MKV file conversion

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by slayer666, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. slayer666 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    #1
    How do I convert an MKV video file so I can move it to itunes and watch it on my apple tv any help would be great
     
  2. bhayes444 macrumors 6502a

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  3. iMarc845 macrumors member

    iMarc845

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    Jul 3, 2008
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    Rockland County, NY
    #3
    Handbrake FTW!

    Handbrake is absolutely the best tool for the job. It has presets for many devices (including all three versions of the AppleTV), uses as much CPU as your system can muster (which means faster conversions), it will do batch conversions and it's free!

    That's a total package that can't be beat!
    :D
     
  4. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    Estonia
    #4
    There might be cases, where you wouldn't want to transcode the movie at all (what HandBrake will always do). If your video stream is already encoded in AVC, you might just repack it from MKV into MP4 container and convert audio on the go (which is very cheap compared to video conversion). You'd convert audio if it's in DTS (not supported at all by iTunes ecosystem) or has only AC3 surround track. For iTunes compatibility you will want to always have an AAC stereo soundtrack as the default (will play on all Apple devices) and if surround sound is needed, additional AC3 5.1 track can be included in the MP4 file.
    Most of those tools ought to know how to handle the iTunes file compatibility. Just skipping the video (re)conversion (provided your MKV already has iTunes compatible video) saves you a lot of time.
    I use MP4tools to achieve this, but there are other tools available. Also, the author of these tools is active on this very forum.
     
  5. JackieInCo macrumors 601

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    Colorado
    #5
    I use iFlicks. It adds all the metadata and artwork so that the movies and shows look like they were bought in iTunes. Only takes about 5-20 minutes depending upon the file size. I don't see a need for handbrake unless you want to make the file size smaller.
     
  6. jdag macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #6
    I use iVI. It is similar to iFlicks and does a great job to doing what is needed to create the M4V file and the compatible audio streams, plug in metadata/artwork, and load into iTunes. Super easy to use, and you can batch jobs and set up watch folders if you really want to automate.
     
  7. JackieInCo macrumors 601

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    Colorado
    #7
    Either choice will work. I gave up using Handbrake for converting MKV files to M4V because handbrake would take several hours to do what iFlicks can do in just minutes. I don't want to give up four hours per movie when another application can do the same task in five minutes.
     
  8. WSFrazier macrumors regular

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    Feb 9, 2006
    #8
    Do not use Handbrake for something like this. Chances are your MKV file already has the compatible video, and audio (sometimes the DTS needs to changed to AAC or AC3).

    Handbrake will re-encode entirely, not only wasting time, but also dropping the quality.

    MP4Tools seems to be the best I have used personally, as it actually converts DTS and other audio formats and keeps the 6 channels. Also does meta tagging all in one. Subler isn't bad, but doesn't handle audio formats as well (DTS and HD formats).

    Not sure about iFlicks, does it do a full re-encode like Handbrake or just change the container?
     
  9. mic j macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #9
    Let's not forget Handbrake: 1)provides a large reduction in file size, 2)will convert those BR's that are not natively h.264, 3)creates a reduced bitrate file that streams easily (quickly) over wifi, 4)converts DTS to AC3, and 5)produces negligible quality reduction when encoded using appropriate transcode settings.

    But yes, the price you pay for those benefits is transcoding time, the amount of time depending on the processor used. Also, transcoding is easily can easily be done overnight using it's queue.

    Whether you repackage or transcode really depends on an individual's situation, e.g. storage space, wifi vs ethernet, need for portability, etc

    By the way, I do like MP4Tools and Subler. Both excellent products.
     
  10. sgiera macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2014
    #10
    I had a lot of movies in the MKV file format and the best ones were MP4Tools , Subler and iFlicks2. I really like iFlicks2 because it does them quick, had less issues then MP4Tools. I use Subler for TV shows, just works better. iFlicks2 and Subler was able to input the information as well as cover art. I converted about 400 plus movies using iFlicks2 and would do it again using the program.
     
  11. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #11
    Except that Handbrake is not capable of doing what iFlicks does.
     
  12. iMarc845 macrumors member

    iMarc845

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    #12
    I'd appreciate it if you would explain what you mean by this comment. What does iFlicks do that Handbrake cannot?
     
  13. JackieInCo macrumors 601

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    Colorado
    #13
    Handbrake does not go and fetch all the metadata and artwork like iFlicks does.
     
  14. cschmelz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    #14
    I just load that stuff manually. Takes a few seconds with google images to get the artwork I prefer.

    Plus Handbrake works great and is free.
     
  15. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040

    MonkeySee....

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    This topic comes up all the time.

    Don't convert. You need to remux.

    Best solution I've found and I always recommend is Smart Converter Pro. Will do a TV show in about 10 Seconds and Movie in about 30 Seconds. It will also add artwork, synopsis and will also put it in iTunes for you.

    http://www.shedworx.com/smartconverter-pro

    You can get it from the Mac Appstore for your own piece of mind.
     
  16. westrock2000 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #16
    Another thing Handbrake does that is real nice is pack in multiple audio streams. Specifically, you can follow the Apple standard of having an AAC stereo channel for stream 1 and then 5.1 AC3 for stream 2. Offers maximum compatibility.

    This was one of the major reasons I stuck with Handbrake.
     
  17. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    127.0.0.1
    #17
    Handbrake is only capable of converting/transcoding.

    iFlicks is capable of remuxing as well as converting/transcoding.
     
  18. WSFrazier macrumors regular

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    Feb 9, 2006
    #18
    MP4Tools does this as well, super easy.

    Little off topic, but anyone have good PC/Window alternatives that remux MKV and also fetch meta data?
     
  19. TheAnvil macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2013
    #19
    I also recommend MP4Tools.

    However, if you have a lot of MKV files, I would suggest you bite the bullet and install Plex on your Apple TV3 (assuming this is what you have).

    It really is worth the effort, instead of remuxing every file. https://github.com/ibaa/plexconnect/wiki
     
  20. iMarc845 macrumors member

    iMarc845

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    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Rockland County, NY
    #20
    Another Option...

    If all you want to do is play the MKV files on your AppleTV, there is another option: Beamer. This application will play many different file formats and stream them to the AppleTV without any conversion/remux/transcode, etc.

    It's what I use for items that I just want to watch once and don't need added to iTunes. The advantage over Plex (which was mentioned above) is that you don't need to jailbreak or install anything on the AppleTV.
     

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