Ever wished that the movie that you just bought was also on your iPad? Or have you ever wanted to copy music videos off the Blu-Ray disc which your friend lent you? Well, if you don’t know how to rip and convert a Blu-ray file to a format which will play on other media players, here is something that will help.
First Off, What Is MKV?
Matroska or .mkv files are multimedia files much like AVI or MP4. Named after the popular Russian toy, these files can contain unlimited number of content or tracks in a single file. The .mkv files are especially useful for playing videos on PSPs, iPads and a lot of other multimedia players. Converting Blu-ray files into the .mkv format requires software that can rip a Blu-ray disc and then convert the video, audio and subtitle tracks. Now onto the list of the more popular apps:
Reviewed by PC World as one of the foremost tools for Blu-ray to MKV conversion, MakeMKV is a no-frills software that does just what its name says. This is for those who want to keep it simple and not be bothered about editing the video/audio. Make MKV will convert your Blu-ray files to the mkv format and store tracks with all the meta-information as it is.
This software is only updated when the developer gets to it, so don’t expect the latest movies to be supported. So support is mainly offered through forums dedicated to the app. You can download MakeMKV here. Take a quick look at this public endorsement from my friends at GFQNetwork.com.
This goes a little further than the last one. BD Rebuilder converts Blu-ray files to mkv for sure but it does not stop at that. While it might not be your tool of choice if you worked in Hollywood, this software lets you shrink a Blu-ray file and convert it to MP4, MKV and even DVD formats. There are also options for removal of audio or subs data you don’t want.
Again, like MakeMKV this software is only supported when the developer gets around to updating it. A good tool for simple BD rips but it is not a decrypter so it will not work with Blu-Ray movies that have copy protection. For this I always recommend using AnyDVD HD, since they make the best HD decrypter around.
This software is a user-friendly all-in-one converter. It might not give you the settings and filters of BluRip, but RipBot264 can convert almost any media file to any other type of media file. Blu-ray, DVD, MAC, MKV, MP4 and AVCHD are to name a few.
Support is a bit better and the community around RipBot is pretty good. So if you run into any issues with settings or using the software in general then you should be able to find some decent support to get you the best overall video quality and settings for certain BD discs.
Out of all the freeware apps available I prefer this over the others just because of the additional help that is available from the community. Take a look at this in-depth video on using RipBot264 plus a few others:
Compact and simple, VidCoder does not create huge temporary files and thus can work on computers which are running low on hard disk-space. Although not a very good choice in terms of options, it compensates by doing best what it’s supposed to do – make mkv and mp4 files out of Blu-ray Discs.
If you love buttons and tabs and innumerable options then this is what you should go for. It is the most comprehensive conversion suite for Blu-ray. Convert to mkv, shrink it, and play around with various permutations of video, audio and meta-data. For unleashing its full potential it requires other freeware tools like Haali Media splitter which can be easily accessed online.
While all these freeware MKV converters are great, they are only limited to converting to .mkv format. If this is your end goal then use away, but for those that need additional file format support in addition to being able to Copy and burn to DVD or BD, then I recommend you looking at the full software suites that we have reviewed below. Just choose one the the categories to view the entire list.
Best Paid MKV Video Converters
Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate:
One of my favorite all round video converter suites is from Wondershare. With this software you can not only convert Blu-Ray and DVD movies into any video format including .mkv, but you can also create DVD movies from any video you already have. You can also download YouTube videos in SD or HD quality as well as videos from numerous of other video sharing sites. Take a look at my full review of Wondershare here.
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