Understanding recording file formats

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Zoom local recordings and cloud recordings save in MP4, M4A, M3U, TXT, CC.VTT, and VTT formats.

Note: With version 3.5 and above, the MP4 recording is a single-resolution with fixed frame rate format to ensure better compatibility with media players. Versions prior to 3.5 are created using individual MP4 files and are multi-resolution with variable frame rate format.

How to understand Zoom recording file formats

After you have found your local recordings or viewed your cloud recordings on the web portal, you will see some of the following file formats:

  • MP4: Audio/Video file that is named video[random number].mp4 by default.
    For example: video98796876.mp4 
  • M4A: Audio-only file that is named audio[random number].m4a by default.
    For example: audio98796876.m4a
  • M3U: Playlist file to play all individual MP4 files (Windows only) that is named playback[random number].m3u by default. 
    For example: playback98796876.m3u
  • TXT: Text file that is named chat.txt by default. This file contains in-meeting chat messages that were saved. A chat file saved locally will include chat messages sent to everyone and any chat messages sent to/from the participant who saves the chat.
  • CC.VTT: Text file that contains closed captioning for the cloud recording.
  • VTT: Text file that contains the audio transcription for the cloud recording.

If recording separate audio tracks for each participant (local recording only), each participant's audio track will be named audio[Name][random number].m4a by default. For example, audioJohnSmith98796876.m4a

Note: Recording screen sharing uses about 20MB of storage per hour while recording video uses about 200MB of storage an hour. This is an approximation, since the resolution and types of video or screen sharing content can affect the amount of storage used.

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