MKV to iTunes Format-Faster Conversion?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by sgiera, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. sgiera macrumors member

    Mar 25, 2014
    Hey there,
    I have about 400 MKV movie files that I want transferred to the ITunes format to play nicely with ITunes and my apple tv 3.

    I have an 2006 Imac Duel Core which I use MP4tools which runs slow to transfer movies and I have a AMD Quad core PC with Windows 7 that I have been using Wondershare software but its taking like 30 minutes to an hour per movie.

    I also want to add the tags to the files which I'm using Subler on my Imac and Meta X on my windows pc.

    Is there any easier way and faster way to do this? I don't have a lot of time with a 8 month old child and I would like to know what are my options.
  2. farleysmaster macrumors 6502a

    Feb 8, 2008
    London, UK
    Subler will do the mkv to m4v conversions.
  3. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
    yes but the fastest way is iflicks

    use there free trial, i think it last a couple of days , just drag all the movies in to iflicks and use the itunes compatible tab & that's it, you should be done in a few hours

    iflicks will add the metadata & send the movies to itunes, you have to select the default location for the movies in iflicks preference
    a 2GB mkv movie would take iflicks 30 seconds
  4. jtrenthacker macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2012
    I use iVI. Works pretty quick for me. I set it for ATV3 and most of the time the video is a pass thru rather than converted so it usually only takes about 7-8 minutes for a 2 hour (5-6gb) bluray rip.
  5. Scarpad macrumors 68000


    Jan 13, 2005
    I use an App from the App store called MKV2MP4 works fantastic
  6. JPM macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2008
    Ottawa, Canada
    If the audio and video streams inside the MKVs are compatible with iTunes (e.g. h264 video, etc.), and you're comfortable with the command line you can use ffmpeg to repackage from MKV to m4v/mp4. It should take 4-5 minutes max per movie.

    If you have to transcode the video inside the MKV, it's going to take a while no matter what software you use. Handbrake would be a good one to look at. It can take MKV as input, and it will use all the processing power you throw at it. It does multi-core and hyper threading. And you can queue a bunch of movies up to encode overnight or while you're at work/school.

    For tagging, I use iDentify. Handbrake can be set to send the file directly to iDentify after encoding, and the paid version of iDentify can automatically add the tagged file to iTunes.
  7. koerk macrumors regular


    Dec 14, 2013
    I use iFlicks for muxing mkvs to iTunes format, tagging the tv show/movie with metadata. It also converts the file if the mkv doesn't contain h264
  8. StevenB14 macrumors regular


    May 23, 2012
    I've been using MP4Tools for a while now and love it. Would recommend it to anyone wanting to convert MKV to itunes.

    I then use IVI to add tags, cover art etc.
  9. rayward macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX
    One note of caution: if you want better performance out of your Apple TV - especially as you're going to be using large, uncompressed video files - you'll want to web optimize your movies. This puts the file information at the front, instead of the back, and speeds up streaming considerably.

    I know Subler can do this, I don't know if iFlicks or any of the other recommendations can do this. Hopefully those familiar with those apps can comment.
  10. kaldezar macrumors regular

    May 28, 2008
    London, England
    I too use IVI, it's fast and it puts the finished files in iTunes....what more could you ask for?
  11. koerk macrumors regular


    Dec 14, 2013

    IFlicks does this as well
  12. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    if you have a Generation 2 iCore CPU or later and use handbrake or some other app ON WINDOWS then it should be a lot faster. the newer intel CPU's have dedicated circuitry for these tasks
  13. jim080902 macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2014
    You can try handbrake, or freemake video converter, all free!
  14. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    Do you start with a .mkv file or an iso file. All my BluRay video material is in the form of an iso file. iVI is easy to work with if the original is a DVD, but BluRay ?
  15. dazed macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    I use handbrake. I just set up a queue and let them process overnight. I then use identify to fill in the details and add images.

    Works for me.
  16. AFITgrad86 macrumors newbie


    Jul 22, 2012
    Handbrake does a good job of converting MKV to iTunes/Apple TV. I use the Apple TV 3 preset.

    Make MKV is a good tool for creating the MKV files and is pretty robust.

    The metadata editing is either Identify or Meta Z. Also consider MKVtoolnix if you need to concatenate 2 or more MKV files into a single volume.
  17. icemantx macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2009
    MakeMKV + Handbrake or MP4tools?

    I have an older iMac (Early 2009) and started using MakeMKV plus Handbrake this weekend. MakeMKV is quick - Handbrake takes about 12 hours for a 2 hour Blu-Ray to process to MP4.

    I am wondering if I need to use Handbrake to re-encode or just convert the MKV file produced by MakeMKV to MP4 using something like MP4Tools?

    I would like to still be able to take advantage of 7.1 sound (DTS-MA & DD-TrueHD) and playback through the Apple TV 3.

    Is that even possible? Since I want to preserve audio quality, does the ATV3 allow pass through for DTS-MA or DD-TrueHD and 7.1?

    Not sure I will bother converting 100 movies if in the end I cannot take advantage of the sound benefits of DTS-MA, DD-TrueHD and 7.1 through ATV3 after converting.

  18. mic j macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    If DTS is your priority, the aTV is not for you, as it does not support DTS pass-through.

    As for transcoding time, I also have a 2009 MBP and your transcoding times are right in the ballpark. I always set mine to transcode overnight.
  19. icemantx, May 12, 2014
    Last edited: May 12, 2014

    icemantx macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2009
    So if I set aside my desire to have DD-TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio from the Blu-Rays, what would I choose in MakeMKV for the Audio Tracks? Or just pick them all in MakeMKV and then run through Handbrake to optimize for the Apple TV 3? Or just convert the MKV files to MP4 using MP4Tools? Is the main advantage of using Handbrake reducing the file size?

    There are many check boxes for audio in MakeMKV and it can get confusing.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  20. mic j macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    I have MakeMKV keep all of the audio tracks from the BR. And keep that MKV as a backup that I can always go back to, just to be able to cover the future. I then use HB and the aTV3 preset to create a compatible aTV file. I also check the Optimize box as it can improve the movie start speed.

    You can just change the MKV container to an mp4 container if your BR stream is already mp4. If it's not already mp4, you have to transcode to make it compatible with the aTV. Some people swear by just changing containers. I don't do it as I am feeding my aTV wirelessly and if the movies have high bitrates wifi can be problematic. I have gotten the impression that most people who just change containers use the aTV hooked through ethernet to ensure successful streaming of high bitrates. But you can always give it a try and if you experience long load times, stuttering or other problems, go back to the original MKV and transcode it to mp4.
  21. icemantx macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2009
    This makes sense... Since I will also be streaming over wifi from my iMac to my Apple TV, the smaller file size and bitrate coming from the Handbrake created MP4 makes sense.

    If I really want to watch a movie in 7.1 or with DTS or DD HD Audio, I can always put in the Blu-Ray...
  22. mic j macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    Yep. Sounds like a plan.:)
  23. jtrenthacker macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2012
    I don't believe iVI will convert iso files, but I have never tried. A majority of my conversions were from mkv with a few avi files here and there.
  24. kaltsasa macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2002
    Kellogg IA
    Smart Converter Pro

    Smart Converter Pro is dead simple, and depending on the target format will automatically convert or extract the format in the .mkv to the correct format. Say you have a .mkv that encapsulates mp4 video and want the target platform to be Playstation 3. It will simply extract the mp4 (and convert the audio if necessary). I highly recommend this for dead simple MKV conversions. Now if you need to do more advanced transcoding, like say target a file size, etc... This isn't the program to use.
  25. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    I'm waiting for a reply from iVI on BluRay, but I've made it work with regular DVDs.
    The BluRays I have used I had to convert to .mkv first, so I'm not hopeful that .iso BluRays will work.

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