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|Filename extension||.3gp, .3g2|
|Internet media type||video/3gpp +, audio/3gpp, video/3gpp2, audio/3gpp2|
|File formats category -|
3GP (3GPP file format) is a multimedia container format defined by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) for 3G UMTS multimedia services. It is used on 3G mobile phones but can also be played on some 2G and 4G phones.
3GP is defined in ETSI 3GPP technical specification. 3GP is required file format for video and associated speech/audio media types and timed text in ETSI 3GPP technical specifications for IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) and Transparent end-to-end Packet-switched Streaming Service (PSS).  
The 3GP and 3G2 file formats are both structurally based on the ISO base media file format defined in ISO/IEC 14496-12 - MPEG-4 Part 12 , but older versions of the 3GP file format did not use some of its features. 3GP and 3G2 are a container formats similar to MPEG-4 Part 14 (MP4), which is also based on MPEG-4 Part 12. The 3GP and 3G2 file format were designed to decrease storage and bandwidth requirements in order to accommodate mobile phones.
3GP and 3G2 are similar standards, but with some differences:
- 3GPP file format was designed for GSM-based Phones and may have filename extension .3gp
- 3GPP2 file format was designed for CDMA-based Phones and may have filename extension .3g2
The 3GP file format stores video streams as MPEG-4 Part 2 or H.263 or MPEG-4 Part 10 (AVC/H.264), and audio streams as AMR-NB, AMR-WB, AMR-WB+, AAC-LC, HE-AAC v1 or Enhanced aacPlus (HE-AAC v2). 3GPP allowed use of AMR and H.263 codecs in the ISO base media file format (MPEG-4 Part 12), because 3GPP specified the usage of the Sample Entry and template fields in the ISO base media file format as well as defining new boxes to which codecs refer. These extensions was registered by the registration authority for code-points in ISO base media file format ("MP4 Family" files).  For the storage of MPEG-4 media specific information in 3GP files, the 3GP specification refers to MP4 and the AVC file format, which are also based on the ISO base media file format. The MP4 and the AVC file format specifications described usage of MPEG-4 content in the ISO base media file format.
The 3G2 file format can store the same video streams and most of audio streams used in the 3GP file format. In addition, 3G2 stores audio streams as EVRC, EVRC-B, EVRC-WB, 13K (QCELP), SMV or VMR-WB, which was specified by 3GPP2 for use in ISO base media file format. The 3G2 specification also defined some enhancements to 3GPP Timed Text. 3G2 file format does not store Enhanced aacPlus (HE-AAC v2) and AMR-WB+ audio streams. For the storage of MPEG-4 media (MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-4 Part 3 - AAC, MPEG-4 Part 10 - H.264/AVC) in 3G2 files, the 3G2 specification refers to the MP4 file format and the AVC file format specification, which described usage of this content in the ISO base media file format. For the storage of H.263 and AMR content 3G2 specification refers to the 3GP file format specification.
Some cell phones use the .mp4 extension for 3GP video.
A 3GP file is always big-endian, storing and transferring the most significant bytes first. It also contains descriptions of image sizes and bitrate.
- Most 3G capable mobile phones support the playback and recording of video in 3GP format (memory, maximum filesize for playback and recording, and resolution limits exist and vary).
- Some newer/higher-end phones without 3G capabilities may also playback and record in this format (again, with said limitations).
- In iMovie '08, a movie exported using the "Tiny" setting is saved as a .3gp file and can be played on a Mac, an iPhone (as well as any other handset able to load and play the file), an iPod touch or using Apple's .Mac Web Gallery service.
- Audio imported from CD onto a PlayStation 3 when it is set to encode to the MPEG-4 AAC codec will copy onto USB devices in the 3GP format.
When transferred to a computer, 3GP movies can be viewed on Linux, Macintosh, and Windows platforms with MPlayer and VLC media player. Programs such as Media Player Classic, The KMPlayer, Totem, RealPlayer, QuickTime, and GOM Player can also be used.
3GP files can be encoded and decoded for example with FFmpeg.
- ↑ ETSI 3GPP 3GPP TS 26.244; Transparent end-to-end packet switched streaming service (PSS); 3GPP file format (3GP) Retrieved on 2009-06-02.
- ↑ ETSI (2009-04) ETSI TS 126 234 V8.2.0 (2009-04); 3GPP TS 26.234; Transparent end-to-end Packet-switched Streaming Service (PSS); Protocols and codecs Page 58. Retrieved on 2009-06-02.
- ↑ ETSI (2009-01) ETSI TS 126 140 V8.0.0 (2009-01); 3GPP TS 26.140; Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS); Media formats and codes Page 11. Retrieved on 2009-06-02.
- ↑ ETSI (2009-01) ETSI TS 126 141 V8.0.0 (2009-01); 3GPP TS 26.141; IP Multimedia System (IMS) Messaging and Presence; Media formats and codecs Page 10. Retrieved on 2009-06-02.
- ↑ http://www.3gpp2.org/Public_html/specs/index.cfm
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Proposal of ISO Base Media File Format white paper
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 3GPP2 C.S0050-B Version 1.0, 3GPP2 File Formats for Multimedia Services
- ↑ ISO/IEC 14496-12:2008, Information technology -- Coding of audio-visual objects -- Part 12: ISO base media file format
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Registered types - Codecs
- ↑ 3GPP2 C.S0050-B Version 1.0, 3GPP2 File Formats for Multimedia Services
- ↑ FFmpeg, General Documentation, Supported File Formats and Codecs
- 3GPP codecs specifications; 3G and beyond / GSM, 26 series
- 3GPP file format (3GP); 3GPP TS 26.244; Transparent end-to-end packet switched streaming service (PSS) - specification
- 3GPP2 specifications
- 3GPP2 File Formats for Multimedia Services; 3GPP2 C.S0050-B Version 1.0 - specification
- RFC 3839, MIME Type Registrations for 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Multimedia files
- RFC 4393, MIME Type Registrations for 3GPP2 Multimedia Files