A container format (from English container , container ') loaded in the information technology a data structure fixed, possibly with the various individual data streams formats to a data stream (for example, a container file can be merged) (multiplexing). The possibilities of different container formats differ greatly from one another. The simplest case is to combine several files into one archive file , as is the case with the TAR format , for example .
Building on this, the term container format is often used in such a way that the data it contains result in a meaningful whole - for example, to merge video data with audio data in such a way that they result in a playable film or to combine text information with images and other information to create a Composite document . Well-known and often used media container formats, especially for the joint storage of the image and sound data of a movie in a single data stream, are MP4 ( file extension .mp4), Matroska (.mkv, .mka), DivX (.divx) and the outdated AVI (.avi).
Containers usually contain data in various formats . The popular AVI container can, for example, contain an MPEG-4 video track created with the Xvid codec and an MP3 audio track created with LAME . Some container formats can also contain additional data such as subtitles, menu structures or additional audio tracks. Other container formats, however, can only contain audio data. For example, RIFF-WAVE containers usually contain an uncompressed audio track (mostly in PCM coding); MP3-coded audio data are also possible.
A multiplexer takes over the merging of the audio and video tracks in a container of a certain format . When playing, the tracks are separated again by a demultiplexer (also called a splitter ) so that they can then be decoded by the respective decoder.
Audio / video container formats
Audio / video container formats can contain at least one audio and one video stream. Some formats also allow the embedding of subtitles ( e.g. VOB , MP4 , MKV ), menu structures (e.g. VOB, MP4, DMF) or other content.
|3GPP||3gp||.3gp||a format optimized for mobile phones based on MP4.|
|Adobe Inc.||Flash video||.flv||a format optimized for web streaming. Up until Flash 6 , Macromedia used the Sorenson video format. From version 8, VP6 was used by TrueMotion . This was followed by VP7 and from 2008 VP8 .|
|Apple||QuickTime||.mov, .qt||the container format of the playback software of the same name. It contained the Sorenson video format in previous versions and today it contained AVC .|
|Blu-ray Disc Association||BDAV MPEG-2 Transport Stream||.m2ts, .mts||The container format for Blu-ray Disc video. The format is a modified MPEG-2 transport stream.|
|DivX Networks||DivX Media Format||.divx||is based on AVI and contains MPEG-4 ASP video streams encoded with DivX .|
|DVD forum||Video Object||.vob||the container format for DVD-Video and mostly MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 compressed.|
|Enhanced VOB||.evo||the container format for HD DVD video.|
|WebM||.webm||The WebM standard consists of the video format VP8 or its successor VP9 and the audio format Vorbis or Opus in a container format based on a subset of Matroska.|
|Matroska||Matroska||.mkv, .mka||an open source container format for almost all available video formats.|
|Microsoft||Advanced streaming format||.asf, .wmv,
|Part of the Windows Media Framework , is natively supported by all current Windows versions and contains proprietary video formats from Microsoft.|
|Audio video interleave||.avi||an older RIFF -based format which, despite its technically limited possibilities, is still widely used today.|
|MPEG||MPEG-1 system stream||.mpg, .mpeg||the official container for the MPEG-1 video format. Older VCD formats mainly used it. It is becoming less and less important.|
|MPEG-2 program stream||.mpg, .mpeg,
|almost identical to the MPEG-1 System Stream, but has a much better resolution and faster transport.|
|MPEG-2 transport stream||.ts, .tsp||like DVB, a container format optimized for error-prone transmission paths.|
|MP4||.mp4||the standard container format for MPEG-4 ASP / AVC video streams and is based on the Quicktime container format.|
|a container for RealAudio and RealVideo streams. The new codecs from Realmedia are based on MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 and a G2 audio compression that is similar to MP3 .|
|Xiph.org||Ogg||.ogg .ogv||the official container for Ogg formats.|
|Ogg Media||.ogm||is a hack of the Ogg container that has been expanded to include a few options.|
|unknown||MXF||.mxf||Material Exchange Format. Very strict container. Mainly used in a professional broadcast environment.|
|OMFI||.omf||an Avid format used in TV editing systems. It is essentially based on MP2 -compressed or even uncompressed AVI.|
|DV||.dv||Digital video, developed for editing systems.|
Other container formats
|developer||format||File extension (s)||Type||Details|
|Adobe Inc.||Portable Document Format||Compound document||for text, images and binary data|
|Tagged Image File Format||.tif||Raster graphics|
|Apple||Audio Interchange File Format||.aif, .aiff, .aifc, .ief, .snd||Audio||based on the Interchange File Format (IFF)|
|Electronic Arts||ILBM||photos||based on the Interchange File Format (IFF)|
|ANIM||Animations||based on the Interchange File Format (IFF)|
|FTXT||text||based on the Interchange File Format (IFF)|
|Microsoft||REEF WAVE||.wav||Audio||based on the Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF)|
|Microsoft Exchange Message||.msg||for messages with attachments, calendar, etc.|
|Microsoft Outlook Personal Store||.pst||for all messages in MSG format|
|Virtual hard disk||.vhd||Virtual disk||virtual hard disks and a. for Microsoft Virtual PC|
|Sun Microsystems||Au||.au, .snd||Audio|
|VMware||VMDK||.vmdk||Virtual disk||virtual disks for VMware - Virtualization Products|
Note: Audio-only container formats cannot contain video data.