M4V files are a container file format associated with MPEG-4 and used in Apple iTunes. M4V files are created by Apple using the MPEG-4 standard set forth by ISO 14496-1 (International Organization for Standardization). M4V allows you to integrate different multimedia streams, such as audio and video, into a single file format.
M44 files contain data related to video and audio to support a wide variety of multimedia content. The data is associated with audio and video streams, subtitles, and images, in addition to advanced content which is known as Rich Media or BIFS (Binary Format for Scenes), a comprehensive framework for MPEG-4 terminals responsible for executing the video presentation.
M4V files are typically available in the Apple iTunes store and are used to deliver movies, music videos, and television programs similar to an MP4 file. They can be protected by DRM (Digital Rights Management) or unprotected, which allows you to convert the file to another format.
How to Open M4V Files
If the M4V file is protected by Digital Rights Management, you should use iTunes to purchase video. By going through iTunes, Apple will authorize you to access the DRM-protected video. Apple iTunes is available in both Windows and Mac versions and will allow you to open both protected and unprotected M4V files. If the M4V file is not protected, you can use a variety of media players to open and play it by changing the extension to MP4.
There are a few media player applications which are cross platform and will work with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. The most popular application is the VideoLAN VLC Media Player which is available as a free download from the VideoLAN Organization website. You can also use PCF Miro which is also an open source cross platform application and available as freeware from the Miro website.
If you use Windows, there are additional programs that will open and play M4V files which include Windows Media Player, Microsoft Zune, Winamp Media Player 5.6, and RealNetworks Real Player. You can also choose to convert M4V to MOV or MP4 with a program such as M4V Converter Plus. It is available as a free trial version from the M4V Converter Plus website.
For Mac OS X you can open and play M4V files using Apple QuickTime Player or RealNetworks Real Player in addition to Apple iTunes. If you prefer to convert the files, you can use ShedWorx Smart Converter which is available as a free download from the ShedWorx website.
If you want to edit M4V files to split them up into separate files or reduce some of the video clips, you can use a program such as M4V Editor which is available as a free download from the Aimersoft website.