"Re-containering" or transcoding .MKV to .MP4?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by tuna, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. tuna macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2010
    I recently downloaded a very high quality 14GB version of a movie that I would like to watch on my TV via my PS3 or Xbox 360. It has been an extremely frustrating process for something that seems so common and I was hoping that somebody here will know what to do.

    I have tried streaming options. I have used them successfully in the past. They just don't work in this case, the bitrate is too high, the audio and video immediately is way out of sync.

    Playing from local storage on the PS3 is out of the question as well because it does not support HFS+ file system, only FAT32, which is limited to 4GB file sizes. Not even close.

    That leaves me to deal with the Xbox 360, which supports the HFS+ file system and theoretically supports MPEG4 video at up to 10mbps, so my 9600kbps video should work.

    The problem that I am running into now is that the movie came in the .MKV container and the xbox doesn't support it, it only supports .MP4. So after some research I downloaded the Mac program "MP4tools" which is specifically designed to "re-container" between MKV and MP4 without transcoding the video or audio which is very important to me because the video and audio are very high quality and I don't want to degrade it by re-transcoding it.

    I was able to use MP4tools to re-container from .mkv, and the video looks just as perfect as it did before and plays perfectly on my Mac, but the problem is that MP4tools doesn't produce a .mp4 file, only a .m4v file, which the Xbox 360 also does not recognize even though they are supposed to be nearly identical! This is insane!

    Do any of you know of a program I could use to change the extension from either the original .mkv or my re-containered .m4v to .mp4 without transcoding the video/audio? Maybe there is a way to configure settings in Handbrake to prevent transcoding?

    This problem is driving me insane.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Go to Finder, find the .m4v file, select it, press ENTER on your keyboard, press the down arrow button, press Backspace two times, type "p4", press Enter. Voilà.

    And HandBrake cannot to no transcoding, it does not know how to REMUX like Subler or MP4Tools can.
  3. tuna thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2010
    Are you serious? Do you know from experience with .m4v and the Xbox 360 that this will work? Because obviously I considered that, but I read that some of the metadata is different between .mp4 and .m4v and that it sometimes won't work. I assumed the times that it would work were when you were using VLC or some other relatively intelligent media player (e.g. not the Xbox), but if this works then I will be very thankful.
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    I am serious, but as I do not have a TV nor an XBOX, I cannot verify my assumption. If you have the time to try it, try it and report back, and if it works, send me a cookie or some other drug, if it does not work, slap the next door neighbor for me, gently.
  5. tuna thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2010
    FYI it didn't work but I can't be certain that it isn't because of some other video or audio codec issue.
  6. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    No of course that won't work - simsaladimbamba's neighbour is silly to have suggested it. If that's all that was needed to change files, we could change .exe files to .app and run all the Windows software we want without bootcamp!

    Get mp4 tools. http://www.emmgunn.com/mp4tools/mp4toolshome.html

    It's free and will do exactly what you want - change the container to mp4 without touching the video or audio unless you tell it to (like if it's DTS and you need AAC)
  7. tuna thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2010
    I used MP4tools and it produced the .m4v file. I can't find the setting to change it to .mp4. My understanding is that .m4v and .mp4 are both different versions of the "MP4 container" which have some metadata differences but are mostly the same.

    Honestly there could be so many reasons why it won't play. Its a 9600kbps file I don't think that Microsoft seriously ensures compatibility at that bitrate. The file even causes VLC to give me a couple errors before it starts up. The pity is that I bet it would work on the PS3 except that it only supports FAT32 so only file sizes up to 4GB.
  8. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    And that is exactly what I wanted, a perfect analogy. (imagine your favourite smiley here)

    Anyway, renaming M4V files to MP4 is working, as they use the same video codec like H.264 (MP4 format can use other MPEG-4 codecs too). M4V is just meant for DRM protected iTunes media, MP4 is more general and as HandBrake puts out M4V files from its transcodings, one can later rename them to MP4 files.

    One other solution is to also just use MPEG Streamclip and open the M4V file in there and Save it As an MP4. Compatible streams are just copied, not transcoded.

    PS: I have successfully renamed several M4V files into MP4 files, thus my recommendation, but all I wanted was getting , ah **** it.
  9. cedesse macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2013
    XMedia Recode

    The free Windows OS tool XMedia Recode works great for streamcopy tasks, and it supports both chapter editing, visual editing and practically ANY file container you can think of.

    Unlike MP4, M4V can store DTS audio and "soft" (selectable) subtitles like the superior MKV container. In other words: There IS a technical difference that may cause problems in some cases, if you simply change the file extension from M4V to MP4.


    Not sure if the MP4 and M4V containers will support the upcoming H.265 video standard. MKV can (always) contain anything including lossless video and audio. That is why it will never run out of fashion. :rolleyes:
  10. TheAnvil macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2013
    I was in the same boat with the PS3.

    And I suggest this: get ps3mediaserver. Use the precompiled binaries for mencoder, ffmpeg and tsmuxer. And run an Ethernet cable to your ps3 and your PC/Mac.
    If you are able to run a cable, for a few $ you will take away a massive headache. I have been doing this for a while now. If you have a newer TV with DLNA, you won't even need to use the PS3. It'll also work with the xbox.

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