@ilegal blogs

How to put MKV (Matroska) video files on an iPad

I recently acquired some old MKV video files. The problem with them is that they don’t play on an iPad and you can’t just bring them into iTunes and convert them there (yes, if you didn’t know, iTunes can also optimise .mp4 video for your iPad). There are programs you can get to watch them on your computer, I think Quicktime and RealPlayer play them OK, but I wanted them on the iPad for something to watch when travelling so that route was no good to me

The other problem with these particular files was that they also had English subtitles embedded into the MKV container which, as the video was in English anyway, seemed pretty pointless

Anyway, after Googling my backside off and reading loads of various forums I peddled together a solution

For removing the subtitles out of the MKV container

…I used MKVToolnix This is a pretty nifty little (FREE) program that allows you to open the container and delete whatever you don’t like – in my case, the subtitle files: just deselect them, and click on ‘start muxing’. It then remuxes the files back into another MKV file but this time with no subtitles. Cool. The only problem I have with this, is that I can’t seem to find a way of doing a bulk or batch mux and so have to do them individually. There may be a way around this and if I have time to fiddle with it and find it, will update here

For converting MKV files to iPad-ready video

This is really very simple. I found another free program: Miro Video Converter, which allows you to convert pretty much any type of video file to the correct size and format for gazillions of devices, from Android ‘phones to iPads, iPhones etc. You just drag and drop the MKV file into Miro and select what device you want to use it on. You can also tick the iTunes button and it will automatically put it in iTunes for you

I have plenty of video editing software, ranging from biggies like Final Cut Studio 2 to my personal favourite for playing around with formats (the now sadly unsupported) Visual Hub – a bit of info on it here. Also things like MacTheRipper 4 for copying/ripping your bought DVDs to your hard-drive and Handbrake for converting the resulting Video TS files in to iTunes-ready movies. However, none of these could cut the mustard with the MKV files until I came across MKVToolnix and the little Miro program

If anyone is in the same situation, I hope this helps and saves you some time. Can I also say that there might be a better solution out there, it’s just that I couldn’t find it!

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This entry was posted on October 16, 2011 by in Apple including iOS, Useful tools, Video and tagged , , , , .
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