|Posted by Lorraine Nielson on November 11, 2011 at 11:45 AM|
MOV means QuickTime movie. Files in this format are appended with the extension .mov.
Software to convert MOV to AVI works the best if you spend a bit of money and purchase it from a third-party developer. The free versions online aren't reliable.
QuickTime is Apple's proprietary video software, with versions released for both Mac OS and for Windows. If you own an Apple desktop or laptop machine, or you have a friend who uses it to record videos, then you're much more likely to own video files saved MOV format. Videos download from Apple's iTunes store also show up as MOV files on the Mac.
Windows users don't see MOV files as often. Apple regularly updates its QuickTime 7.7 for Windows, but the program isn't very popular with Windows users. On the Windows side, most video software defaults directly to the MP4 format, which is the open source version of MOV. Files in this format are appended with the extension .mp4.
MP4 can be played on just about any device, and is acceptable for upload to online video sharing sites like Facebook and YouTube. Although MOV files and MP4 files are very similar, occasionally you'll find MOV files that won't play unless you own QuickTime.
Why would you want to convert an MOV file to AVI? Because AVI is the HD version of the MOV and MP4 formats, and HD videos are becoming the industry standard. YouTube is strongly pushing its users to do their uploads as HD files, and has adapted its upload interface to accept AVI. So far, less than 5% of YouTube videos are in HD, but that number is growing.
Although HD video is a great thing, AVI files can cause problems. If you don't need your QuickTime vids saved in an HD compatible format, you'd be much better off saving them in MP4 so you can play them on other devices that don't have QuickTime installed. AVI format is notoriously buggy, and it saves in a larger file size than the less troublesome MP4. And while ou don't need AVI to upload your videos to Facebook or YouTube, either. Both sites accept uploads of MP4 files, and even MOV files for that matter.
The one place where an AVI file might be your only choice is if you want to import it to a camcorder and carry it with you. A number of video cameras only accept AVI format, including the now-defunct but still popular Flip and Flip HD.