The M4V file format is a video container format developed by Apple and is very similar to the MP4 format. But M4V files may optionally be protected by DRM copy protection. Apple uses M4V encode video files, such as TV episodes, movies, and music videos, in its iTunes Store. The copyright of M4V files may be protected by using Apple’s FairPlay DRM copy protection. To play a protected M4V file, the computer needs to be authorized (using iTunes) with the account that was used to purchase the video. However, unprotected M4V files without AC3 audio may be recognized and played by other video players by changing the file extension from “.m4v” to “.mp4″. Under QuickTime, M4V video with FairPlay attached to it is identified as AVC0 Media.
Besides Apple iTunes and the Apple QuickTime Player, M4V files can also be opened and played with Media Player Classic, K-Multimedia Player, RealPlayer, Zoom Player, VLC media player, MPlayer, DivX Plus Player, and Nero Showtime (included with Nero Multimedia Suite). The format, with DRM removed, can also be played in the webOS Video Player for use on the Palm Pre, Palm Pixi smartphones. It is also playable by the Android operating system with its video player. It is used as the default video conversion format for HandBrake and Air Video Server on the Macintosh. Handbrake-produced M4V files can also be played on the Playstation 3, with full Dolby Digital 5.1 surround support.
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