[Matroska-users] Create .mkv
ivan.kowalenko at gmail.com
Mon Nov 5 12:25:47 CET 2007
On Nov 4, 2007, at 16.12, June Landis wrote:
> I would like to create .mkv video files. I have tried several
> methods. Please link me to a program that will accept .wmv video
> files and convert them to .mkv, I hope I can find a way to get a
> program for free.
Last I was aware, I don't believe that the Matroska standard supports
Windows Media codecs. You will be required to convert the audio and
video data to something a bit more standard, like MPEG-4/H.264 (AKA:
AVC), Theora, MPEG-2, and the audio to MP3, AAC, AC3, Vorbis, or
something of the like. This will be rather processor intensive, and
will take a while, depending on the length of the video. In the
process, due to the nature of lossy compression, you will also lose
quality (though the amount of quality lost is dependent on the
quality of the source video and the bitrate of the target format).
Furthermore, I believe the standard upon which Microsoft has
developed the Windows Media container (ASF) has been thoroughly
closed, and developers have been forbidden from developing anything
that could read or write to it, though work-arounds have been found
As far as recommending free programs, it has been years since I've
used Windows, so I'm afraid I can only give you open sourced tools I
am aware of. VLC is capable of converting WMM8 and below to various
standard codecs (though not to MKV directly), but I advise against it
since you have relatively little control over the final quality of
the video. The MPlayer/MEncoder suite should be able to read Windows
Media 8, and with a few add-on DLLs, it should (theoretically) be
able to read Windows Media 9 as well. MEncoder, however, has a
somewhat daunting looking command structure, but is very robust and
allows for a high degree of control over the output file. Again,
MEncoder has no native support to encode directly to Matroska, but it
should be a cinch to go from AVI to MKV (the most common transition,
actually). Be forewarned that MEncoder/MPlayer is a command-line
application and has no graphic interface. There are a few projects to
create graphic interfaces for the two programs, but I'm not aware of
the ones for Windows. Another thing to be aware of is that Windows
Media files are very proprietary, and that as yet, without using
Microsoft's code, nothing can read Windows Media 9, and even the
projects that can read WM9, the support and functionality is somewhat
Once you get your video into a standard container using standard
codecs, the standard Matroska Tool (as linked to in the Matroska
Downloads page) should do the job quite nicely, easily, and freely.
If you're not running Windows, the MKVtoolNIX package is very robust
and should be just as capable as the graphic interface (though I
recommend crafting your command in a text editor before execution).
> I bought River Past Video Cleaner pro and when I try to output
> to .mkv it always asks to down load the community codec pack. I've
> done this 6 times and I don't know how to satisfy River Past Video
> Cleaner pro.
I'm afraid I have never heard of that program before, and I am unable
to give you advice, as I am unable to run it.
> I just want to create .mkv video files. I have adobe premiere
> and I know how to use it, but I can't figure it out in there either.
Adobe Premiere uses the Windows codec control system in Windows, and
as such has no direct support for Matroska at all. In Mac OS X,
Premiere uses the QuickTime codec control system, and it may be
possible for a future plug-in to add this functionality, but at this
time, that seems unlikely.
It may be possible to use Premiere as a stepping stone, however. If
Premiere can go from Windows Media to a standardized audio and video
codec (MP3 and MPEG-4 are the most popular, though AC3 and H.264 are
recommended, especially for high definition content) within a
standard container (say, AVI), then you can go from there and convert
the resulting file to a Matroska file, complete with whatever
metadata you wish to add.
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