3GP stores video streams as MPEG-4 or H.263, and audio streams as AMR-NB or AAC-LC formats. 3GP files are always big-endian, storing and transferring the most significant bytes first. 3GP also describes image sizes and bandwidth, so content is correctly sized for mobile display screens.
3GP files are viewable on a PC using Media Player Classic, MPlayer, QuickTime, VLC Player, Xine or Zoom Player.
3GP video files can be converted to many other video formats using either 3GP Video Converter or a combination of MPEG Streamclip and QuickTime Alternative. MPlayer’s MEncoder also can convert 3GP video files (If MPlayer can read it, MEncoder can convert it). SUPER(C), by eRightSoft, is a freeware converter which can convert 3GP to many other formats. It supports every major video format and most audio formats. It also has the ability to encode to a different screen resolution or a bitrate.
Most 3G enabled phones have support for this format and most even capture videos in this format. When viewed on a PC screen the video quality is similar to that seen on the mobile screen.
Often security cameras use this format, as you can fit hours of footage in a small amount of space. This is also why mobiles use the 3GP format.
In practical implementations for Videos, 3GP is used in 2 flavors:
* 3GPP (for GSM Based Phones)
* 3GPP2 (for CDMA Based Phones)