There’s a reason the MP3 audio format completely obliterated WMA (Windows Media Audio) as the preferred choice – it works everywhere. On PCs, on laptops, on smartphones, in many car stereos, etc. The more places a specific media format can be used, the better it is.
With video, the same is true, except instead of MP3 you use MP4.
If you’re currently creating WMVs now using Windows Movie Maker, I strongly suggest converting those files over to MP4 using HandBrake or WinFF; the best example I can give of why you should do this is by examining old audio formats of the past.
Way back in the late 1990s, a bunch of people tried using WMA, and it was awful. In many instances, the audio would be “locked” to be only played on the PC it was created on, it was very difficult to share, and said honestly the compression wasn’t that great. In addition, there are many old WMAs that will not play at all on modern computers today.
An MP3 made in the 1990s still plays the exact same way it did when it was originally made. You don’t have to worry about whether it will work or not. It just will. Now that’s what we call backwards compatibility.
Yes, I understand it may be a pain to wait while you re-encode your video files before archiving them, but trust me, years from now you’ll be thanking me. MP4 will still work in 2022 just like it does today in 2012. As for WMV.. heck.. none of us may be using Windows by 2022, so you owe it to yourself to purposely use a media format that is absolutely not “tied” to any specific OS just to work.
The PCMech.com weekly newsletter has been running strong for over 8 years. Sign up to get tech news, updates and exclusive content - right in your inbox. Also get (several) free gifts.