MKV (h264) File to PS3 MP4 Scripted (Updated 2008-12-25)

For the past little while I’ve been scripting my first tutorial and over the past little while its worked. It has advantages over other scripts that I’ve seen such as, proper identification of the video track and its FPS. I’ve also compensated for ffmpeg’s multiple naming of the aac codec name and taken this whole process off the command line into the realm of the GUI.

So, today I decided to make it available for those that might want to try it out. It’s available here. Currently, it’s only available as Python source. So, although it is a GUI program, it still needs to be launched from the command line. Launch it by issuing (assuming the file is in the same directory):


Or for those that really really hate the command line, you need only do this one per download:

/usr/bin/python py2app

Then look in dist/ and you’ll find an Application bundle. I’m not making this available now, as there hasn’t been an official release yet. But, as you can see, you can make it yourself easily.

I must note a few things though. As there has yet to be an official release, there are a couple outstanding issues; none are critical. As long as the “by hand” process would have worked and you have enough HDD space, there shouldn’t be any problems.

I must make a note to avoid probably confusing people; it does not do file splitting a la the second tutorial. It will tell you that it does, but it doesn’t. The program is lying to you. This feature is obviously on the roadmap, but it has yet to be implemented. If this feature is needed before I get around to implementing it, a work around is doing the splitting by hand, and then running this program over those pieces.

If you have any comments, suggestions, etc, don’t hesitate to comment below. If you find any bugs, or whatnot, then please submit that to the project as an issue here.

UPDATE: I’ve just fixed the one thing before I was comfortable releasing a test release. You may now go to the download page to get rev5. Please mind that if you have files called audio.aac, video.h264 or file.mp4 in the same directory as the MKV you’re trying to convert, you’re asking for those files to be overwritten. Also, while converting file.MKV, if you have a file called file.MP4 in that same directory, you’re asking for that file to be overwritten. Those are all the known issues at this time that’ll effect you.

UPDATE: If anyone has any more issues, please submit them to the issues section at the project. I don’t want to clutter this blog with issues when there is a much better facility to use at the project.

UPDATE: Jeffrey Gelens just informed us in the comments below that mpeg4ip has been removed from MacPorts. According to the logs, this happened about 4 days ago as it was obsoleted by another port. Until I have time to look into fixing this issue, I have written a wiki page as an attempt at a stop gap measure.

UPDATE: The mpeg4ip port has been reinstated. So, for those that have downloaded the files off my site and installed mpeg4ip that way, you should uninstall that mpeg4ip and:

sudo port selfupdate

sudo port install mpeg4ip

The reason being that this would bring you in line with the official MacPorts. So, if anything goes wrong, you know it’s not your fault. An example of this would be conflicting files on installing another port.

UPDATE: Embarrassingly, I forgot to say that I/we should thank the people at MacPorts, particularly devans@, for there/his very fast reinstatement of this port. I/We most certainly appreciate it.

UPDATE: A new version is out. The announcement is here.


16 Responses to “MKV (h264) File to PS3 MP4 Scripted (Updated 2008-12-25)”

  1. david Says:

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU!! I’ve been waiting for this for so long. I am currently downloading an mkv now!! i will try it later.

  2. david Says:

    Yeah… the app doesn work.

  3. Odd Man Out Says:

    Did you mean “doesn’t” or “does”? Because, that typo could go either way?

    If it didn’t work for you, have you installed the software required in the first tutorial linked above? If so, have you made sure that /opt/local/bin is in your path?

  4. Hansen Says:

    When running the app it completes all the tasks – but where is the mp4 file?

  5. Odd Man Out Says:

    In the exact same directory as the mkv you choose to convert.

  6. Jonas Says:

    When starting the conversion, it fails on the first step without any real error messages. Is there a log saved somewhere?

  7. Odd Man Out Says:

    No log. But, I direct you to my reply to david and note that improper error messages are on the todo list which you would have known if you would have checked out the issues section of the project page (there /is/ a link to it in the blog).

  8. Jonas Says:

    Yep, I have run all the steps in your tutorial previously, so I was very glad when I found your GUI app and I appreciate your work a lot.

    Also, /opt/local/bin is in my path.

  9. Odd Man Out Says:

    Ok, I just hacked together a “debug” build (rev 8). Download it at the project page. The new “features” below are such that if one isn’t having problems, one doesn’t need to download it.

    – It opens up a console as well now. So, if something blows up in the background that should be seen. This is temporary to figure out what’s going on.

    – I’ve also somewhat fixed the non-descriptive error messages. So, problems should show up better.

    But, if you, or anyone else has any more issues, please submit them at the project page. I don’t want to clutter this blog with issues when there is a much better facility to use at the project page.

  10. Jeffrey Gelens Says:

    The mpeg4ip package is not available anymore in Macports 😦 I’ve tried to accomplish the same thing using ffmpeg, but no success.

  11. Odd Man Out Says:

    According to the logs, mpeg4ip was obsoleted and removed about 4 days ago. I have written up instructions that will hopefully work as a stop gap.

  12. Odd Man Out Says:

    The mpeg4ip port has been reinstated. So, you may uninstall the port that you compiled through what you downloaded from my project page and install the new one. Though you’ll need to do a:

    sudo port selfupdate

    Before the port becomes available. In fact, you should do this as soon as you get the chance as it will bring your MacPorts builds in line with official. So, you’ll know if something goes wrong it isn’t something that you did.

  13. David Seda Says:

    In order to have this work successfully you most definitely have to have 2gb’s + worth of software from XCode installed on your machine? Or am I doing something wrong? Macports says I need these files X11 X11SDK and the XCode pkg, All in all take up more than 2gbs on my HD.

    Just confirming


  14. Odd Man Out Says:

    It has been so long since I installed XCode, Macports and the necessary ports that I have no idea how large a chunk of the HDD it takes up. That wouldn’t surprise me though, as every one of the programs necessary has dependencies and those dependencies can have many more. But, if the Macports people say you need it, then it’s more than just possible.

  15. David Seda Says:

    It’s just a shame, because I am in no means a dev. The only reason these things are install on my macbook is so i can use this work around to convert the mkv movies the fastest way. Since there apparently is no other way then this I suppose I will have to cope with the HD space loss. Unless of course there is a workaround for that as well?

  16. Odd Man Out Says:

    And there is just one of the differences in culture between open-source and the main stream OS’s. On a open-source OS, these tools, everything, would already be installed. On a main stream OS (e.g. Windows, Mac OS X), they aren’t.

    It’s also about what people are used to. On a open-source OS, we are used to getting things through a ports tree or some other sort of package management system. On a main stream OS, it’s all about downloading a package and having it self contained.

    Mac OS X is now sitting in-between worlds as it now has MacPorts. Windows is moving in that direction as well.

    But, is 2G really that bad? I mean, when I got my Mac mini it had an 80G HDD. Two gigs of that is hardly much. And now (and for a while) those HDD are much larger.

    However, there is somewhat of a work around. If you really want to have those 2G. If you are only going to install the software for this package and nothing else (or other things that only require a one time install). Then you could install the dev stuff, install the stuff through MacPorts you want, and then uninstall the dev stuff. It is, after all, only needed to install things, not for them to run. Do *not*, however, uninstall MacPorts. It is relatively tiny and does keep track of things that are necessary if you want to upgrade, etc later.

    That being said, if you ever want to upgrade your software, or install other things through MacPorts, you’ll need to reinstall the dev stuff and go from there. If that is worth it for you, then it is an option. But, not one that I think, at least for me, is worth it. You might have a different opinion. I don’t know how much that 2G is worth to you.

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