps (and 48kHz) (also known as MP4)

– Motion JPEG (AVI format)

H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps (also known as M4V)

– MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps (also known as MP4)

iPhone Video Codec Support

All iPhone models support H.264 video, MPEG-4, and M-JPEG. The original iPhone does not support the later two formats.

The Apple TV 2G also supports WMV, RTP, RTSP, and HTTP Live Streaming (HLS).

iPhone Video Container Format Support

iPhone will only play video in the following container formats:

– MPEG-4 (MP4)

– Motion JPEG (MOV)

Dealing With The ‘Unable To Play Video’ Error

Possible Reason 1: Unsupported Video Format

Sometimes, if you try to play a video and it doesn’t work, this is because the format in the file which isn’t supported by your device.

If you downloaded the video from iTunes, then there’s a good chance that it’s in an unsupported format.

The easiest thing to do is delete the file and re-download using iTunes. If you’re trying to play the file on your computer, try downloading a different media player which supports all formats.

Possible Reason 2: Corrupted File

If you’re trying to play a file that has been downloaded from the Internet, there’s a chance it has become corrupted in some way.

To resolve this problem, you need to verify that the video is not damaged.

First of all, try playing the file on your computer. If it works, then the problem is most likely to do with iPhone compatibility.

If it doesn’t work on your computer either, try playing the file on another device. For example, you could try playing the video using an alternative media player or through iTunes on your PC or Mac.

If playing the video on another device causes the same problem, then the file is most likely corrupt. To resolve this issue, try downloading it again.

What Video File Format Does iPhone Use When Recording Video?

iPhone records video using the MOV format (Motion JPEG).

However, if you transfer your videos to a PC or Mac for editing or playing on another device, they will be saved as MP4 (MPEG-4) files.[1]

Recording Video With Maximum Compatibility

The best way to ensure that your videos play successfully on all devices, including iPhone, is to keep the original video formats.

When you record a video using an iPhone, it will always be saved in MOV format.

To ensure maximum compatibility with other devices, such as a computer or TV, you can convert the MOV file to MP4 with audio formats.

You cannot import rights-managed AAC files.

There are many video converters that will allow you to change the MOV file into an MP4 file with no noticeable loss in quality and ensure that it plays successfully on most devices.

For example, we’ve tested out several free programs and found Movavi Video Converter to be the best way to convert a video from MOV to MP4 (audio files) for free.

Key Takeaways

– iPhone supports H.264, MPEG-4, and M-JPEG video formats

– iPhone will only play video in the following container formats: MPEG-4 (MP4) Motion JPEG (MOV)

– iPhone records video using the MOV format (Motion JPEG)

– To ensure maximum compatibility, convert your original video files to MP4 using a converter like Movavi Video Converter.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use the same file format for iPhone and Apple TV?

A: Yes, you can. The MOV format is supported by both devices. You only need to convert it if the video isn’t playing on your device in your file types.

Q: What happens if I Transfer my Videos to iTunes?

A: All videos will be automatically converted when you transfer them to your PC or Mac using iTunes. However, if you prefer to preserve the original file formats and play it on third-party devices, you need to convert it first.

Q: What is a good iPhone video converter that will keep the quality of my videos?

A: Movavi Video Converter for Windows and Movavi Video Converter for Mac will allow you to change your MOV files into MP4 without any noticeable loss of quality and will ensure that you can play it successfully on any device.

Q: Are there any other benefits to converting my videos?

A: Converting the file format of a video has various benefits, such as saving space on your computer or device and being able to share the video with other devices.

Q: What is a good iPhone video player?

A: Movavi Video Player offers great functionality for watching videos on your PC, Mac, or any portable device in all file types. It also has numerous advanced features that will allow you to edit your videos extending their playtime or even adding your text or images.

Q: What is the best video formats for iPhone?

A: The MOV format is the most compatible and ensures that your videos will be played successfully by most devices.

If you prefer to preserve the original file format, we recommend converting it into the MP4 format first. This file type is not only supported by iPhone, but also by most other devices.


iPhones support a range of video formats, but the most compatible is the MOV format.

If you want to ensure that your videos can play successfully on any device, including iPhone, it’s best to save your original file in this format and then convert it into MP4 using Movavi Video Converter.

You can also use an alternative media player, such as Movavi Video Player or VLC.

I hope this article has helped give you a better understanding of what video formats iPhone supports and how to deal with any potential issues that may arise when trying to play videos on your phone.

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