Help me Remux videos to MP4
April 12, 2016 9:45 AM   Subscribe

* I AM NOT LOOKING FOR HELP CONVERTING VIDEOS, HANDBRAKE IS NOT WHAT I NEED * I have a chromebook which can play MKV files but almost never plays the audio. I've read that there are programs that can 'remux' video so that it switches the container type or some such instead of actually converting the video. The programs that have been suggested are baffling and I have no idea how to do the remux with them. So I need advice on what program to use as well as how to use it. Thank you very much!

I have a Toshiba Chromebook 2 (original version). I have tried installing Crouton and the linux verison of VLC but could never get it to work well. VLC for Chrome also doesn't work. I know about the program WALTR but that is made for iOS devices and wants to automatically move the remuxed video to an idevice.
posted by mattholomew to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You need the ffmpeg command line tool. This is the thing that lets you select from the various input streams in the container and convert or not convert them.

If you want to only change the container format of a file, you use:

ffmpeg -i input.mkv -c copy -map 0 output.mp4

See the ffmpeg wiki here.

The -c copy says you want nothing re-encoded. -map 0 says to copy all channels.

If you want to strip certain channels, like subtitles that you don't need or whatever, then you have to get into the map option.

Once you are comfortable with it, using ffmpeg directly is the way to go.
posted by cotterpin at 10:01 AM on April 12, 2016 [6 favorites]

ffmpeg is the standard software for this kind of thing—it's a swiss-army knife for processing video files, and is what I use if I want to repackage an MKV file as an MP4. You could use it to copy the video file and transcode the audio, too, if you needed.

It's a command-line tool; the command you'd use to repackage an MKV as an MP4 (f'instance) is
ffmpeg -i sourcefile.mkv -c:v copy -c:a copy targetfile.mp4

posted by adamrice at 10:01 AM on April 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm fairly certain that AVIDEMUX can do what you want by using the copy command (does not re-encode) and selecting the container you want. It has a GUI and documentation, so not too baffling.
posted by nequalsone at 10:48 AM on April 12, 2016

mattholomew, please correct me if I'm wrong, but the Toshiba Chromebook 2 does not run Windows or Linux out of the box? And what you're looking for is a utility that will either run native in ChromeOS or is proven to work in the Crouton Linux environment you've installed?
posted by infinitewindow at 10:58 AM on April 12, 2016

My previous answer assumes that you have Linux running on your computer. Closer reading suggests that may not be the case. My understanding of crouton is that it is not a Linux distribution but a set of scripts that allow you to install either Ubuntu or Debian. AVIDEMUX runs under Linux but not, as far as I know, Chrome OS. I can't suggest a solution that runs natively in Chrome OS.
posted by nequalsone at 11:49 AM on April 12, 2016

Infinitewindow, I am not looking for a solution that runs in Linux on my chromebook as Linux does not work well for me. I'm looking for a tool I could use on Windows and then play the video in the native Chrome OS player. Thank you!
posted by mattholomew at 1:12 PM on April 12, 2016

You can install ffmpeg under windows & run it from the command line there.

It may not be the easiest solution, but it’s the one that’s most likely to work.
posted by pharm at 2:24 PM on April 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

In that case, cotterpin, adamrice and pharm have the best answers so far. ffmpeg is a very powerful tool.
posted by infinitewindow at 2:41 PM on April 12, 2016

Avidemux has worked for me to do exactly that. Once you load a video into it there's three drop down menus on the left - #1 and #2 for video and audio (leave both set to "Copy"), #3 for the container format (change to "mp4v2"). Save.
posted by sailoreagle at 5:20 PM on April 12, 2016

AVIDEMUX works on Windows as well as Linux. I use it on Windows exactly as sailoreagle describes. It is extremely simple to use. I would be surprised if it took much more than 60 seconds to go to the website, install the program, and initiate your first remux.
posted by nequalsone at 10:12 AM on April 13, 2016

P.S. I have no other interest in this software than that I also wanted to remux some files, poked around the ffmpeg documentation, got intimidated, tried AVIDEMUX and was immediately successful with no learning curve. I know it sounds like I am a shill or something. I was just very pleasantly surprised that this did exactly what I needed with no fiddling around.
posted by nequalsone at 10:30 AM on April 13, 2016

« Older help me build parenting confidence   |   Windows Mini? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.