|Internet media type||
|Type of format||Container format|
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 in one file. It is intended to serve as a universal format for storing common multimedia content, like movies or TV shows. Matroska is similar in concept to other containers like AVI, MP4, or Advanced Systems Format (ASF), but is entirely open in specification, with implementations consisting mostly of open source software. Matroska file extensions are .MKV for video (with subtitles and audio), .MK3D for stereoscopic video, .MKA for audio-only files, and .MKS for subtitles only.
"Matroska" derives from Matryoshka (Russian: матрёшка [mɐˈtrʲoʂkə]), which refers to the hollow, wooden, "Russian doll", or Matryoshka doll, that opens horizontally to expose another doll that opens to expose another doll, and so on. The doll reference contains several analogies that appeal to "open" source computer programmers, who need concepts like container and nesting. The logo uses "Matroška", with the breve over the "s".
The project was announced on 6 December 2002 as a fork of the Multimedia Container Format (MCF), after disagreements between MCF lead developer Lasse Kärkkäinen and soon-to-be Matroska founder Steve Lhomme about the use of the Extensible Binary Meta Language (EBML) instead of a binary format. This coincided with a long coding break by the MCF's lead developer, during which most of the community quickly migrated to the new project.
Thus, the following are "goals", not necessarily existing features, of Matroska:
- creating a modern, flexible, extensible, cross-platform multimedia container format
- developing robust streaming support
- developing a menu system similar to that of DVDs based on EBML
- developing a set of tools for the creation and editing of Matroska files
- developing libraries that can be used to allow developers to add Matroska support to their applications
- working with hardware manufacturers to include Matroska support in embedded multimedia devices
- working to provide native Matroska support in various operating systems and hardware platforms
CoreCodec owns the copyrights and trademarks for the Matroska specification, but the specifications are open to everybody. The Matroska project is a royalty-free open standard which is free to use and the technical specifications are available for private and commercial use. The Matroska development team licenses its libraries under the LGPL, with parsing and playback libraries available under BSD licenses.
- Matroska Format Specifications, Matroska.org.
- See FAQ. "What file extensions does Matroska use?" http://www.matroska.org/technical/guides/faq/index.html
- To a Russian who does not use computers, matroska (Russian: матроска) only means "sailor suit". Another loose aspect of this privileged analogy is that the objects contained in a data container are not nested like the dolls inside a Matryoshka doll.
- "Matroska: Older Archives". Retrieved 9 September 2009.
- Frequently Asked Questions, the WebM project
- Matroska – official site