How to Watch an MP4 Movie

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MP4 movies use MPEG-4 encoding to compress video data into a smaller size. Many TV shows and Internet video releases use the MP4 format for distribution. Unfortunately, Windows does not include native support for playing MP4 movies. To watch an MP4 movie on your computer, you'll need to download and install a third-party media player program like VLC Player, Media Player Classic Home Cinema or iTunes. All three programs are freely available and the first two are open source, meaning the developer has made the programming code available for modification and customization.

  • Download and install VLC Player. VLC Player is a free, open source program that runs on Windows, Mac and Linux computers. It supports many audio and video formats, including MP4. Launch VLC, click "Media," then click "Open File." Navigate to the MP4 movie you want to watch, then double-click the file to open it. Click "View," then "Fullscreen interface" to watch the MP4 movie full screen.

  • Watch MP4 movies using Media Player Classic Home Cinema. Media Player Classic uses an interface similar to that of the built-in Windows Media Player, but uses a low amount of system resources and is open source. Download, install and run Media Player Classic, then press "Ctrl" and "Q" simultaneously to launch the "Quick Open File" pop-up box. Double-click the MP4 movie you want to watch to start playing it. Press "Ctrl" and "Enter" to set Media Player Classic to fullscreen mode.

  • Open MP4 movies in iTunes to watch the movies on your computer. Mac OS X computers come with iTunes included; if you're running Windows, download a free copy from the Apple iTunes website. Start iTunes, then click "File." Click "Add File to Library," navigate to the MP4 movie you want to watch and double-click it to import it to the iTunes Library. Click "Movies" on the left-hand sidebar to see a thumbnail of the movie. Double-click the thumbnail to start watching the movie; press "Ctrl" and "F" simultaneously to watch it full screen.

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  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images
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