An MKV file is a kind of video file that is saved within the Matroska multimedia container format. It can support different types of video as well as audio codec including .SSA, .SRT, .USF, VobSub subtitles. MKV files are generally used for TV shows, movies, and short video clips.
A Small Beginning
This multimedia container formed is open source and was launched in the years 2002 in Russia. Lasse Karkkainen, the lead developer, worked in collaboration with Steve Lhomme, the founder of Matroska and an experienced team of experienced programmers to develop this extensive multimedia container file format.
MOV got its name from Matryoshka, a Russian word, which means Nesting Dolls. Being an open-source platform, anyone can access it for completely free for professional as well as personal purposes.
MKV Files – An Overview
While people typically believe MKV files to be an audio or video compression format, it is not the case. Primarily, these files are multimedia container format. An MKV container can include audio, video and subtitles within a single file even when they have various forms of encoding.
Additionally, these file types were created to be future proof; which means that MKV files will never be outdated. There are many valuable features included in MKV files that include –
Various selectable audio as well as video streams
- Fast seeking
- Online streaming compatibility
- Subtitle support
- Chapter, menu, and metadata support
- Error recovery
The MKV container also supports a wide range of audio as well as video format, thereby making it easy to use and highly adaptive.
MKV Files – How to Play?
Since MKV is not an industry standard, not every media player is compatible with it. However, over the year, their support has grown exponentially. To play MKV files, you can have the following options –
- Use a Medic Player that is Compatible with MKV Files
In order to play MKV files, you choose a player that is compatible with this format. VLC is one of the best options to play MKV files as it comes with built-in support, and you do not have to install any additional software.
You can easily download VLC for free by simply following the direction. The entire process will take two to three minutes. Once you install the player, you can watch MKV files without any hassle.
- Download Relevant Codec
If you are using Windows Media Player or any other player that is not compatible with MKV files, then codec is the right solution. You can add support by installing the codec, a short for compression/decompression. It assists the video players to decompress the files that it does not support natively.
However, you have to be careful while using codec as they are known to collect crapware or malware. Make sure you choose a reliable codec that comes with no fuss. Once you have installed the relevant codec, you may need to restart your system. However, in most cases, you get to run your MKV files right away.
- Converting MKV to MP4
Another option is to understand how to convert MKV to MP4. For the same, you can download a reliable convert online. There is an array of converter software that allows you to convert the files for free. Whether you want to choose MKV or MP4, depends entirely on your preference. It is very easy to convert the files with the right software. All you have to do is upload the file onto the software, and it will convert automatically, and then you can save it in your computer, laptop, or smartphone.
Advantages of MKV Player
Following are the benefits offered by MKV players-
It is Open Source
As mentioned above, MKV files are open source. This means that anyone can use it without paying any cost. It does not need any license fee or any other costs. Moreover, it is also not covered by any restricted license or patent. This is why many applications charge a hefty fee in order to provide their services.
MKV comes with Future Security
These files are created in a way that they will never be deemed as outdated. Developers of MKV files have included a gamut of interesting features to ensure that the format continues to remain useful in the future and never become obsolete. Error recovery, compatibility in online streaming, etc. are some of the prominent features that ensure that the format remains relevant in the coming years.
Back-Up Your Favorite Movie
MKV is among the most flexible container formats. In fact, it is the only container that allows operations for single streams. You can easily remove audio or subtitle that you do want in the MKV. Moreover, the video stream can be extracted for compression.
Store an Entire Movie
The MKV file format has the capability of storing various subtitle tracks, audios, and videos, and metadata all at one place. This allows you to store a video range of audio and subtitle tracks along with a movie and its thumbnail files. Moreover, the entire chapter structure, as well as the menu, is stored safely within the file format.
Different Codec Support
NKV is among the handful container formats that offer support from a wide range of codecs including AC3, VC-1 H.264, etc. Such extensive compatibility provided by MKV assist in preserving the original audio or video compression.
Get Advanced Cinematic Features
If you choose an MKV player, you get to enjoy the video with enhanced cinematic features such as bonus content, audio tracks, multilingual subtitle, chapter points, etc. Additionally, you do need to have technical skills to use this player on the Windows. Typically, they come with a straightforward user guide that helps you in understanding the way the system works.
While MKV file format does not offer compatibility with all players, over the years its accessibility has increased manifolds. One of the major reasons that contribute to the growing popularity of MKV is the ease of use and flexibility that this platform provides.
Though this file format is not as popular as MOV, .MP4, or AVI format, it offers great potentials. And, it is supported by many leading players such as VideoLAN VLC media player, MPlayer, and Microsoft Movies and TV.