File extension database

File Extension 3GP

File extension 3GP is most commonly used to refer to a multimedia file format typically used on 3G mobile phones. Though less common, the 3GP file extension is also used by a number of mobile phones, particularly Nokia devices, as the standard file format for recording video clips. This is a different file format and is not similar to 3GP files produced for use on 3G mobile phones.

The 3GP file format is a container for multimedia, and typically consists of an audio and a video stream. The format was defined by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), and was specified for use on 3G devices using high-speed mobile broadband networks. 3GP files are similar in structure to MPEG-4 (MP4) files, though have a number of key differences which significantly reduce file sizes thus reducing the bandwidth required for the transfer of media between 3G devices.

Video streams within 3GP files are stored in either MPEG-4 Part 2 or MPEG-4 Part 10, more commonly referred to as H.263. Audio streams can be stored in a number of formats including AAC and AMR. 3GP files are used on GSM-based mobile phones, whereas CDMA-based devices use 3G2 files, though both formats contain video and audio streams stored in the same aforementioned formats. It is also worth noting that the equivalent 3GP file extension used on the Mac platform is extended to File extension 3GPP, though both formats are the same.

3GP files can be opened on most 3G mobile phones which support video playback, as well as a limited number of 2G and 4G devices. However, maximum file size and resolution limits may apply and vary between devices. 3GP files can also be opened using software such as RealPlayer, VLC media player, MPlayer and QuickTime on both the Windows and Mac platforms. Various third-party software developers also produce applications to convert 3GP files into other, more widely supported formats.

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