Matroska

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Matroska
MKV Extension Icon
Filename extension .mkv .mk3d .mka .mks
Internet media type video/x-matroska audio/x-matroska
Developed by www.matroska.org
Type of format Container format
Container for Multimedia
Open format? Yes
Website Matroska.org

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.[1] 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.[2]

"Matroska" is derived from Matryoshka (Russian: матрёшка [mɐˈtrʲoʂkə]), which refers to the hollow, wooden, "Russian doll", or Matryoshka doll, that opens to expose another doll that in turn opens to expose another doll, and so on. The logo uses "Matroška", with the caron over the "s".

History[edit]

The project was announced on 6 December 2002[3] 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

In 2010, it was announced that the WebM audio/video format would be based on a profile of the Matroska container format together with VP8 video and Vorbis audio.[4]

Goals[edit]

The use of EBML allows extension for future format changes. The Matroska team have openly expressed some of their long term goals on Doom9.org and hydrogenaud.io (formerly hydrogenaudio.org).

Thus, the following are "goals",[5] 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

License[edit]

Matroska is supported by a non-profit organisation in France (association loi 1901), but the specifications are open to everyone. 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.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]