Definative GUIDE for converting .MKV files to .MP4 files for PS3 usage!

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by MacSeda, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. MacSeda macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2008
    Audio will be downmixed to 2 channel AAC

    Before you begin reading I would like to point out that this method was in no way shape or form created by me. This guide was created with extensive google searching, which was done for you at this point so the process can be simplified. You will have to download third party software/shareware for this method to work.

    This is a step-by-step guide I put together because for days I've been searching the forums attempting to gather information together to form a single conclusion on how to do this. For a M$ computer this task seems relatively easy, but it can be for a Mac+PS3 user as well. First off Playstation 3 has a limit on their HDD's due to FAT32 format. Seems to be only with MP4 though and in this tutorial I will guide you on how to split your MKV files to quickly convert them into working PS3 playable MP4's.

    The tools you will need are as follows:

    (Direct download links included)
    You will need Quicktime Pro + Perian.
    If you have a mac (which you already should) Quicktime is default installed on your computer. Perian is located here.
    You will also need MKVToolnix GUI ver. which can be located here.
    NullRiver MediaLink MediaLink Homepage
    ...and lastly you'll need a few minutes. NOT HOURS!

    I'm just going to go out on a limb and assume you already have a .MKV file on your hands.

    IF YOUR MKV FILE IS SMALLER THAN 4GB ie. SOME 720p films SKIP THE FIRST STEP please check the info on your MKV file and check the file size! (if you are using a 1080p file over 4GB please proceed)
    Step 1.) Go to your applications folder and open the newly installed program MKVMerge. Click the add button and select the MKV file we're going to split in half.

    Uncheck your subtitle track(s) in the track window. Leave audio and video alone. At the top of the program click "Global". Check enable splitting and tick off "...after this size". To the blank box next to that enter in "4000M" without quotes. Also make sure you enter in "2" for max number of files.

    Go back to your input screen and look at the bottom of the program you will see "Output filename" set it to somewhere you can find it, ie. your Desktop. Click on "Start Muxing".

    To sum that process up, that will take you MKV file and split it into 2 files with the extension .MKA. Now on your desktop, or wherever you have saved your files to with MKVMerge. Both files are now under 4GB if you have a 1080p movie.

    Step 2.) For those who are converting the ever-famous 720p movies that are usually under 4GB welcome to the show.

    Open up Quicktime Pro -> File -> Open File... select your first MKA file or (the beginning of your movie) Let the movie load you will see the playbar filling up with a darker color.

    After the movie is fully loaded into Quicktime Pro you will then go to File -> Export...

    You're going to save your movie to "Movie to MPEG-4" in the dropdown menu and here's the fun part.

    Click Options and make sure that MP4 is selected in the File Format dropdown bar and not MP4 (ISMA). The video format will be Video Passthrough. This means you will lose NO quality whatsoever. That's right NO QUALITY LOSS!

    Click audio from top to bottom select AAC_LC (Music) -> 128kbps -> Stereo -> 48.000 kHz -> Best hit "Okay" then "Save" this should take about 20 minutes.

    Just so you know Quicktime Pro can multitask so you can repeat Step 2 for the second part of your movie!

    Grab a snack...

    Once you have two MP4 files on your desktop (or wherever you saved them) they are ready to go onto your PS3. You may or may not have trouble streaming these files to your PS3 depending on your router/home network activity, so I will explain how to store them on your PS3 HDD.

    In the video section of your XMB on PS3 click on MediaLink Icon (my preferred program for this) and navigate to the folder where you saved your new MP4 files. Once you've found them hit triangle and then copy. This process takes a few minutes.

    And there you have it folks. No quality loss in your video and NO RE-ENCODING anything but the audio. 6 hours? or 30 minutes? you decide.

    EDIT: If the passthrough option seems to be unavailable no matter what you do, try waiting until the movie is fully loaded into QT Pro and then hit Window -> Movie Properties then remove or uncheck the subtitle track and try again.
  2. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    wow this is an amazing guide!!! even though i dont have a PS3 it still comes in handy for converting to mp4 haha, do you have anything that can convert DTS audio to AC3 haha?
  3. MacSeda thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2008
    Can't think of any methods offhand. This is THE FASTEST way to convert these mkv files to mp4 format. I wrote this guide strictly so that others didn't have to go and do what I did. :apple::apple:
  4. MacSeda thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2008
  5. chrisl macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2008

    Thanks a LOT! I've been looking all over for a guide on how to do this on a Mac, and I also tried to figure it out myself but without any luck. Again, thanks a lot for posting the guide - I'd buy you a beer if I could! :)
  6. Rockstar2 macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2008

    first: thx for the guide.
    second: my problem is, that i can´t use the "passthrough" option. When i want to use it, it´s grey. i can´t click it. Can you help me?

    i do it exactly from step 2. but i don´t have a MKA file. My file called .MKV
    Open the file->playbar filling is ready->export-> using MP4 (not MP4 ISMA)-> no passthrough

    Perian is installed, quicktime pro, too. OSX 10.5.5. can you help me? thx!

    greets rockstar
  7. chrisl macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2008
    BTW, do you think it would be possible to use ffmpeg/ffmpegX for the recoding instead of Quicktime? ffmpeg should be able to do the audio recoding to AC3.....
  8. DPA macrumors 65816


    Sorry, but I have a major noob at posting question: what does BTW stand for?

    Oops: right after I hit "post reply" I figured it out please correct me if I'm wrong but I think it means "by the way".
  9. MacSeda thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2008
    Sorry for taking so long to respond. In order to get the "passthrough" option do as follows. When the movie is fully loaded into quicktime pro, click on Window -> Movie properties and uncheck and/or delete the "subtitle" track. Then give it another shot ;)

    I've have tried other audio codecs using this method as well as other programs. I gave up on ffmpegx after about 5 minutes worth of using it. So far the only downfall of this method is downmixing surround sound to 2 channel stereo. For me, it's fine because I only have 2 speakers on my 57" Mitsubishi DLP. Sound is still crisp and clear, but I'm not entirely sure how to use AC3 5.1 or AC3 in general with this method, it seems the PS3 likes AAC.
  10. Rockstar2 macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2008
    Yes, great. That´s work. Thx for all.

  11. lucas107 macrumors regular

    Dec 31, 2008
    hey just thought i should let you know that that profile for mp4 should also work for xbox360 and appletv. i would suggest upping the bitrate of the audio from 128 to 160 if you can that way you can still be good for xbox ps3 and appletv. xbox and ps3 can go higher but appletv cant. to the guy who wants to put ac3 in the mp4 you can but it wont play in ps3 or xbox or appletv so im not sure what the point would be. and if you want to convert dts to ac3 the easiest program is dts2ac3 but sadly its for windows and not mac. and super great guide btw wifes dad will for sure find this helpful.
  12. cubby03 macrumors member

    Nov 21, 2008
    Thanks for the write up. My QuickTime Pro will not open the files as it says it is not a .mov file or movie file. Any ideas on what to do?

    It says Perian is installed as I thought this program would allow the files to be opened in QuickTime Pro. Thanks for any help you can give me.
  13. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2006
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    Thanks for this. I wonder if I may need this anymore though. Whenever I download shows in 720p to watch on my MacBook Pro, it's always been annoying when I had to connect to my TV. I have the DVI to HDMI cable. I do have a PS3 so this could be a nice alternative - But I did recently get a Samsung 52" 750 series (ln52a750) TV and if I'm not mistaken, that lets me play xvids at least off of a USB drive (or off of something - I'll have to double check.

    I'll keep this info handy though.
  14. MacSeda thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2008
    First make sure QT Pro is completely up to date. Quit completely out of QT. Uninstall/reinstall Perian and restart your computer. Give that a shot ;)

    Well this is for MKV files not XvID. Completely different. This is so you DO NOT have to re-encode or "recompress" your video and change the container to an mp4 file. Works great, it's quick, easy, and fast.
  15. petvas macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
    I don't see why someone should bother converting mkv files to mp4 for the PS3. The best way to get these files without any quality loss and with Dolby Digital 5.1 on the PS3, is to use a nice little program called MKV2VOB. Unfortunately this is only for PC but that's why we have VMWare or Parallels ;)
    MKV2VOB works great and it is really a matter of one click...It can also burn a subtitle into the resulting m2ts file and it converts DTS to Dolby Digital 5.1
  16. Odd Man Out macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2008
  17. petvas macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
    Well, I have a 46" Panasonic Full HD TV and I don't see it. Maybe the loss is so minimal, it can't be seen. MKV2VOB demuxes most mkvs without reencoding. Only when you apply subtitles it needs to reencode, or when the audio stream is DTS. In any way it is better to have an m2ts file that the PS3 plays so much better than mp4 files and you get Dolby Digital 5.1 also. I just wish there was a Mac version of MKV2VOB
  18. cba2m5 macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2009
    Problems with mkvmerge v2.3

    Please tell me I'm an idiot and doing something wrong here, but I can't get my mkv file to load in the mkvmerge GUI. It's a 4.3 GB movie and when I try to add the program just goes dumb, doesn't add, freezes up. I have re-downloaded the program twice to make sure I didn't do anything wrong there. Any ideas?

    Oh, and Happy New Year!
  19. cubby03 macrumors member

    Nov 21, 2008
    Thank you very much. I just quit and restarted Quick Time Pro and it worked. Probably should have tried that first before asking. :)
  20. MacSeda thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2008
    This guide is so people can use relatively small software. If I could give you an exact number on how much room VMware and Windows take up on your computer I would, but I don't have neither. I switched from Windows so I didn't have to deal with their nonsense, and refuse to go back.

    MKV2VOB may or may not be easy as pie, but some of us don't want all of that software just to convert a movie. That's just plain nonsense.

    Did you unrar the MKV file? Be sure it's an MKV file before you try loading in that program. If not removing/reinstalling and a good restart usually works for me if I ever have an issue.
  21. cba2m5 macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2009

    Yea the MKV file did not need to be unrar'd(?) I have uninstalled and reinstalled with still no luck. I even tried with different movies but still no go. I don't know, its not that big of deal, right now I just convert, lose a little quatlity but its good with me. I did use my quicktime pro to extract the mkv successfully, but the file was 4.37 GB and when streamed to my PS3 I get Bluray quality image but no sound, so im guessing thats the dumb 4 gig limit on the PS3. Anyways enough blabbering, thanks for the response Ill just keep playing with it and see if I cant get the MKVmerge to work.
  22. MacSeda thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2008
    Yeah bud, sorry I couldn't help ya out there. MKVmerge worked for me the first time I installed it.

    ..And yes that no video only audio is due it seems to that 4gb limit.

    Maybe I'm misunderstanding but why would you use QT Pro to extract the MKV? Either you have the plaing old *.mkv file or a *.rar file which the MKV would be extracted from.
  23. cba2m5 macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2009
    Oh, I meant that I used your tutorial about using Quicktime Pro to save the MKV as MP4. I just bypassed the splitting part with MKVmerge hoping that would work. My other solution, though not the one I want is to tranfer the MKV file from my G5 to my Macbook then back again. Dunno if its the PPC and Intel that makes the difference or what but the MKVmerge works fine on the ol' unibody :)
  24. ~Shard~ macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    Just wanted to say thanks for this guide, I have been looking for a relatively painless way to do this very thing!

    So if I understand correctly, the only downside to this method is that you will lose the 5.1 surround sound and be stuck with 2-channel stereo? Pity, as the HD experience just isn't the same if you only have 720p/1080p video but no surround sound. :eek: ;) But, beggars can't be choosers I suppose - at least this method works and it is relatively quick and painless! Thanks again. :)
  25. MacSeda thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2008
    Yeah try it in the Intel. I convert these movies on my Macbook. The creator of this even states this

    "They're both universal binaries. As I don't own a Mac and cannot test how well the binaries work I'm offering both so that you have an alternative to try if something goes wrong."

    So PPC could very well be the case. I can almost promise that it will work on your Macbook.

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