.mkv .mk3d .mka .mks
|Internet media type|
|Initial release||6 December 2002|
18 February 2021
|Type of format||Container format|
|Extended from||MCF, EBML|
The Matroska Multimedia Container is a free and open container format, a file format that can hold an unlimited number of video, audio, picture, or subtitle tracks in one file. It is a universal format for storing common multimedia content, like movies or TV shows. Matroska is similar in concept to other containers like AVI, MP4, or Advanced Systems Format (ASF), but is entirely open in specification, with implementations consisting mostly of open source software. Matroska file extensions are .mkv for video (which may include subtitles or audio), .mk3d for stereoscopic video, .mka for audio-only files, and .mks for subtitles only.
The project was announced on 6 December 2002 as a fork of the Multimedia Container Format (MCF), after disagreements between MCF lead developer Lasse Kärkkäinen and soon-to-be Matroska founder Steve Lhomme about the use of the Extensible Binary Meta Language (EBML) instead of a binary format. This coincided with a 6-month coding break by the MCF's lead developer for his military service, during which most of the community quickly migrated to the new project.
In 2010, it was announced that the WebM audio/video format would be based on a profile of the Matroska container format together with VP8 video and Vorbis audio.
On 31 October 2014, Microsoft confirmed that Windows 10 would support HEVC and Matroska out of the box, according to a statement from Gabriel Aul, the leader of Microsoft Operating Systems Group's Data and Fundamentals Team. Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9860 added platform level support for HEVC and Matroska.
"Matroska" is derived from matryoshka (Russian: матрёшка [mɐˈtrʲɵʂkə]), the Russian word for the hollow wooden dolls which open to expose another smaller doll, that in turn opens to expose another doll, and so on. The logo writes it as "Matroška"; the letter š, an "s" with a caron over it, represents the "sh" sound (/ʂ/) in various languages. Interestingly, the exact transcript of "matroska" in Russian (Russian: матроска [mɐˈtroskə]) has completely different root and meaning – sailor suit.
The use of EBML allows extension for future format changes. The Matroska team has expressed some of their long-term goals on Doom9.org and Hydrogen Audio forums. Thus, the following are "goals", not necessarily existing features, of Matroska:
Matroska is supported by a non-profit organization (association loi 1901) in France, and the specifications are open to everyone. It is a royalty-free open standard that is free to use, and its technical specifications are available for private and commercial use. The Matroska development team licenses its libraries under the LGPL, with parsing and playback libraries available under BSD licenses.
Players supporting Matroska include Foobar2000, Media Player Classic – Home Cinema (MPC-HC), and VLC media player.
Encoders and rippers supporting Matroska include Handbrake and MakeMKV.
Multiplexers and demultiplexers supporting Matroska include MKVToolNix.
Windows 10 supports Matroska natively.
((cite web)): Missing or empty