3GP - 3rd Generation Partnership Project

What is a 3GP file

3GP is known as a multimedia file container created by 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project) for the use of video and audio to be compatible with 3G capable mobile devices such as the iPhone. Phones without 3G (2G and 4G) are capable of viewing these files as well but with some limitations. 3GP files can be edited, transferred, and viewed on mobile devices with video capturing abilities. The Playstation 3 and Nintendo DSi are capable of viewing and transferring these files to and from USB devices. The 3G2 file is similar to 3GP but the limitations and extensions are different.

The 3GP file type is based on the MPEG-14 structures. Bandwidth and storage requirements have been reduced by 3GP to allow phone users to transport, edit, and store the files online. Video components are stored as MPEG-4 Part 2, H.263, or MPEG-4 Part 10 (AVC/H.264), and the audio is stored as AMR-WB, AMR-WB+, AMR-NB, AAC-LC, HE-AAC v1, or Enhanced aacPlus (HE-AAC v2). 3GPP can use AMR and H.263 codecs which are stored in the ISO base media file format because it specifies the Sample Entry and new boxes for the codec to refer to. The Playstation 3 can encode audio to the MPEG-4 AAC codec to transfer files in the 3GP format onto a USB device. The Nintendo DSi also supports the use of 3GP files via the SD card capabilities.

Here's a small, but not exhaustive list of programs that can open 3GP documents:

  • Adobe Flash Professional
  • Windows Media Player
  • QuickTime Player
  • VLC Media Player
  • Nokia Suite