What is the MKV format and how to change it?

MKV - what's the format? This is a video container, similar to MOV and AVI, which supports an unlimited number of audio, image and subtitle tracks (for example, SRT or USF).

This format is often regarded as a carrier for high-resolution online video because it supports descriptions, ratings, cover art and even chapters. It is for these reasons that it was chosen as the default video content format for the popular DivX Plus software.what is the mkv format


MKV - what's the format? The Matroska Multimedia Container is an open standard, free file format that can contain an unlimited number of video, audio, images, or subtitle tracks in one container. Designed to be used as a universal format for storing common multimedia content, such as movies or TV shows. In comparison with the AVI format, MKV is conceptually similar to the technological solution of formats such as MP4 or Advanced Systems Format (ASF). The content of the file is fully disclosed in the specification: the implementation consists of open source software. Matroska file extensions:

  • .MKV - for video (with subtitles and audio);

  • .MK3D - for stereoscopic video;

  • .MKA - for audio files;

  • .MKS - for subtitles.


MKV files, also known as Matroska video materials (from the name of the Russian souvenir toy “Matryoshka”), appeared in Russia in 2002. Lead developer Lasse Kärkkäinen worked with project founder Steve Lomme and a team of programmers to create a comprehensive multimedia container file format.


The Matroska team expressed some of their long-term goals on the Doom9.org and Hydrogen Audio forums:

  • the creation of a modern, flexible, expandable, cross-platform multimedia container format;

  • developing robust streaming support;

  • development of a menu system similar to a DVD system based on EBML;

  • the invention of a set of tools for creating and editing MKV files;

  • expanding the gallery of libraries that can be used to provide Matroska support to developers for their applications;

  • working with equipment manufacturers includes Matroska support in embedded multimedia devices;

  • MKV support in various operating systems and hardware platforms.

mkv format than open


MKV - what kind of format and what are its features? The project is supported by a non-profit organization in France and is free for use by the standard.Its technical specifications are available for private and commercial use. The Matroska development team licenses its projects under the LGPL, with parse and play libraries available under BSD licenses.

Versioning support

Contrary to popular belief, MKV files are multimedia container formats, not an audio or video compression format. A container can enclose audio, video, and subtitles in a single file, even if these elements use different types of encoding. For example, you might have an MKV file that contains H.264 video and something like MP3 or AAC for audio.

Matroska developers have included several key features that prevent data aging:

  • quick search;

  • support for chapters, menus and metadata;

  • selection of various audio and video streams;

  • compatibility with streaming data;

  • subtitle support;

  • error recovery that allows you to play damaged files.

The MKV container itself also supports almost any audio and video format, which makes it highly adaptive and easy to use.

MKV format: what to open?

Since this extension is not an industry standard, it is not supported by all media players,but their list is expanding due to the growing popularity of the format. There are two main options for playing these files:

  • use of the MKV media player;

  • Download the appropriate codecs for a third-party media player.

avi mkv format

If you are running Windows, you can use the following software to work with this format — MPV, MPC-HC, KMPlayer, DivX Player, MKV File Player, or The Core Media Player (TCMP).

Some of these applications can be used to open a MKV file on macOS. Also specially written for this operating system are Elmedia Player and Roxio.

In Linux, MKV files can be played using xine and some of the above programs that work with Windows and Mac, such as VLC.

Playback on iPhone, iPad and iPod is possible using the free PlayerXtreme Media Player or VLC for mobile applications, which also works with Android devices

You can use CorePlayer mobile software to open MKV files on devices with Palm, Symbian, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry operating systems.

The best option is VLC Media Player

MKV - what kind of format and how to open it? The best choice for playing MKV files is the VLC media player, mainly because it has built-in support and does not require the installation of additional components.Download and install the program easily. You need to go to the official download page and run the exe file to install VLC. The whole process takes no more than two or three minutes.

Beware of downloading the installation file from other resources, as there are fake VLC download sites that spread the virus.

After installation is complete, you can watch any movies in the MKV format. Please note that, although VLC is associated with all supported video and audio formats during installation, including MKV, it is not registered as the default application for these file types.

To view the MKV file using VLC, right-click the desired file, select "Open with," and then select VLC Media Player.movies in mkv format

To make VLC the default player for MKV files, right-click any file, select Open With, and click Choose Another Application. In the application selection window, select VLC Media Player, turn on the option Always use this application to open .mkv files, and then click OK.

After that, you can simply double-click the MKV file to open it in VLC.

Codec loading

The Matroska website offers several offers for Windows with built-in support. Alternatively, download codecs for compatibility of the file with the .MKV extension with a third-party media player.

If you prefer to use Windows Media Player or another Windows player, you need to install some support files, known as codecs. These components help the video player understand how to unpack files that it does not support.

How to change MKV format to MP4?

MP4 is a much more popular media standard compatible with most modern devices. Quite often, users have the question of how to change the format of MKV. There are several options. Consider each of them step by step.how to change mkv format

Conversion using VLC (for Windows / MacOS)

VLC media player can recognize and play almost any video format, including MKV. He can also convert them to something more universal, for example MP4. Before changing the MKV format, you must perform the following list of actions:

  • Go to the VideoLAN home page and download VLC. Be sure to read the fine print when installing to avoid virus infection.

  • Open the software, click the “Media” tab in the upper left corner and select “Convert / Save” in the drop-down menu that appears.

  • Click the "Add" button and find on your computer the file you want to convert. After selecting it, click the "Convert / Save" button at the bottom of the window.

  • Specify the desired video format (in this case “H.264 + Mp3 (MP4)”) using the drop-down menu next to the “Profile” button. Clicking the tool icon will also allow you to more precisely adjust the file options.

  • Then, in the "Assignment" section, indicate the location for storing the converted file. Click "Start". The timeline will turn into a progress bar, and as soon as it finishes, the video will be ready.

how to change the mkv format

Convert with Cloud Convert (Web based)

If you do not want to install any software for converting files, you can use the web service. There are several different options, but Cloud Convert is the most popular one, because it is simple and supports a huge array of formats.

It is important to note that before converting, you need to upload video files to your server.Privacy Policy Cloud Convert says that the content of the files remains inaccessible. Stepwise Algorithm:

  • Go to the main page of Cloud Convert and download the file through the "Select files" button or simply drag it into the browser window.

  • Scroll through the video formats list and select MP4. The default settings should be optimal, but you can further adjust the quality and other aspects. Then click the “Start Conversion” button at the bottom of the page.

  • When the conversion process is complete, a green “Download” icon will appear. Click to download a new video.

how to change mkv format to mp4

Now that your video files are in your preferred format, make sure they are protected.

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