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I am looking for a movie conversion program to convert mkv movies with embedded subtitles to be put on iOS devices. While there are various tools readily available such as Free Studio, etc, these tools neglected the embedded subtitles in the .mkv movie files, resulting in completely missing subtitle features from the movie files.

Normally, if you play .mkv files, VLC player, for instance, will automatically detect and render these subtitles in real time.

So what I want is to watch these movies on my iOS devices while at the same time, having the embedded subtitles intact. Of course, iOS do not support mkv directly, so some other methods such as format conversion are required.

What choices do I have?

If possible, I would like to have a program that parse the embedded subtitles and render all the subtitles directly onto every frame of the movie files. Multicore and CUDA support are a plus.

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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can take two approaches.

One, covert the MKVs to MP4s losslessly. This does not mean transcoding, but rather re-muxing the files in the containers.

On Mac you can use an app called Subler. You can open an MKV in it, then export as an MP4.

As for Windows: I'm not as sure. I have never done it before but with a little Google-Fu I managed to find an app called XMedia-Recode. It seems to perform a similar feature set to Subler and should be enough to re-mux your MKVs.


The second approach is to just find a media player on iOS that will play MKVs. I am assuming that these MKVs have fairly standard codecs. Try this app from Firecore, Infuse. They claim that it will play

3GP, AVI, ASF, DVR-MS, FLV, M4V, MKV, MOV, MP4, OGM, OGV, WebM, WMV, WTV

To name just a few and supports these subtitle formats.

SRT, SSA, ASS, DVDsub, PGSsub, XSUB, Timed Text, VobSub, DVB
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You could always use an app like AVPlayerHD that allows you to watch MKVs with subtitles on your iOS device natively. I use this myself on significant other's iPad and she watches everything from the device itself (no streaming or transcoding required).

Alternatively you will need to remux the video and associated audio into an MP4 container (unless DTS) and then convert the subtitles from SRT etc into TTXT (MP4Box will do this with the -ttxt switch)

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