My First Experience with MKV

Album Cover: Plans

"And it came to me then that every plan is a tiny prayer to Father Time."
Death Cab / What Sarah Said

Posted on September 29, 2007 12:42 AM in Computers
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

We all know .mp3 and .avi, but have you heard of .mkv?

I checked Mininova this morning to find a torrent of the first episode of the brand new (and final?) season of Smallville. To my surprise, one of the search results had "720p HDTV" in the title, so I decided to download it. It was a little over a gigabyte in size (compared to roughly 350 megabytes for most normal episode torrents), so I let the download sit all day, and it was finished by the time I got home from work.

When I tried to play the file, though, I realized that it had an .mkv extension that I had not encountered before. It didn't take long to find's guide to .mkv files, which explained that .mkv files are "Matroska files" and pointed me to the Combined Community Codec Pack, a pack of media codecs that would allow me to watch .mkv files in Windows Media Player.

After installing the codec pack, the .mkv file was immediately associated with WMP and I was able to play it. What I saw was what I expected and hoped for: the first episode of the new season of Smallville in glorious, crystal clear HD.

Long live BitTorrent and long live technology!


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