I'm struggling with trying to settle on a container format for my DVD rips. From what I have read in various threads is that MP4 is the more widely supported container but MKV is better support for multiple audio streams and subtitles. So my original plan was to use MP4 for videos with a single audio stream and no subtitles and MKV if it does. However I've done a few tests and so far I see that MP4 seems to have fairly decent support for both multiple audio streams and subtitles... at least with the video players I am using. What am I missing in terms of where MKV really shines? Is it the ability to add more streams later on to the file? I know MKV supports more audio formats and such. Is that it?
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For your consideration: MP4 supports only two types of subtitles, Timed Text and VobSub, whereas Matroska supports VobSub, SRT, SSA, ASS, and Blu-Ray subpics as well. Regarding audio and video --- not only MKV is more versatile than MP4, but the available Matroska muxers are less limited than the available MP4 muxers (MP4Box, mp4creator and L-Smash). Just as an example, L-Smash accepts VC-1, Lossless MPEG-4 Audio, ALAC, AAC, AC3 and DTS, but doesn't accept DivX/Xvid, or MPEG-1 + MPEG-2; on the other hand, MP4Box cannot handle VC-1, ALAC, Mpeg4ALS and DTS.
Thanks for the reply! Is there any place where you would prefer MP4 over MKV? Seems like MKV is pretty well supported these days.
Sarcasm aside (but what I said isn't completely without a kernel of truth), unless you are married to Apple devices or some other device that only likes MP4 and not MKV, there is no sane reason ever to use MP4 over MKV if given a choice. Without any hesitation I would advise anyone that if they have a playback device that can't handle MKV but can handle MP4, then they need a new playback device.
LOL! One thing that I certainly am NOT is an Apple fanboy. I do not overpay for devices that lack flexibility and box me into using their standards.
I don't own a single Apple device now (though once long ago I admit I owned an iPod). And MX Player on my Android phone seems to handle MKV just fine. I guess the only reason to use MP4 would be if I ever wanted to share my files with someone who is invested in Apple products (which there are many of).
The only time you need to use mp4 is if you have ps3.I think,therefore i am a hamster.
For me a lot of it comes down to the ease of working with the files after they've been created. Removing/adding/changing streams, remuxing etc. There's no competition really. MKVMergeGUI makes working with MKVs much easier than working with MP4s. It can also open other file types and remux them as MKVs, or it'll open an MKV, an MP4 and an AVI, let you choose the streams you want from each, then save the output as MKV. That sort of thing.....
Trying to achieve the same with MP4 as the output tends to be far more of a chore.