MKV on MAC ?!

Discussion in 'OS X' started by Elitward, May 16, 2006.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2006

    I notice that MKV files are getting more and more popular around us.
    But it looks that these files are not supported very well on MAC.
    Maybe it's because many MKV files use ReadVideo9 as video codec, which is not popular in MAC world.
    As far as I know, the only software to decode Real Media File is RealPlayer, and RealPlayer do not support MKV files. So ...!!

    Does anyone have an idea to deal with MKV files?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2006
    In my experience, I've seen most MKV files use the DVIX and XVID codecs for video. My suggestion would be to try VLC or MPlayer, but I doubt they support RealVideo9.
  3. macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2005
    On the moon.
    All of my MKV files that I have (all anime) use H.264 or just good ol DivX.

    Just get VLC for it, and Mplayer, and you should be good to go.
  4. macrumors 68000

    Oct 8, 2003
    PS. Its "Mac" not "MAC", unless you're talking about running videos on a network card.
  5. macrumors 68000

    Feb 23, 2006
    Call me an idiot, but I've honestly never seen anything in H.264. Ever.

    EDIT: Not to mention, none of my computers are nearly fast enough to do it anyway.
  6. macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I have, I encode stuff myself. And standard-def H.264 plays fine on my 2-year-old PowerBook G4 with a 1.25GHz CPU. All of your computers are slower than that?

    H.264 != HD
  7. macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005

    VLC will play .mkv files just fine on OS X. I've been able to watch 720 x 480 .mkv files on my old PowerMac G3 450. Sure, the CPU was under 100% load but it was completely watchable.

    I've found that h.264 is showing up a lot more now for standard definition as well. You get up to a 20% savings on file size when compared to MPEG-4/DivX/XviD.
  8. macrumors regular

    May 28, 2005
    Yeah. I encode a lot of things in h264 inside of mkv.

    VLC doesn't handle .mkv well (at least not on a 1.5 ghz powerbook) with h264 inside of it. VLC itself isn't the best .mkv player and combining that with the extra proc needed for h264 makes for a poor showing sometimes.

    I'm hoping someone will improve mplayer since it handles them beautifully on my linux box
  9. macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    I just generally try to steer clear of .mkv files. I prefer .mp4 or .avi. with whatever video codec was used.
  10. macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2006
    60% less mkv frustration

    Until Matroska decides to address the Mac Community...
    I have found a way to play mkv files, with 60% less frustration.
    This works for me, using a G4/400 and Mplayer osx
    1. Get Info the mkv file
    2. Change to extension to wmv. Save as wmv and that's it.
    3. Playback improved, and of course with a G4/400 I'm not running
    anything else.
    Btw, my display is set to 800x600 100 Hz, Million colors
    Best regards to all
    6/30/2006 :)
  11. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    Whakatane, New Zealand
    Several months ago a Windows-using friend gave me an MKV file, just to see whether I could play it (he couldn't). To this day I've never managed to get it working. The latest version of VLC comes back with:

    mkv: unknow codec id=`V_REAL/RV40'
    main: no suitable decoder module for fourcc `undf'.
    VLC probably does not support this sound or video format.

    It's obviously Real-format video, but I don't know what that "undf" is. Any suggestions?

    Edit: The sound plays, just not the video. I also tried MPlayer, which also plays the sound. I don't get a video error in MPlayer, it just sits there eternally bouncing in the Dock.
  12. macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2006
    AFAIK, there is no open-source real video decoder, nor will there be anytime soon, and I doubt Real cares much about Matroska, so I doubt files like that will ever work on PowerPC. It might on Intel if someone gets MPlayer's binary codec pack to work on Mac OS X, which I don't think has been done. Also, the undf is because VLC uses four character codes (like 'XVID', 'avc1', 'mp4a', etc) internally to map codecs, but Matroska uses strings to identify codecs, so VLC has to map Matroska's strings to a fourcc manually, and it looks like no-one's added the mappings for the Real codecs since no sane encoder uses them in Matroska. Where are you guys finding these files anyway? The only Real codecs in Matroska I've seen are test files for proving Matroska's capabilities.

    ASF (the container that .wmv files are) and Matroska are two completely different formats entirely, and are not compatible in the least. Unless the file was actually ASF and got renamed to MKV for whatever stupid reason, this should do nothing but confuse MPlayer, but I think it ignores the extension anyway. At any rate, there just might be something for Mac users pretty soon...
  13. macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Just out of curiousity will VLC use Real's codec if you have Realplayer installed? The OS X version isn't as bad as the Windows one. I need it sometimes too.

    Additionally, h.264 in .mkv enclosure playback is terrible in VLC.
  14. macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2002
  15. macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    O RLY?
  16. macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2006
    Not last I tried.

    One thing I didn't know until I just checked is that MPlayer bundles the Real codecs for MPlayer OS X - (I thought they would only be part of MPlayer's Linux codec pack.) I doubt they work with anything other than MPlayer, but I'll have to try the Real-in-Matroska test files I have when I get home.

    @Fukui: There's a difference between a decoder and a player. MPlayer uses closed-source codecs for Indeo, WMV9, and Real Video, among others, which have to be installed seperately.
  17. macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2006
    The real problem with MKVs are that since such a file is only a container, not a format, getting one and having it play is kind of a mixed bag. The only ones I've had trouble with so far contained WMV10 video, which at the time (still?) wasn't supported on the Mac.
  18. macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2002
    I think the Real ones are made using Helix, I also heard there was partial support for VC1 (WMV9) in VLC, but not much has come of it. Some may be hacked too, but I think the real codec may be legit.
  19. macrumors newbie


    Aug 11, 2006
    i did a website about the mkv on Mac.
    It's Mkv4Mac
    It's originally in french but i'm working on the translation. Some part of the website is already in english.
    For mkv file with real Media video, you must use Mplayer with additionnal codec.
    How to install what you need
    After you can see this part :
    How to use Mplayer with Mkv Files
  20. macrumors 6502a


    May 7, 2006
    MKVs are lovely looking, but my 2.16ghz CD MBP with 2gb of RAM can't handle a 1080p movie...:(
  21. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 22, 2007
    Screw MKV

    I'm sorry, but I don't undertnad the point of even having the MKV format. It sounds like a fancy way to package a normal movie, that will end up requiring the user to download more spotty software in order to play it...

    WHY use this when you have so many widely playable options: WMV, AVI, MPEG, H.264, MP4, etc. etc.
  22. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2006
    Western Australia
    It's part of an evil plan to take over the world. heh, there's always someone that has to do something differently *sigh*
  23. macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Try this quicktime component
    It was recommend to me in another thread, not had chance to try it out yet but worth a go.
  24. macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    MKV mostly exists because it got relatively popular in the anime fansubbing community due to its ability to contain soft-subtitles and do mixed frame rates. But that's about it. Why it's gotten popular in other circles is beyond me.
  25. macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2006
    Zanzibar Land
    I've only seen it in anime as well. VLC and Mplayer have worked great for me. But when I started using front row, it had to be quicktime compatible. So I used this to extract the avi's or whatever is in there. You get to pick which audio/subtitle track you want in the mix, and pops the avi's right out of MKV. Maybe it'll be of some use.

    P.S. Does quicktime allow for soft subtitles??

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