Because not all software and hardware players are capable of dealing with the structure of Blu-ray discs, MakeMKV comes in handy to transform your BDs into MKV compact containers, a file format that most media players can read. MakeMKV can also transform all the media streams on a DVD into a single MKV file, preserving in both cases the original quality of the files involved.
Matroska or MKV containers are a convenient substitute of DVD and Blu-ray folders, and can hold any number of video, audio, and subtitle streams, providing you with the same playback experience of the original Blu-ray disc, except for the menus and the extra titles. The former will be lost in the process, but the latter (documentaries, trailers, interviews, etc.) can also be turned into individual MKV files if so desired, so no content is lost. The wide variety of video and audio formats supported make MKV the perfect solution to transcode your favorite movies into a format that most multimedia hard drives and players can deal with without loss in the original quality.
MakeMKV is capable of decrypting your original discs before conversion, removing manufacturer’s structure protection. As soon as you select a DVD or Blu-ray disc or folder from one of your drives, the program will analyze its structure and will reject all files shorter than 120 seconds, assuming that they have no useful content or that their content is negligible. You will be shown a tree structure of the disc, listing all titles complete with their chapters and the streams associated to each of them (video, audio, and subtitles), so that you can choose what to include in the MKV file and what to leave out. This will let you choose only those audio and subtitle streams that you are really interested in, leaving out soundtracks in foreign languages or bulky DTS tracks that your player may not be able to play.
The conversion process itself is pretty fast, and the results will preserve the original video and audio quality in all its glory. The output will be a single .mkv file containing all the video, audio, and subtitle streams you checked in the transcoding process, allowing you to select any of them on your software or hardware player during playback.
MakeMKV will remain a free tool while in beta. Though this free status is supposed to last for only 30 days, all you have to do is download the latest version of the program from the developers’ site and install it again on your system. Any movie lover finding it difficult to watch their movies on different platforms or simply wanting to preserve the integrity of their disc collection should at least give MakeMKV a try.