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     Online Glossary of MKV Terms


   Online Glossary of MKV Terms

The Matroska Multimedia Container is an open standard free container format, a file format that can hold an unlimited number of video, audio, picture or subtitle tracks inside a single file. It is intended to serve as a universal format for storing common multimedia content, like movies or TV shows. Matroska is similar in conception to other containers like AVI, MP4 or ASF, but is entirely open in specification, with implementations consisting mostly of open source software. Matroska file types are .MKV for video (with subtitles and audio), .MKA for audio-only files and .MKS for subtitles only. The most common use of .MKV files is to store HD video files.

Matroska is an English word derived from the Russian word matryoshka (Russian: матрёшка, IPA: [mɐˈtrʲoʂkə]), which means nesting doll (the common Russian egg-shaped doll within a doll). This is a play on the container (media within a form of media/doll within a doll) aspect of the matryoshka as it is a container for visual and audio data. The transliteration may be confusing for Russian speakers, as the Russian word matroska (матроска) actually refers to a sailor suit.


Content in Matroska

Initially the uptake of the format was low. It was used almost exclusively for DVD rips of anime, as the container allowed the viewer to choose between the original language track and a dub with the option of subtitles. It also allowed for variable frame rates. In recent years, however, Matroska has seen wider use due to the warez scene adopting it as a format of choice for high definition content ripped from HDTV and next generation video discs (HD DVD and Blu-ray). The format usually carries H.264 video, one or more AC3/AAC/DTS/Vorbis audio tracks and sometimes one or more subtitle tracks (coupled with TrueType or OpenType fonts).


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