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I want to edit MKV video files (anime). Naturally I want to use iMovie / Final Cut. But sadly they can't import MKV?

What is the recommended thing to do? Should I convert the files first or use a different software that does support MKV?

I'm a total newbie to video editing so I have no real attachment to any software, thanks!

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I think you'll need to split the file into different parts - MKV is just a container format –  user6124 Jun 26 '11 at 10:40

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes, I would recommend to convert it to a format that iMove can import. MKV is just a container format so you probably already have an iMovie-compatible inside that package. Under Snow Leopard just install Perian and open it in QuickTime X and then go to File->Save as ... and choose a suitable format from the dropdown menu.

If you need more control over your conversion, you could also convert it to an iMovie-compatible format using any of the video conversion tools available for the Mac. For a long time VisualHub was the king of video format conversion, unfortunately techspansion the company behind it, closed its virtual doors. There are two main open-source options derived from VisualHub, ReduxZero and TranscoderRedux they both should do the trick. Another option is Subler which will also convert to and from MKV video containers to an iMovie-compatible format.

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Thanks the Perian method works ok. How do I convert multiple files in batch? And since changing the container is so simple why can't final cut do it :S –  Harry Jun 27 '11 at 15:03

You can also change the container with ffmpeg:

for f in *.mkv;do ffmpeg -i "$f" -c copy "${f%mkv}mov";done

ffmpeg can also be used to for example save a segment as a new file:

ffmpeg -i input.mkv -c copy -ss 0:37:55 -t 0:0:5 37.55-to-38.00.mkv

You can use mkvtoolnix to add or remove subtitles:

mkvmerge -i input.mkv # --identify
mkvmerge -o output.mkv input.mkv -S # remove all subtitle tracks
mkvmerge -o output.mkv input.mkv -s 3,4 # remove subtitle tracks 3 and 4
mkvmerge -o output.mkv input.mkv subs.srt # add subtitle track
mkvextract tracks input.mkv 3:subs.srt # save track 3 as subs.srt
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