For Mac users, perhaps one of the most bothersome issues of using it is that some important pieces of software are not always as widely available as they are on Windows machines. A great example that comes to mind is trying to find the right set of tools needed to work with MKV movie files on a Mac.
The MKV movie file format is one of the most widely used (especially when you download movies or TV episodes from the web) due to its vast support and flexibility. For example, a single MKV file can contain not just the audio or video of a movie, but it can actually carry several audio and even subtitle tracks, making it a really cool option when downloading movies.
However, the set of available Mac applications for working with MKV files is extremely limited. Even worse, a simple search for them will most likely lead you to a bunch of buggy paid software.
Because of that, here we’ve compiled a short list with the three most useful MKV applications that you can find for your Mac at no cost and that let you work with MKV files, irrespective of your level of expertise.
Here they are.
Of the apps listed in this entry, iMkvExtract is the easiest to operate, while being quite powerful.
The way the app works is pretty simple: You load an MKV movie on it and it displays all the different files contained within it, including audio files, movie files and all of the movie’s subtitles.
As its name states, once you select the files you want, just click Extract and the app will extract a copy of those files for you to use.
Think of MKVtools as a version of iMkvExtract but on steroids. This app encloses a collection of tools that you can use to re-encode most MKV movies.
Besides having the option to also extract files from MKVs, MKVtools also allows you to completely remove them and even convert MKVs into formats that are more easily supported by other devices (some devices, like older TV’s, don’t play all MKV movies).
It is its extracting capabilities that put it ahead of any other app in this list though, since it lets you not just extract entire files from MKVs, but also customize the extraction process by time window, size and even by different video segments.
Also known as MKVToolnix, MkvMerge is an open source app targeted squarely at advanced users of video files. The app is by no means overly complex, but it is definitely not as user friendly as our two previous examples, and only users who know their way around video editors will know how to use it confidently. Of course, while intricate, MkvMerge allows you to perform a series of tasks with your MKV videos.
For example, using this app on your Mac you can easily remove the audio altogether from a MKV movie and replace it with another one. Or if you have, say, a MKV movie with several audio tracks (usually each for a different language), you can remove all but one of them, which can reduce the overall size of the movie file dramatically.
All in all, if you have a habit of watching MKV movies, make sure to at least take a look at any of the apps mentioned above. They can all save you countless headaches and a lot of time.