MKV to iTunes Format-Faster Conversion?

sgiera

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 25, 2014
45
0
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.
 

farleysmaster

macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2008
758
55
London, UK
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.
Subler will do the mkv to m4v conversions.
 

Che Castro

macrumors 603
May 21, 2009
5,717
537
Subler will do the mkv to m4v conversions.
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
 

jtrenthacker

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2012
186
579
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.
 

JPM

macrumors member
Feb 5, 2008
39
0
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.
 

koerk

macrumors regular
Dec 14, 2013
134
19
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
 

StevenB14

macrumors regular
May 23, 2012
199
21
Scotland
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.
 

rayward

macrumors 68000
Mar 13, 2007
1,616
58
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.
 

kaldezar

macrumors regular
May 28, 2008
120
6
London, England
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.
I too use IVI, it's fast and it puts the finished files in iTunes....what more could you ask for?
 

koerk

macrumors regular
Dec 14, 2013
134
19
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.

IFlicks does this as well
 

alent1234

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2009
5,663
151
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.
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
 

jim080902

macrumors newbie
Apr 14, 2014
1
0
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.
You can try handbrake, or freemake video converter, all free!
 

drsox

macrumors 68000
Apr 29, 2011
1,525
65
Xhystos
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.
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 ?
 

dazed

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2007
905
204
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.
 
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AFITgrad86

macrumors newbie
Jul 22, 2012
25
5
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.
 

icemantx

macrumors regular
Mar 16, 2009
171
18
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.

Thoughts?
 

mic j

macrumors 68030
Mar 15, 2012
2,656
150
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.

Thoughts?
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.
 

icemantx

macrumors regular
Mar 16, 2009
171
18
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.
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.

Jeff
 
Last edited:

mic j

macrumors 68030
Mar 15, 2012
2,656
150
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.

Jeff
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.
 

icemantx

macrumors regular
Mar 16, 2009
171
18
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.
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...
 

mic j

macrumors 68030
Mar 15, 2012
2,656
150
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...
Yep. Sounds like a plan.:)
 

jtrenthacker

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2012
186
579
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 ?
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.
 

kaltsasa

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2002
585
21
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.

http://www.shedworx.com/smart-converter-pro
 

drsox

macrumors 68000
Apr 29, 2011
1,525
65
Xhystos
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.
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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