How to Play MP4 Files on a PC

By Joe Rivers

There are many different types of digital formats, but one of the more recently popular formats is MP4. The MP4 format supports H.264, a video codec that is known for high quality, low size videos. Not only that, but this is the format that Apple’s popular iPod and iPhone devices support. Because of this, the MP4 format has gained a huge footing online and is commonly used by many media outlets. If you wish to play these files on your PC, you have a few different options to try out.

Step 1

Try out Apple’s iTunes. While iTunes is primarily a music player, the software has expanded to handle video files as well, and can support MP4 files. This said, iTunes sometimes has a difficult time handling HD MP4 files, though this is somewhat dependent on the performance of your computer. You can download iTunes for free from Apple’s website.

Step 2

Install Quicktime when you install iTunes. Quicktime is bundled with the iTunes installer and can be installed when you install iTunes, if you choose. Contrary to popular belief, this is not done to press Quicktime on you, rather it is bundled with iTunes to provide features to iTunes, such as audio exporting. Quicktime is very capable of handling MP4 files, due to Apple’s heavy involvement in the development of the standard.

Step 3

Try VLC. VLC is a cross-platform media player that can handle nearly any file type, including MP4. You can download VLC for free from from Videolan’s website.

Step 4

Consider installing Haali Media Splitter if you wish to watch MP4 files with Windows Media Player. Haali Media Splitter is a driver that gives MP4 support to Windows Media Player.