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Need Some Advice Regarding MKV to MP4 File Conversion

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I primarily use Premiere and After Effects to edit video, but I’m running into an issue regarding file type. Premiere and AE don’t recognize mkv files, so I’m trying to convert my mkv file to mp4 using Handbrake. The thing is, it is a pretty large video file, and trying to do a lossless conversion is going to take several hours. I’m just curious what other methods people use, because I’m just worried my method is really inefficient.

If you do use Handbrake, I’d love to know what settings you use. This is rather new to me and I’m just worried I’m not going about this process the right way.

Also, if you are an After Effects user, if you’re editing a particular shot that is part of a larger video clip, would you export the individual clip first, or throw the entire video file into your After Effects project. It seems like working with an individual clip or two would be easier on the program, but perhaps it is an extra unnecessary step.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide!

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A couple of ideas.

First of all, Premiere Pro does support MKV - at least, it does in version 13.0.2 (though I’m on CC, which you may not have the benefit of). Update if you can, and it may solve your problems.

If you really do need MP4s, transcoding is a pretty wasteful way of doing it, both in terms of time and quality. Far better would be to demux the audio/video streams from the MKV and then remux as an MP4, provided you aren’t using video or audio formats that are illegal for that container.

I tend to use ClownBD for demuxing (it’s a nice frontend for eac3to), or you may get MKVExtractGUI to work for you. Once you have the discrete streams, use MyMP4BoxGUI to reassemble it as an MP4.

If that isn’t working (because of some format issue with your source), try tsMuxer to make a .TS file - this is a pretty accepting container, especially in terms of audio, and Premiere has supported it for quite a while.

Hope that’s of some help!

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I use Premiere. I use tsmuxer to demux the video into its own .m2ts stream and the audio into its own stream, then import the separate video and audio streams into Premiere and link them together in the timeline. No reencoding involved as long as your timeline is set up properly (AVC/h.264 video of the correct resolution and framerate, or whatever video format your original file came in).

This also allows me to convert any incompatible audio independently from the video.

a trolling bantha

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Thanks so much for the advice! I definitely am less proficient with the technical side, but a part of me was thinking that there’s got to be a better way of doing this.

I’ll try using tsmuxer first since both of you mentioned it, and I’ll let you guys know if that works for me. Thanks again, Jonno and Ash!