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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a MKV ?

The MKV (or Matroska) is a multi-media container. It is a box in which it is possible to put flows (video, audio, subtitles...) and which will manage the synchronization of these flows (so that the video and audio are read at the same time for example).
Since this is a container, it is thus not a codec: it contains flows which were coded by codecs. There are various containers: AVI, MPEG, OGM, RMVB... But the latter cannot contain whatever (it is impossible to put a RV10 in a AVI, or a OGG in a RMVB).

How do I read a MKV?

Consult the section envisaged for this purpose here.

Which are the advantages of using MKV?

The advantages of using MKV are many:
  • It supports almost all video formats (DivX, XviD, MPEG, RealVideo, VP6, H264, x264...)
  • It supports almost all audio formats Ogg, RealAudio, Aac, Mp3...)
  • It can include several sound tracks (a AVI can contain only two of them)
  • It can include several subtitle tracks of various formats (Srt, VobSub, SSA...)
  • It supports subdivisions into chapters.
  • It allows tagging of audio tracks and subtitles.
  • The overhead is null verily voire negative (if you for example put a video track of 610 Mo and a audio track of 90 Mo, a AVI file will make 713 Mo then a MKV file will make a hardly 700 Mo).
  • It makes it possible to integrate enclosures (such as movie posters, Cover DVD, and trailers)
  • It resists the errors better then the other containers.
  • It is a open-source program

Can I read a MKV on a Multiformat player?

Yes. A multi-media hard disk exists finally: Dvico TViX HD M-5100. Dvico have implemented all the last technologies in its product headlight. Here we find a compatibility with the video files HD until 1920 x 1080 and with the format H.264, which is still quite extraordinary. A complete test carried out by Tom's Hardware can be found here. It is to date the only multiformat player to allow the reading of MKV files. Without this it will be necessary for you to connect your Mac to your TV with the adequate cable or to re-code your files in a format readable by your multiformat player, but this will unfortunately result in a loss of quality.

How do I see the content of the MKV?

You can install my application iMkvExtract. This will allow you to see the different elements which are included in MKV and you can choose to extract from it totally or partly.

How do I extract the content of a MKV?

To extract the contents of a MKV, you need iMkvExtract. It is a graphical interface of MKVExtract. iMkvExtract is a tool which allowed to extract its different elements on MKV easily. Once this tool is downloaded and placed in your file go to Applications and double-click above.
To extract the content, select the MKV of which you want to extract the contents and click ”choose”, as well as the target repertory (the office by defect). There does not remain you any more check all tracks that applies (that is to say, all the files that you wish to extract) and click on the button "To extract".

How do I edit the content of a MKV ?

First of all with one understands by "publishing the contents". It is to add, remove or modify contents (tracks, chapters, enclosures...). It is necessary to install MkvMerge GUI include in MKVToolnix. To add or remove contents launch MkvMerge GUI and add your MKV by clicking on "add". Then add the tracks desired by clicking again on "Add" or strip those which you want to remove. If you wish so you can also delete chapters and enclosures by using the options "No chapters" and "No attachments", or add some while going in the onglets "Attachments" and "Total" respectively.
To modify the content, you must extract the tracks which you wish to modify with iMkvExtract. Make then the wished modifications (for example convert a audio track, edit subtitles SRT...). The last stage is the removal of the old track, then add the new one. And to finish, click on "Start muxing" to remuxe the whole piece...

How do I cut a MKV ?

To cut a MKV, use the tool MkvMerge GUI include in MKVToolnix. To launch your interface, go to the Applications repertory and double-click on the file mkvmerge GUI.
Select your MKV while clicking on "Add", then go in "Global". Then select "Enable splitting". You have then the choice to cut your file according to criteria's of duration or size (practical for the rips in 2 cds or to be able to burn a file which is too bulky). You can also bind the files between them (automatic passage of one at others during the reading). Once your options are configured, click on the button "Start muxing".
If you want to cut a file in two pieces which contains the same size or duration, indicate "2" as value in "max. number files" to avoid finding yourself with a third file containing the superfluous data or time (note that the attachment will not be cut into two but duplicated!) Also make sure to specify a file name for the targeted file which is different from the source file.s

How do I unify two MKV-files?

First of all, is one understands here by joining, it is to "paste" a MKV behind another in a single file. To make this, it is enough by using the tool MkvMerge GUI which is included in MKVToolnix. To launch your interface, go to the Applications repertory and double-click on the file MKVMerge GUI.
Select the first MKV and click on "Add". Then select the second MKV and click on "Append". You can repeat the last operation by joining as much of the MKV as you wish, at the condition of they are compatible (even the numbers and types of tracks)! It does not remain you any more click on "start muxing" to mux the whole unit.

Can I put a MKV in another MKV?

Of course! There are no limits concerning the inclusion of the files between them. The name "Matroska" make elsewhere reference to the Russian headstocks which encase ones in the others. There are two ways by including a MKV in another: like track or in attachment. Remember just include a MKV as track in another will cause simply in adding the contents.

Can I add a menu in a MKV?

In theory yes, the MKV was constructed to support it. But the filters does not enable the reading of menus and the tools enables the extraction of a DVD is (for the moment) not yet at the same level of it. If you wish to keep yourself updated this website is highly recommended:
Official Matroska Website

How do I burn a MKV?

The procedure is exactly the same one as to burn other file.

Is there any minimum configuration requirements for being able to read a MKV?

In theory there is not, but in reality it all depends on the formats of the video and audio tracks. Some video formats like Real Video requires a more powerful machine then what is required with the AVI format. If people report their observations of MKV to me, I will be able to complete this section.

How do I add subtitles in 16/9?

I have only found a way to do so with MPlayer. Which means that you add it before the reading options: -vf=expand=:::::16/9 -spualign=2 or you edit the config file of Mplayer with the terminal : pico .mplayer/config Then add the lines in the file: vf=expand=:::::16/9
Note, this method only works with the format of 16/9. When using another format it is necessary that you put a # before the lines.

How do I convert a MKV to make it able to read for example a Multiformat Player an iPod video?

You have several possibilities to do so. If you have Perian already installed you can use QuickTime for re-coding the files to the desired format. Otherwise you can also use for example VisualHub which allows re-encoding into many different formats.
To re-encode in avi, you can also use the software MKVtools. Note, each re-encode results in a certain loss of quality.

How display Matroska video files in Quick Look ?

Using Quick Look in Leopard, you can view the contents of a file without even opening it.
  • First, you need to install Perian for mkv support in QuickTime.
  • Then you need to add this code in Quicktime Player Ensuite vous devez ajouter quelques lignes dans un fichier de QuickTime Player :
    • Edit QuickTime’s /Contents/info.plist
    • Add the following code just before the last 2 tags </dict></plist>
      <string>Matroska Video File</string>
    • Save it.
  • In Terminal : touch /Applications/QuickTime\
Et voila that’s all: