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Old 27th May 2003, 13:06   #1  |  Link
ChristianHJW
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Matroska FAQ

1) What is matroska? I have heard it is a "container format"? What's that?
A container format allows you to combine different multimedia streams (most of the time audio and video) into one single file.
Multimedia containers are for example the well known AVI (.avi), MPEG (.mpg, .mpeg), OGM (.ogm), MP4 (.mp4) or Realmedia (.rm, .rmvb)

The matroska project is a free, opensource container format, aiming to be able to offer a lot of advanced features, which older formats like AVI can't handle, on an extensible basis.
Matroska supports for example the storage of Variable Bitrate audio content (VBR) without any hassles, Variable Framerates (VFR), Chapters, attachment of files, Error Detection (EDC) and modern A/V Codecs like "Advanced Audio Coding" (AAC), "Ogg Vorbis" or "Realvideo 9" (RV9), next to nothing handled by AVI

2) What extensions is matroska using?
- .mkv: generally video files (with or without audio)
- .mka: audio only files, can contain any supported audio format, such as MP2, MP3, Vorbis, AAC, AC3, DTS...
- .mks: a so called "elementary" matroska stream, containing any subtitles stream

3) How can i create matroska files?
with the following tools you can create or edit matroska files (for example transmux from exisiting AVI files):
- MKVtoolnix includes the mkvmerge commandline tool (+ gui), can mux vobsub subtitles!
- VirtualDubMod, choose .mkv as output file type in the "save as" dialog. VDM allows editing of matroska files too (Doom9 Guide)
- AVI-Mux GUI
- Graphedit, advanced users can also use gabest's matroska muxer filter

4) Does transmuxing to matroska reencode the content?
No, this is a lossless process, only taking out the media streams from one container and putting them into matroska

5) After appending/joining two matroska files in virtualdubmod, the output seems to have some failures?
this is a known issue in virtualdubmod. Use AVI-Mux GUI for appending/joining matroska files!

6) Are my now created matroska files going to be compatible with future matroska implementations?
Yes, files being created now are fully spec compliant. in fact matroska is based on a very flexible underlying framework called EBML, which allows to add more functionalities to the container format in the future (for example new A/V codecs, DVD-like menues) without breaking backwards compatibility with older software and files.

7) How can i play matroska files on Windows?
easy answer: the matroska team already prepared an install pack for you, which will enable you to play back nearly any matroska file on all directshow based players (for example media player classic, bsplayer, zoomplayer or the crappy windows media player). get it from here

detailed answer: two things are needed for playback in any directshow based player:
- a splitter filter, which splits up the container file into the included streams (audio, video, subtitles) during playback
- a decoder filter, which decodes the encoded streams (for example with XviD, MP3...)
so to say the only thing you need to playback a matroska file is the matroska splitter filter (there are three available, from gabest, Haali and mkxds) and of course the specific decoder filter (for example Vorbis, AAC, Realmedia, AC3 or VSFilter)
btw. the only reason why you don't have to install a splitter for AVI is that it is already installed on windows by default (the same as the MP3 decoder)

small HOWTO install/register such DirectShow Filters

as alternative there is also The Core Media Player with the matroska plugin

8) How can i play matroska files on Linux, MacOS and X-Box?
you have to get the newest version of mplayer, for file creation/editing you find everything you need on Mosu's site. There is also a nice Gstreamer plugin by Ronald 'BBB' Bultje, which you can find in the GStreamer CVS

9) Does Matroska need more Processor Power than AVI?
No, you can't tell a difference while reading back AVI or Matroska content on today's processors. Writing currently takes more, but that is mostly because time is needed to refine the writing apps for MKV.

10) What subtitle types can be muxed into matroska? How can i play them?
currently SRT, SSA, ASS and Vobsub
use gabest's VSFilter to play subs on dshow based players

11) Why are some matroska files created from AVI smaller than the source itself?
because matroska needs less overhead than the AVI container (especially with vbr-mp3)
you can find a nice overhead comparison by alexnoe here

12) Is it possible to create variable frame rate (VFR) content in matroska?
Yes, for how to do it check out the following threads: 1 2 3
AVI-Mux GUI can also join AVI files with different framerates into a matroska file.
There also was a project working on vfr-encoding, called Variable Framerate Encoder. they released an app which lets you join vfr AVIs

13) Does Matroska support "anamorphic resize"?
Yes, you can set the display size of your matroska files for example in mkvmerge, AVI-Mux GUI or in your windows explorer by using the matroska shell extension
To playback anamorphic content with the right display size you need ffdshow installed with the "overlay mixer" option ticked

14) What is the advantage of putting audio only into .mka?
read more about what can be possible at matroska.org.
currently it is already possible to store a whole CD as 1 track in mka, each song seperately choosable and tagged and you can already play it in any dshow based player or in foobar2000 with the plugin from jcsston

15) Does Matroska support multi-angle video files (multiple video streams in one matroska file)?
yes, you can create such files with gabest's mkv muxer in graphedit or mkvmerge. playback works with Haali's mkv splitter in directshow

16) How can i create Chapter files in the Matroska XML format?
You can use Toff's ChapterXtractor for that, read more here

17) How can i convert from Matroska to another format? for example to AVI/MPEG?
thanks to Avalon for writing a nice small guide on how to do this! find it here
beaware that you can't put Vorbis and RV9, which are often used in Matroska, into AVI without reencoding

18) I want to read more about matroska! Where can i find more info?
feel free to visit the official matroska homepage at matroska.org, there you'll find much more information, as this sticky is only meant as a starting point for newbies to handle matroska
(or you just search the doom9 forum, as most of the matroska guys are around here too )

cheers,
bond

Last edited by Hiro2k; 19th April 2007 at 22:34.
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Old 4th October 2003, 14:53   #2  |  Link
bond
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If you have any suggestions or ideas which questions to add to make the Matroska FAQ better, feel free to attach them below!
I will do my best to keep the FAQ up-to-date

Please don't use this sticky to discuss any Matroska issues, this thread is meant for info only!
If you have any questions, plz search the forum if they haven't been answered already and only then start a new thread

thanks,
bond
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Old 22nd August 2006, 12:49   #3  |  Link
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7) and 8): vlc plays matroska files fine on Windows AND linux.

7) media player classic also does on Windows...

Thanks for the nice infos.
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Old 30th August 2006, 01:47   #4  |  Link
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Q: Is Matroska supported by some hardware (home, or portable devices) players? Is libmatroska easily portable? (discussed here but also in other threads)
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Old 1st October 2006, 21:15   #5  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pieroxy View Post
7) and 8): vlc plays matroska files fine on Windows AND linux.


Thanks for the nice infos.

and OSX
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Old 19th April 2007, 19:01   #6  |  Link
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13)Does Matroska support "anamorphic resize"?

The shell extension link seams to be out of action...



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Last edited by delacroixp; 19th April 2007 at 19:02. Reason: space
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Old 19th April 2007, 19:14   #7  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delacroixp View Post
13)Does Matroska support "anamorphic resize"?

The shell extension link seams to be out of action...



Pascal
You can find it here.

http://www.matroska.org/downloads/sh...ion/index.html

Great project b.t.w.

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Old 23rd April 2007, 12:20   #8  |  Link
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@SvT

Quote:
Originally Posted by SvT View Post
You can find it here.

Shell Extension and TCMP CDL

Great project b.t.w.

much...

Perhaps someone in command of the Matraska FAQ could update the link for future users... attention to detail is key...
It creates the mistaken impression that MKV is on it's way OUT, rather than that it is on it's way UP...



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Old 18th August 2007, 15:46   #9  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristianHJW View Post
11) Why are some matroska files created from AVI smaller than the source itself?
because matroska needs less overhead than the AVI container (especially with vbr-mp3)
you can find a nice overhead comparison by alexnoe here
That URL is no longer working, is it possible for someone to upload that comparison again somewhere?
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Old 18th August 2007, 16:23   #10  |  Link
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here http://www.alexander-noe.com/video/a...omparison.html

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Old 23rd August 2008, 18:33   #11  |  Link
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7) How to play in Windows:

The KMplayer can play mkv files straight out of the box without the need to install the haali splitter nor any ffdshow filters nor vobsub. Only player I know of that can directly display multiple subtitles straight out of the mkv container itself without the need of external filters; just make sure you switch to draw to VMR surface under subtitle options. It's freeware.

http://www.kmplayer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4094
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Old 30th August 2008, 01:00   #12  |  Link
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Is there any way to trim mkv file?....
Without content transcoding, of course...
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Old 30th August 2008, 13:33   #13  |  Link
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use mmg.exe (in mkvtoolnix) and in global -> use the split fuction

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Old 25th January 2009, 16:16   #14  |  Link
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I have a feature request for a future matroska revision,
What is the most efficient way to ask the developpers for my feature request and get feedback ?
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Old 25th January 2009, 16:45   #15  |  Link
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http://matroska.org/contact/index.html
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Old 25th January 2009, 16:52   #16  |  Link
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will send my request to the corecodec email link, thanks neuron
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Old 26th January 2009, 00:37   #17  |  Link
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@ BlackSharkfr

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackSharkfr View Post
will send my request to the corecodec email link, thanks neuron
Good Luck !!!


It's all good !

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Old 14th May 2009, 14:06   #18  |  Link
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Um, maybe the FAQ could point out methods of opening an MKV in avisynth ?
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Old 14th May 2009, 14:24   #19  |  Link
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Quote:
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Um, maybe the FAQ could point out methods of opening an MKV in avisynth ?
http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=127037
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Old 11th June 2009, 12:17   #20  |  Link
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How many tracks can contain the mkv files?
How many tracks can be played with Haali splitter? And with Gabest's one?
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