Well. MKV becomes more and more common, and user demand for support probably hasn't exactly decreased since the issue was first addressed regarding CS3 five years ago.
The year is now 2012, and CS6 is about to be released. But nothing has changed; Adobe still doesn't support any of the open source audio and video formats. Web content providers won't get any alternative to Flash by Adobe, and the video features of HTML5 has been deliberately left out of Adobe's socalled HTML5 'support' strategy even though everyone knows that video format support is an essential part.
MKV has some highly advanced features that no other container supports. But ...
- if you never need to take additional language support into account when you deliver content
- if indexing/bookmarking for long video sequences isn't something you care about
- if you don't care about quality-degrading conversion of original audio
... then I suppose Adobe still has something to offer!
You are absolutely correct. But the same applies to:
1. Microsoft, if you need Linux support, don't look at Microsoft,
2. Apple, if you need Linux support, don't look at Apple.
3. Android, if you need anything else, don't look at Android.
4. Word, if you need Autodesk support, don't look at Word.
Matroska is a very weird format that is only popular among GPL people, not pro's. You are better off looking elsewhere for a different program if you don't like it.
but then I suppose Matroska still has something to offer to a very restricted group of users that don't belong here.
I guess you must be one of the very few people left in this world who do not use any GPL products. At least I don't know a single person who doesn't.
MacOS, iOS, Windows, Linux and Android are operating systems, whereas MKV is simply a wrapper able to hold both popular and the more obscure video or audio formats if need be. Many of those are already supported by PrPro, so there's nothing 'weird' about it. If it was weird it wouldn't have existed for 10 years with increasing popularity. It's popular because it's easier and better feature supported than any other HD file format.
But while we're at it: Many GPL products are actually developed for several of these OS'es / platforms... Talk about being flexible. All Adobe has to do is create a content-restricted (i.e. H.264 AVC, VP8, VC-1) plugin that enables the MKV extension and add in the open source code that defines the MKV file structure and how it should work inside PrPro. Then PrPro users would be able to deliver lossless or HD video content in purely digital form for end users with all the convenient features of a DVD or a Blu-ray disc (but without the need to create vulnerable physical copies)... That is actually a fairly simple thing to do compared to developing applications for different platforms.
I work with all kinds of clients, all types of media, editing in what at least seems like a never-ending 24/7 turn cycle and yet...not once have I ever even SEEN an MKV file. Not saying it's bad (I'd be the last to know) but I know that out of the 2 dozen different video and audio formats I work with all the time, MKV has never come up even once. In fact, I think I've seen now maybe 2 or 3 users total even request this format support.
I guarantee you, if this was a feature Premiere Pro editors were all asking for, Adobe would figure out how to support it ASAP. So what does the lack of support tell you? Obviously it's not an Adobe hog-the-road thing, or else all we'd get to export is Flash video (not WMV, MOV, P2, MP4, etc....all of these are formats not owned by Adobe yet used by thousands of editors).
Good luck, start a petition, I'd be curious how many other editors do want this feature in Premiere Pro. If it's something hundreds or thousands of other users want, who am I to say no?
I beg to differ.
My initial reply was actually a straightforward reply to the person who asked for a technical workaround to edit an MPEG4 video stream from an MKV container and edit the stream in Premiere Pro. By the way: AVIdemux is ideal for extracting streams without reencoding or converting them.
In terms of delivery Matroska files are approximately 10% smaller than identical (lossless) DVD content (as MPEG2) and 40% smaller than identical Blu-ray content (as MPEG4).
The superior x264 codec is actually released under GPL, so I take it you don't use the very best MPEG4 encoding for your video deliveries then, John?
It's no surprise that you see no need for MKV features. You probably only deliver to the US market or native English speaking customers (or at least you simply expect them to understand English). You have no need for subtitling either. But those features are more or less standard requirements in both Europe and Asia.
Furthermore, most customers are still unaware that modern standalone players actually support MKV playback including some of the more advanced MKV features. Larger organisations also tend to stick to very conservative delivery policies (like DVD delivery) for too long (like MPEG2). They are "slow movers" so to speak.
I think the reason why most of you have never used (or even heard of) MKV is lack of knowledge from your customers; If it's not supported by Adobe or by their Sony, Apple or Canon equipment then it doesn't "exist". But if your clients/customers actually knew which opportunities they are missing by not using the advanced MKV features. There's loads of money to be saved and even quality and performance to gain if you are using the right equipment.
If it's the best, then sure, I wish I had access to it. However, smaller isn't always better. That's why a lot of Hollywood producers deliver RED or ARRI RAW files to their post facility. Any producer would probably be laughed right off the set if he said "alrighty, here are those MKV files. Everybody take five!"
As a delivery format, maybe MKV is better (again, I'm not the source of knowledge here) but it's one thing to suggest that Premiere Pro ought to be able to export fully functional MKV files where the smallest file sizes at the best quality would be ideal. For actually importing/editing, MKV must not be the best, or else Panasonic would stop paying to license MPEG-4/H.264 and use x264 instead, since it's free and better than AVCHD.
So you tell me, what's the hold up? If it's free, requires no licensing, and is the best MPEG-4 -ish format you can get then why isn't everybody using it? Or if not everybody, at least a bunch of people? Or if not even a bunch, why not at least professional editors on Avid, Adobe and Apple systems?
That's your question...answer it and maybe we'll all understand the situation a bit better.
I do use GPL products from time to time, one of my favorites being the Audacity audio editor. My $0.02 in regards to this subject is that it would not be in Adobe's best interests to support a GPL wrapper because GPL can and does change so quickly and easily and it's not tied to one particular company dealing with releases. As such, the work Adobe would have to do to continue to offer support as the GPL software changed has potential to be enormous. In my mind, there are far better things for Adobe to spend their time doing, many of which they've done in CS6...
For professional purposes where video content has to be kept in as many keyframes as possible for further editing there is no use for compressed MPEG4 formats of any kind, I agree of course.
You can't use x264 in closed source products unless you leave the parts of the source code concerning the x264 compression open. If Panasonic, Sony and Canon wanted to live up to those requirements, there wouldn't be a problem, but until now traditional licensed software has been a fairly profitable business. But in some areas of software development everything is moving towards cloud based and open source standards (a primary concern at the software company I'm working for). However, that is still not the case for Adobe's business area.
The 'hold up' is that neither Sony, Canon, Apple or any other of the traditionally "major" hardware manufacturers support MKV (but Samsung, Western Digital and even Panasonic do to some extent). And that explains why there is no professional demand for the format, since most professional photographers use their equipment.
MKV gained a huge popularity in the end user range and I have to say if Premiere supports MP4 containers then I don't see why it shouldn't support MKV. MKV offers a great flexibillity and has nearly no restrictions regarding the codecs used inside the container. Actually nothing speaks against MKV for professional usage at all. Its more powerfull then MOV and AVI regarding futures and flexibillity.
And yes Adobe is quite old fashioned when it comes to open source software even though many open source audio and video codecs surpasses the commercial codecs. LAME for example is the technically the best and most advanced MP3 codec out there but Adobe still stick to the Fraunhofer codec which hasn't been furhter developed for years now.Then there is FLAC which is finally supported in Audition but not in Premiere and After Effects. There is no need to use WAV if we have can have FLAC.
ALAC and co. is no comparison to FLAC at all. WAV->FLAC->WAV gives you the same MD5 checksum for input and output.Then we have x264 and XVID on the video side, both are codecs that got developed for years, extensivley on a daily basis by coder teams with an extensive knowledge at what they do. Both codecs surpassed their commercial versions at a point because the commercial codec doesn't get developed that extensivley.The same with MKV.
Well you can say the same about R3D files when the camera came out. It's all about software support, if professional software like Adobe Premiere and After Effects would start to support it it would definiteley look diffrent.
It's not entirely true that MKV isn't used very often as a delivery format. The "scene" which is bringing all the copied movies into the internet is using only MKV for HD encodes. Yes this not a very honorable and nice thing to have but just like the porn industry has a huge influence on optical mediums the illegal movie scene has a huge influence on what formats the end user is using/getting/wanting. Specially the media player, all the standard media players like VLC are supporting MKV for a long time now, I say it's one of the reasons why open source media player like VLC and Media Player Classic gained such a huge user base.
I suspect that several commercial developers tend to avoid open source / community developed products completely, simply because it differs from their standard policies for making license agreements. They are uncertain how to "buy and negotiate rights" with an non-standard rights holder such as an open developers' community.
That might be the reason why Adobe is still using the outdated Fraunhofer MP3 codec instead of the LAME codec, and also why only DivX.com standardized AVI or MKV files are supported by many standalone player devices.
In other words companies like Adobe simply think like this:
"Although these formats are obviously very popular, we simply will not spend time and resources finding out how make payment and rights arrangements with these obscure developer communities. It might not cost much, but unlike our 6.5 million dollar agreement with MPEG-LA, we do not know if some developer will turn up one day and demand additional payment for something he coded two years ago."
Just a thought.
if professional software like Adobe Premiere and After Effects would start to support it it would definitely look different.
You've got it backwards. Adobe supported R3D because professionals were using it for acquisition.
If you want Adobe to support MKV editing, then you need to get camera makers to start using it. (An unlikely scenario.)
If you want Adobe to support MKV for delivery, then you need to get broadcasters to start using it (another unlikely scenario).
It's not entirely true that MKV isn't used very often as a delivery format.
True, but the vast majority of those using it for 'delivery' are teenage boys illegally sharing the DVD, Blu-ray and TV rips. Why on earth would Adobe cater to that market?
Jim Simon wrote:
.... the vast majority of those using it for 'delivery' are teenage boys illegally sharing the DVD, Blu-ray and TV rips. Why on earth would Adobe cater to that market?
Wasn't that also the case with MP3 fifteen years ago?
Why did Adobe 'cater to that market' then?
Sony tried to put a ban on this "piracy format". Only CDs should be used for legal distribution of music, and any digital copy of even legally purchased music for private use should by definition be considered illegal.
What is relevant here is not who uses the format, but why it is being used so extensively: It is being used simply because it is better than the other formats for high definition video and when ever additional playback features are needed to improve the user experience.
... And by the way: MKV is rarely the preferred delivery format for porn distribution... Adobe's very own FLV format is probably the most commonly used video container for that purpose.