Software & Apps File Types 31 31 people found this article helpful What Is an MPEG File? How to open, edit, and convert MPEG files by Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated on April 05, 2020 File Types Design Cryptocurrency MS Office Windows Linux Google Drive Apps File Types Backup & Utilities View More Tweet Share Email A file with the MPEG file extension (pronounced as "em-peg") is a Moving Picture Experts Group video file. Videos in this format are compressed using either MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 compression. This makes MPEG files popular for online distribution—they can be streamed and downloaded quicker than some other video formats. The MPEG format can hold data compressed at such a high rate because instead of keeping every frame of the video, it stores only changes that occur between each frame. MPEG Files. Important Information on MPEG "MPEG" doesn't just speak of a file extension (like .MPEG) but also a kind of compression. A particular file can be a MPEG file but not actually use the MPEG file extension. A MPEG video or audio file doesn't necessarily need to use the MPEG, MPG, or MPE file extension for it to be considered MPEG. For example, an MPEG2 video file might use the MPG2 file extension while audio files compressed with the MPEG-2 codec usually use MP2. A MPEG-4 video file is commonly seen ending with the MP4 file extension. Both file extensions indicate a MPEG file but neither actually use the .MPEG file extension. Some other MPEG standards include MPEG-7 (Multimedia Content Description Interface), MPEG-MAR (Mixed and Augmented Reality Reference Model), and MPEG-DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP). How to Open a MPEG File VLC Playing an MPG File. Files that actually have the .MPEG file extension can be opened with many different multi-format media players, like Windows Media Player, VLC, QuickTime, iTunes, and Winamp. Some commercial software that supports playing .MPEG files include Roxio Creator NXT Pro, CyberLink PowerDirector, and CyberLink PowerDVD. A few of these programs can open MPEG1, MPEG2, and MPEG4 files, too. VLC, in particular, is known for its support for a huge range of audio and video file formats. If the program you want to open the MPEG file doesn't launch when you double-click the file, try opening the program first and using its File > Open menu (or something similar) to browse for the MPEG file. You can also change the default program that Windows uses to open the file. How to Convert a MPEG File MPG to MP3 Conversion With FileZigZag. Your best bet for converting a MPEG file is to look through this list of Free Video Converter Programs and Online Services to find one that supports MPEG files. Any Video Converter is one example. Zamzar is one free online MPEG converter that runs in a web browser to convert MPEG to MP4, MOV, AVI, FLV, WMV, and other video formats, including audio formats like MP3, FLAC, WAV, and AAC. FileZigZag is another example of an online and free file converter that supports the MPEG format. If you want to burn a MPEG to a DVD, you can use Freemake Video Converter. Load the MPEG file into that program and choose the To DVD button to either burn the video directly to a disc or to create an ISO file from it. If you have a larger MPEG video that you need to be converted, it's better to use one of the programs that you have to install to your computer. Otherwise, it might take quite a while to upload the video to a site like Zamzar or FileZigZag—and then you have to download the converted file back to your computer, which could also take awhile. More Information on MPEG chiariglione.org There are many different file formats that might use MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-3, or MPEG-4 compression to store audio and/or video. You can read more about these specific standards on the MPEG Wikipedia page. As such, these MPEG compressed files don't use the MPEG, MPG, or MPE file extension, but instead one that you're probably more familiar with. Some MPEG audio and video file types include MP4V, MP4, XVID, M4V, F4V, AAC, MP1, MP2, MP3, MPG2, M1V, M1A, M2A, MPA, MPV, M4A, and M4B. If you follow those links, you can see that M4V files, for example, are MPEG-4 Video files, meaning they belong to the MPEG-4 compression standard. They don't use the MPEG file extension because they have a specific use with Apple products and are therefore more easily identified with the M4V file extension and can open with programs that are assigned to use that specific suffix. They are, however, still MPEG files. Still Can't Open Your File? It can get pretty confusing when you're dealing with audio and video file codecs and their corresponding file extensions. If your file doesn't open with the suggestions from above, it's possible that you're misreading the file extension or not fully understanding what kind of MPEG file you're dealing with. Let's use the M4V example again. If you're trying to convert or open a MPEG video file that you've downloaded through the iTunes Store, it probably uses the M4V file extension. At first look, you could say that you're trying to open a MPEG video file because that's true, but it's also true that the particular MPEG video file you have is a protected video that can only be opened if your computer is authorized to play the file. However, to say that you have just a generic MPEG video file that you need to open doesn't necessarily mean much. It could be M4V, as we've seen, or it could be something entirely different, like an MP4, which doesn't have the same playback protection as M4V files. The point here is to pay close attention to what the file extension says. If it's an MP4, then treat it as such and use an MP4 player, but just make sure you do the same for anything else you may have, whether it's a MPEG audio or video file.