Mkv to iTunes in minutes?

purpleparrotuk

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 26, 2010
670
121
Hello. I have been reading about a lot of mac software that can remux mkv into iTunes format for the iPad. But does anyone know what windows software can be used that only takes minutes? Handbrake takes ages.


Thanks.
 
Last edited:

drb1992

macrumors 6502
Oct 4, 2011
311
0
I don't know much about this topic, but I doubt you can convert a mkv to an mp4/mpv in minutes. You also have to remember that converting movies/shows highly depends on your computers hardware. Luckily, I have a 2011 MBP, so converting 720P videos doesn't take too long, in my opinion.
 

purpleparrotuk

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 26, 2010
670
121
I don't know much about this topic, but I doubt you can convert a mkv to an mp4/mpv in minutes. You also have to remember that converting movies/shows highly depends on your computers hardware. Luckily, I have a 2011 MBP, so converting 720P videos doesn't take too long, in my opinion.
It doesn't need to convert. Mkv is a container. It just needs to do something with the audio. So remux only.
 

BrettJDeriso

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2010
162
59
Northern Virginia
I'm guessing most of the OP's MKV files contain only AC3 or DTS audio. In that case, yes, you will need to transcode at least 1 two-channel iTunes-friendly audio track when you repackage the assets. As long as the video in the MKV is H.264 or MPEG-4 and conforms to the iTunes standard, it can be passed through without transcoding.

After two weeks of downloading trialware, I have yet to find (on OS X or Windows) a single app that can remux mkv to m4v, passing the H.264 video and AC3 audio untouched, while mixing down a 2-ch AAC track. MP4Tools comes very close, but I get wacky audio sync issues because it either doesn't read my frame rate info correctly, or my original mkvs aren't really 23.976fps, despite saying so in VLC, QT, Plex, and XBMC. It's starting to really piss me off.

I wish someone would make an option in Handbrake to pass video as-is. They figured out how to pass AC3 and downmix Pro Logic II tracks simultaneously, so I really don't see what the hangup is. That would solve everything.
 

BrettJDeriso

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2010
162
59
Northern Virginia
BTW, I don't know if it's still out there, but I used to have an AC3 codec for QT that let me play Dolby Digital 5.1 files right in iTunes and QT, but it always got the channel mappings wrong. Maybe Perian fixed this? Dunno. That was all fine and dandy for the laptop, desktop, and ATV, but if you want to take it on your iPad (without some processor-hungry aftermarket MKV player app), you're going to need that stereo track.
 

Space Moose

macrumors member
Aug 5, 2006
32
0
BrettJ said:
After two weeks of downloading trialware, I have yet to find (on OS X or Windows) a single app that can remux mkv to m4v, passing the H.264 video and AC3 audio untouched, while mixing down a 2-ch AAC track. MP4Tools comes very close, but I get wacky audio sync issues because it either doesn't read my frame rate info correctly, or my original mkvs aren't really 23.976fps, despite saying so in VLC, QT, Plex, and XBMC. It's starting to really piss me off.
The drag-and-drop script here works on batches of videos and does indeed pass the video and audio through untouched. There's also relatively simple instructions for manually creating and adding a compatible AAC audio track.

Note, that you don't have to downmix the audio to 2 channel to get it to play in iTunes, AppleTV, iOS devices etc!

You can convert the audio to 5.1 AAC and it plays just fine. It's up to you whether you want to keep both the 5.1 AAC and the 5.1 AC3 (which is an older format than AAC by the way).
 

Skika

macrumors 68030
Mar 11, 2009
2,930
974
I hate how apple only lets us use mp4's. I'd get an android tablet to watch some of these videos but it would get redundant.
Just get AVplayerHD, it plays mkvs even has hardware decoding.

Also op, if you are on windows and use an sandy bridge or newer cpu take a look into enabling QuickSync encoding with Handbrake it fastens the process dramatically.
 
Last edited:

xsquid

macrumors regular
May 27, 2015
125
19
Use mp4tools. It takes me 12 seconds to change the container mkv to mp4, not minutes, with my late 2012 mini base and have done all of my mkv's this way for years. Never a problem. Conversion, like with handbrake, is a waste of time for mkv's.

http://www.emmgunn.com/mp4tools-home/

Sorry, missed the windows part. I used mkv2mp4 with windows before mac, most of my videos were done with it. Works the same as mp4tools. Try it, it's freeware.

http://www.afterdawn.com/software/audio_video/convert_video/mkvtomp4.cfm

http://en.kioskea.net/faq/35386-mkvtomp4-easily-convert-mkv-videos-to-mp4

Mkvtoolnix is also very handy

https://www.bunkus.org/videotools/mkvtoolnix/
 
Last edited:

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
6,174
9,161
Florida, USA
This just isn't possible in a reliable manner, in my long experience.

I used to frequently use Handbrake to transcode mkv files I've downloaded so that I can watch them on my iPad on the plane. Sure, it takes a while, but it's reliable and the quality of the transcoded file is top-notch.

I've since stopped doing that, as I just bring my 13" rMBP, which is the first laptop with a sufficiently long battery life to carry even the longest flights without issue. Not to mention a bigger screen and a "built in" stand. :)
 

xsquid

macrumors regular
May 27, 2015
125
19
This just isn't possible in a reliable manner, in my long experience.
How many have you done using these apps in your "long" experience? I'm guessing none, I have hundreds I have done on both mac and windows using both of these apps and to this date not a single, solitary problen. Still have every one in itunes. So I'm guessing you don't actually have experience with these.

There is no video loss whatsoever so it's better than transcoding. Mkv and mp4 contain the same components exactly. The only difference is the container, the same is not true for avi. Removing the internals and inserting them into a mp4 container is remuxing and nothing unreliable at all about it. You are not placing internals in a mp4 that do not belong there.

Just renaming the container works sometimes but IS unreliable. This changes it.

To the op I suggest trying it yourself.
 
Last edited:

Storminbalders

macrumors newbie
Feb 8, 2015
17
8
How many have you done using these apps in your "long" experience? I'm guessing none, I have hundreds I have done on both mac and windows using both of these apps and to this date not a single, solitary problen. Still have every one in itunes. So I'm guessing you don't actually have experience with these.

There is no video loss whatsoever so it's better than transcoding. Mkv and mp4 contain the same components exactly. The only difference is the container, the same is not true for avi. Removing the internals and inserting them into a mp4 container is remuxing and nothing unreliable at all about it. You are not placing internals in a mp4 that do not belong there.

Just renaming the container works sometimes but IS unreliable. This changes it.

To the op I suggest trying it yourself.
Wow. Just followed your advice and tried this and it worked beautifully. So easy too!

I so wish i'd known this years ago. I feel so foolish now having faffed around with Handbrake for so long.

Thanks a bunch for the advice.
 

xsquid

macrumors regular
May 27, 2015
125
19
Wow. Just followed your advice and tried this and it worked beautifully. So easy too!

I so wish i'd known this years ago. I feel so foolish now having faffed around with Handbrake for so long.

Thanks a bunch for the advice.
No problem. Quick, easy and in no way unreliable no matter what someone may say. I actually no longer have handbrake installed as everything I deal with is either mkv or mp4. Adding or removing subtitles or audio source if it has multiple can be done at the same time and takes the same amount of time.
 

Storminbalders

macrumors newbie
Feb 8, 2015
17
8
No problem. Quick, easy and in no way unreliable no matter what someone may say. I actually no longer have handbrake installed as everything I deal with is either mkv or mp4. Adding or removing subtitles or audio source if it has multiple can be done at the same time and takes the same amount of time.
Yeah.

Thanks again for the great tip.

And so easy to use, even for a technophobe such as myself.

It will save me much time.

I might even pay the four quid!
 

IFRIT

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2012
840
137
Why not just buy a player from the app store that will play almost any format like Infuse for example, that's what i did.

You can also also upload the native movie files to Infuse though iTunes if you don't want to download/stream the file though WiFi.
 

xsquid

macrumors regular
May 27, 2015
125
19
Why not just buy a player from the app store that will play almost any format like Infuse for example, that's what i did.

You can also also upload the native movie files to Infuse though iTunes if you don't want to download/stream the file though WiFi.
Why buy an app when you can change the container to mp4 in seconds for free and add it ti itunes drag and drop?
 

xsquid

macrumors regular
May 27, 2015
125
19
Because it's an extra step of messing about that I would have too do.
For you, but those of us watching them on atv this is easier and anything else is messing about. At best infuse would only work with airplay, which I'm not sure if it does, and that sucks in comparison to accessing the library with atv through itunes. It would be dumb to do it any other way to avoid 12 seconds work.

I'm guessing you don't have atv, but atv is why many of us use itunes and not something like infuse. That would be messing about and losing atv.
 
Last edited:
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.