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Save output files from MakeMKV?

Posted: Sun Aug 07, 2022 4:39 pm
by CGooden
I am curious if I should be archiving the files that makemkv produces when ripping a DVD. At present I have no equipment except my PC that will play a *.mkv file. So I have been using Handbrake to convert the *.MKV files to MP4 and deleting the MKV file.

I have seen postings from others that appear that they can play a MKV directly and I am wondering if I should be saving these files for a future use. I do not have enough experience to know if I will reget deleting the MKV files in the future. Does newer equipment play MKV files directly?

Any comments?

Re: Save output files from MakeMKV?

Posted: Sun Aug 07, 2022 6:32 pm
by Woodstock
Save what you can play.

If you don't have MKV playback capability right now, there isn't much sense in saving MKV files, since you can regenerate them when you DO have MKV playback available.

I did not save the MKV files "way back when", but now all my MP4-requiring machines are gone, so I save as MKV. But, if I still had MP4 equipment, I'd be saving both, but when you have 70+ terabytes storage it's less of a problem to keep both.

Re: Save output files from MakeMKV?

Posted: Sun Aug 07, 2022 6:51 pm
by Ezatoka
Technically MP4 and MKV are just containers.

And still there are players who can handle the e.g. x264 video stream in a MP4 container, but not in a MKV container. With e.g. ffmpeg you can remux from one container to another without reencoding if you ever need it later again.

Re: Save output files from MakeMKV?

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2022 1:47 pm
by dcoke22
I'm going to guess that when you rip a DVD into a .mkv and then use Handbrake to make a .mp4 file that Handbrake is probably compressing the file. That makes the .mp4 a lower quality file with the benefit of being a smaller file size.

The highest quality file would be the .mkv rip that MakeMKV produced, as MakeMKV does not compress the file in any way.

In my view, the hard thing about ripping a movie collection is the time it takes to put the disc into a drive and wait for MakeMKV to rip. All the conversion, compression, remuxing, transcoding, etc. that might happen after that, while still potentially time consuming, is something my computer can work on while I sleep.

As such, I generally keep the .mkv files produced by MakeMKV since they're the equivalent of originals. The playback systems used will change over time and might need a different container or file format as Ezatoka points out. If I still have the 'originals' I can convert it into whatever container or format is needed while retaining the highest quality possible. As Woodstock points out, one could just rip the disc again but I choose to spend a bit more for storage to be able to keep the originals.

As a rule of thumb, a 2 hour movie ripped from a DVD is about 5GB. The same thing from a blu-ray is about 30GB. At those sizes, one can store about 200 DVDs or about 33 blu-rays in 1 TB of space. 18TB hard drives are available for about $350. If you want something in a nice plastic box with a USB port, a Seagate external 14TB drive is about $250. Unless your movie collection is thousands of movies, storing 'the originals' is relatively easy.