Download RealPlayerand let it do the work for you. Automatically watch MKV files on the device you want, no need to manually convert the files first.
MKV is also delivering high-definition (HD) video on the Internet. Most sites that offer this seem to either be pay-per-view or subscription based, or sites that require registering. Finding sites that specifically offer the ability to download a video in a MKV format is a challenge.
You can try searching OVGuide’s MKV offerings, but the content is a mixed bag. Some listings are for paid services, while others can be viewed, but not downloaded. There are sites that claim to offer free movies in the MKV format. But beware, these are likely copies ripped from commercial DVDs or Blu-ray discs, which is considered pirating and it’s illegal.
One of the most popular content areas where MKV’s multiple stream features are currently being used is in the world of Anime. Here, dual audio tracks and fansub (subtitles in different languages created by individual fans) translation tracks are used. The fansubs are also ‘soft’ meaning they can be turned on and off, much as the audio language tracks can be switched. MKV has definitely found a niche there.
PLAYING .MKV FILE
Although RealPlayer does not have native (built-in) support for playing Matroska, by adding a special codec pack from the Combined Community Codec Pack (CCCP) you can play these files. It is freely available to download and install on your computer. With CCCP, RealPlayer will indeed read, decode and play MKV files perfectly.
FINDING A .MKV CONVERTER
Unfortunately, at this writing, although RealPlayer does play MKV files, it is not able to convert them. It also lacks the ability to place MKV files in the RealPlayer Library. This should only a temporary situation, as the popularity and use of MKV expands.
So, you’ll need to find a video file format converter that can do the job if you want to do something other than just watch MKV videos. We recently wrote a post about video file converters that might help you find a dedicated video format converter that works best for you.
CONVERTING TO OR FROM MKV FILES MATTERS
The process itself is similar for all converters. Aside from the range of inputs, outputs and devices, there are differences in user interfaces. Workflow is fairly common among them all. What’s significant when converting MKV is the direction you’re going to or from.
It’s easy converting another format to MVK. Since MKV can handle virtually an unlimited number and types of streams; it can accept all the content from any other format without trouble. But if the conversion is from a MKV file containing multiple streams of content to another format, it’s a different story.
The other formats just aren’t designed to handle all the different streams of information the way they can be stored in the MKV container. Remember the multiple streams of video and audio, subtitles, metadata, menus and chapter information that can be included in the MKV format? Well, most all of those extras are likely to be lost going from MVK to another format or device.
This won’t be a concern for the vast majority of basic video and audio content because it’s likely you’re only interested in material with one video and one audio stream. But if your MKV video has subtitles encoded with the video, or multiple language sound tracks, like Anime, or the multiple layers of DVD or Blu-ray content, and you want them on an iPad, those will be lost in the conversion.
Now and in the future, there will be more and more demand for this ability to include a variety of embedded data streams. Matroska is well positioned to fill that need.
Are you looking for a way to convert files to the MKV format? What problem does this type of conversion solve for you? Let us know in the comments below.