My MKV stops conversion halfway through
May 25, 2012 4:47 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to convert an MKV file to mp4 using Handbrake, but for some reason it tells me it's finished converting 40 minutes through. The completed 40 minutes are excellent quality, but I'm at a complete loss as to why it's stopping so early. The file isn't DRMed to the best of my knowledge. What might be going wrong? How can I get Handbrake to finish converting my video? And if Handbrake can't, what other app for Mac handles MKV conversion without horrible quality loss (like VisualHub or QuickTime do)?
posted by Rory Marinich to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Just want to make sure you checked the obvious: Is the MKV playable to the end, and did you select the complete range of chapters in Handbrake?
posted by DakotaPaul at 4:51 PM on May 25, 2012

Response by poster: The MKV is perfect throughout, and it only has a single chapter, which is what makes this so baffling. I've Googled this extensively over the last couple days, but haven't found an explanation.
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:52 PM on May 25, 2012

I use AnyVideo HD ($599 in the US Mac App Store) for the occasional mkv file conversion to MP4 to play on my iPhone/AppleTV. It basically is a pretty front end for ffmpeg and super simplified to let you make files you can play in HD on iPhone/iPad/AppleTV/XBOX/PlayStation/Mobile (old school dumb phones but also Android/WinMo/Blackberry) and Mov or Xvid files for your Desktop. You can't really do much customizing with it. You just click and go take a nap and when you wake up the file is done.

I use AnyVideo HD mostly for converting wmv and avi files to play on my Apple TV. Sometimes there's an error like you describe happened to you in Handbrake but I found deleting the bad file and trying again often helps.

I don't know if AnyVideo HD will do a better job or is more tolerant of errors in the video stream to get you the complete movie.
posted by birdherder at 5:14 PM on May 25, 2012

oops. the app is six dollars, not six hundred.
posted by birdherder at 5:14 PM on May 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

Some sort of hard-disk/maximum-space issue or setting?

(Quality - Target Size?)
posted by jkaczor at 6:19 PM on May 25, 2012

I would just try

ffmpeg -i somefile.mkv -o somefile.mp4 -acodec copy -vcodec copy

and see what happens with this simple remux operation. If you have unsupported audio and/or need to recompress the video for failure to comply with the appropriate profile/level requirements, most commonly distributed builds of FFMPEG can do the former with any number of libraries and the latter with libx264.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:26 PM on May 25, 2012

I think that MediaInfo could be helpful here.

It will show you exactly what each of your files contains.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:30 PM on May 25, 2012

Response by poster: MediaInfo only shows 1 video stream. 2 audio streams, but the audio isn't a problem at all.

Inspector.Gadget, do I need to download ffmpeg to use that command?
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:01 PM on May 25, 2012

Response by poster: (Quality - Target Size?)

This might be it! I didn't realize that unless I checked "large file size" the video encoding would end once it hit 4GB. I'll try this out tonight and report back whether it worked.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:03 PM on May 25, 2012

Response by poster: Damn it! Nope, the same thing happened: 45 minutes in, sudden end.
posted by Rory Marinich at 5:42 AM on May 26, 2012

4 GB for 40 minutes is very lavish. Try reducing the quality for your output.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:49 AM on May 26, 2012

Have you actually tried playing the video through the ~40 minute mark? I have a video that Handbrake was cutting off at 11:07. I opened the original in VLC to make sure it would still play later in the video, and it worked fine. But when I started to play at around 11 minutes, it hit 11:07 (exactly where Handbrake was cutting off) and VLC closed the window. So it turned out to be a glitch in the MKV, even though VLC could play it fine if I started after 11:07.

The solution was to run the MKV through Meteorite. VLC would now play through the glitchy part (although it still looks a bit glitchy at that point, it continues playing), and Handbrake completed with no problems.

(Also, you're not trying to write to a FAT filesystem, are you? That will have a 4 GB file size limit.)
posted by ocha-no-mizu at 2:42 PM on December 2, 2012

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