21 Replies Latest reply on May 1, 2013 10:42 AM by wcn_dave

    Importing MVK files into Premiere Pro (all versions)

    Mike D Kelley Level 1

      Dear folks,


      I see the old topic was locked (probably because it got WAY out of hand, OT and flameworthy) and I have no interest in adding fuel to the fire but I do want to bring light and a solution that I've been using for a while with great success (I thought I'd share here because I was asked by someone on another forum who directed me to the old thread here when I answered them).


      (And while I do NOT want to inflame anyone, let's just say that even us retired pros run into a need to edit MKV files from time to time and while I don't think Adobe needs to add this import format I do think people should know how to do it).  In my own case our animated television series is produced in an electronic distribution format (we're bypassing media entirely) and MKV works best for the folks who play our stuff.  But rather than have to re-render our older stuff when we want to do a bottle show, or other such reuse (like "Previously on..."), I find it's just easier to take the completed shows (in MKV format) and use them in PP (6.0 at the moment but this works in all versions).


      The answer is actually IN that old thread, albeit fairly buried -- you just need to demux the MKV container and then remux again in a TS one.  There are two pretty great freeware programs that can do this -- MKVExtract (for the demuxing) and tsMuxer (for the muxing).  They are virus and adware free, have been around for years, and can be gotten from reliable places (avoid the disreputable ones, though -- they should be ZIP not EXE files).


      MKVExtract is part of the larger MKVToolset and you'll need the whole thing to get the GUI part of it (it's actually MKVExtractGUI that runs the executable).  MKVMerge is also part of that toolset in case you want to create MKV files, as we do, from almost anything.  tsMuxer can create MT2S files as tell as TS, and it can also demux a variety of formats (not MKV though, or you could use it alone).


      Because we're just muxing and remuxing there is no additional codec loss -- naturally that's the biggest consideration when trying to re-edit stuff like this.  For the highest quality, of course, you always want to remain with original source when you can (although I actually like some of the artifacts that get introduced sometimes -- I often think that maybe the biggest issue with going completely digital is the lack of, well, old timeyness.  Then again, I'm an old guy myself).

        • 1. Re: Importing MVK files into Premiere Pro (all versions)
          Jeff Bellune Level 5

          Good post, Mike.  Thanks.



          • 2. Re: Importing MVK files into Premiere Pro (all versions)
            Kevin-Monahan Adobe Employee

            I've included it in my troubleshooting notes. Thanks!

            • 3. Re: Importing MVK files into Premiere Pro (all versions)
              Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Very interesting! Thanks.

              • 4. Re: Importing MVK files into Premiere Pro (all versions)
                Mike D Kelley Level 1

                I appreciate the thanks -- I almost didn't post because I didn't want to get embroiled in any controversy.  But I thought the information was worth having here and I couldn't find a clean reference anywhere else on the net.


                I might note that the only trouble I've run into with doing this (demuxing MKV files and remuxing again into a TS container) was that *sometimes* the framerate is incorrectly reported.  In that case you need to set the rate in tsMuxer on the video stream.  This may be a fault of the MKV format, or perhaps the file wasn't encoded properly in the first place -- I dunno, but the symptom is easy to see (the audio is out of sync on the muxed TS file) and easy to correct.


                Like the AVI container, a lot of garbage can be contained in an MKV file -- I'm lucky in that I produce the files myself for the most part so I know what's in them, but in talking with others and the limited experience I have with other folks' MKV files I've seen all kinds of stuff contained (which is another reason I don't think Adobe should provide native support -- it might be a mess trying to deal with that).  Still, the approach I outlined should work nearly every time.

                • 5. Re: Importing MVK files into Premiere Pro (all versions)
                  the_wine_snob Level 9



                  I'm glad that you posted, as I just got handed my first MKV file, and was heading off to find a converter for it.


                  The downward spirals to those other files usually came from demands that Adobe include native, two-way support for MKV. Then, the next 20 replies would either poo-poo the merits of the format, or tout its attributes. Few ever discussed how to handle the material, outside of saying that it was Adobe's responsibility.


                  Glad you resisted the urge to just head down the hall with your knowledge, and decided to share it. Just as with most of those old threads, I have no feeling, one way, or the other, as I had never seen MKV, or been asked to output to it. Suddenly, I found myself having to deal with one, and was headed to those old threads, in hope that amidst the clutter, I would find what I thought I needed.





                  • 6. Re: Importing MVK files into Premiere Pro (all versions)
                    Mike D Kelley Level 1

                    Well, now you're making feel *real* good that I didn't resist sharing -- while I've used PP for many years now (since about version 1.5) I don't post on any video forums (unlike animation forums, where I feel I really know something :>).


                    And forgive me if I'm out of line and way off base (at my age I can easily be confused) but I seem to recall the name Bill Hunt as some kind of major video insider -- did you (or do you still) have some kind of web site where you comment on blu-ray stuff?  (I could have sworn I read some kind of article written by a Bill Hunt about some upcoming releases once -- then again, I may have been dreaming).  I can see you're a major player here, with your post count, so it's no slam if you're not the same Bill Hunt I was thinking about (or if it even IS the name Bill Hunt I'm thinking about -- again, I'm old <g>).  But my curiousity gets the better of me sometimes.

                    • 7. Re: Importing MVK files into Premiere Pro (all versions)
                      the_wine_snob Level 9



                      Unfortunately (for me), I believe that the reference is to another Bill Hunt - a smarter, more educated one (but my wife is better looking!), and a different one.



                      • 8. Re: Importing MVK files into Premiere Pro (all versions)
                        wcn_dave Level 1

                        I'm amazed, given how popular MKV is... still onto my specific rather than fan the flames....


                        The first thing I tried in my trial version of premier 11 (Looking to move on from AVS), was to open an MKV.




                        I have a Canon camera that produces .MOV files.


                        These don't play on my media streamer (Dune HD), as they are using PCM instead of AC audio to avoid licence I guess.


                        So what I do is drop them in a folder on my linux based NAS, which then runs a scheduled task every 5 mins


                        for f in *.MOV;do ffmpeg -i "$f" -vcodec copy -ab 320k "${f%.MOV}.mkv"; done


                        This means that it keeps the quality of the video, and auto picks the best audio for mkv, and then they work everywhere...


                        If I want to use premier, what other target could I use other than mkv to convert my .MOV files from?

                        • 9. Re: Importing MVK files into Premiere Pro (all versions)
                          Mike D Kelley Level 1

                          Well, CS5.5 and above (which are the current versions of Premiere Pro) DO support the .mov format, so that's what I'd recommend you use.

                          • 10. Re: Importing MVK files into Premiere Pro (all versions)
                            wcn_dave Level 1

                            By the way, for the OP benefit, I just used tsMuxeR GUI 1.10.6 and dragged in an mkv, and out came a ts file!

                            So just the one app required.


                            What plays .ts? I have seen it inside DVD folder structures, however is it standard enough (like mp4, mpg etc) that I can use that and everything will play it? (computers, youtube, phones, media streamers etc)



                            • 11. Re: Importing MVK files into Premiere Pro (all versions)
                              Mike D Kelley Level 1

                              Well, I'm the OP and your approach does not always work (indeed, IMX it never works).


                              Oh, the video will be just fine, but the audio will be all screwed up.  Now, this is just with my own audio sources, which may be of higher or lower quality (or a different codec) than you are using.

                              • 12. Re: Importing MVK files into Premiere Pro (all versions)
                                wcn_dave Level 1

                                Ah ok, I thought that you were saying the tool does not do mkv, however you mean that it does not do them properly... I sit corrected ;-)

                                • 13. Re: Importing MVK files into Premiere Pro (all versions)
                                  wcn_dave Level 1

                                  Ah sorry, ok, here's what it is.


                                  the MOV file uses PCM instead of AC3, so my Dune media streamer plays no audio.


                                  If I have 10 videos of say a birthday party, i keep the 10, and also may make a montage of the interesting bits for relatives etc.


                                  so i want to keep the originals + do some editing.

                                  I don't want two copies of each.


                                  so i have to mux them to something and mkv using ffmpeg means it is automatic, the wife, kids, me never have to do anything.

                                  however mkv is not supported in premier.


                                  So I can:


                                  1. use an editing tool that support mkv

                                  2. keep two copies of every file

                                  3. mux the files to something other than mkv that works on all normal devices + premier.


                                  my question here is what is the answer to number 3 ;-)

                                  • 14. Re: Importing MVK files into Premiere Pro (all versions)
                                    Mike D Kelley Level 1

                                    Okay, in that case (#3) I'd go to MP4 files, which are more or less universal and which Premiere can edit.


                                    The problem, of course, is that it's a codec (as opposed to straight muxing) so you have two issues -- it takes longer to do (might be a non-issue if you are running it as an automatic background process) but, more importantly, you are then editing already lossy compressed files, which is generally a no-no if you want to maintain the best quality.


                                    In your shoes (which I would remind you need some polishing) I'd bite the bullet and do the editing up front on the files that were important to me while they were in their RAW format.  IOW, I'd keep two copies of the important files, and for those home movies you don't care all that much about I'd compress.  But important is a relative term, and so is quality.  One man's eyecandy is another man's poison, to mix metaphors, and many people happily edit compressed files, recompress them, and edit them again without noticing much if any of a difference.  Pretty obviously you're not creating "Vertigo" or some other masterpiece here, so the ultimate resolution may not be that big a deal (particularly if Uncle Charly is only viewing your stuff on his 36" tube RCA).


                                    Premiere (and particularly Pro) is designed for professionals and serious hobbyists to whom the quality is very, very important (which is why the $$$).  That's primarily why it doesn't support MKV although there are times I wish it did (which is why I started this thread).  For my own home movies I don't really even bother editing much (truth be told, I'm not sure I'll ever live long enough to watch them again :>).

                                    • 15. Re: Importing MVK files into Premiere Pro (all versions)
                                      wcn_dave Level 1

                                      Thanks for an excellent reply.  My particular shoes (duly polished, thanks), contain a person for whom quality is very important.


                                      Your answer would 100% suit 95% of the people out there.


                                      I believe however that in 10 years when we have HHHD 9048 line 70" TVs for wallpaper and google glasses offering us imax experience, that keeping the quality is important, even if it is only uncle Charles (we have to be more formal) looking at them now.


                                      As current codecs and containers changed, I want to future proof as much as possible and keep the quality.  I want to edit the quality and view them.  Hence I need one file that will play and open in all.  I know that high end guys scoff at mkv but it's only a container and it's very popular indeed...


                                      I wonder if .ts files will play on my Dune?  They play in VLC, and given the Dune will play DVD folders that contain mts2 files...


                                      One reason I am so keen on this is that you're absolutely right, people tend not to watch them.  One of those is NOT my wife though.  Also the reason could be that as any video editor knows, at least 50% needs cutting, and for home users, that goes up to 90%. I can take 30 mins of holiday footage and make a 5 minute video that is fun and interesting and a good memory... then I usually bin the rest.


                                      I'll have to think some more...

                                      • 16. Re: Importing MVK files into Premiere Pro (all versions)
                                        Jim_Simon Level 8

                                        If I want to use premier, what other target could I use other than mkv to convert my .MOV files from?


                                        None.  Use the original .mov files for editing.  From there, create an export that works for your playback needs.


                                        Forget 3.  Stick to 1 or 2.

                                        • 17. Re: Importing MVK files into Premiere Pro (all versions)
                                          wcn_dave Level 1

                                          I don't like 1 and 2 though...


                                          Well, for 1 I can continue to use AVS I suppose, however premier seems like it might be slicker.


                                          here's a case though.


                                          I have 10 clips from a birthday party for my son.

                                          I want to create a 1 minute movie for the grandparents to email.

                                          I don't want to lose any quality.


                                          convert MOV to mkv and keep both versions.

                                          create an HD movie using the MOV files

                                          delete the MOV files.


                                          then I want to make an adjustment, and have lost my MOV, so have to convert mkv to something else, and keep both of those until i am done...


                                          Just in this day and age I feel I ought to be able to have one high quality original lossless format for all my needs, playing and editing.


                                          I may try muxing the MOV to TS instead of MKV, as is seems most players will handle TS, just need to test on the Dune.

                                          • 18. Re: Importing MVK files into Premiere Pro (all versions)
                                            Mike D Kelley Level 1



                                            While I understand your thought process on most of this, the one thing I *don't* understand is why you are unwilling to just keep the original MOV files.


                                            Disk space is DIRT cheap nowadays (I have 20TB of networked space just for my movie collection, and that doesn't even count the 11+ TB I have for computer work).  To me there is zero excuse not to have enough disk space (organization is a whole other issue, but I have seemingly come to grips with the fact that, like my house, there are things on my drives I will never find again).


                                            So this solves your whole issue -- continue your MKV conversion (for wife -- happy wife, happy life, as I well know) and save the MOV files for editing.  The beauty part of this is it ALSO solves your backup issue (because you have the original as well as your MKV files, which are placed somewhere on a different physical storage than the originals).


                                            In a pinch you can demux the MKV files (assuming your lose the MOV files) as I suggest in the start of this thread.  Or, if you lose the MKV files you can easily create them again from your originals.  Either way, you're safe (and since you ARE backing up your files anyway, right?, you might as well save them in two different, lossless, formats).

                                            • 19. Re: Importing MVK files into Premiere Pro (all versions)
                                              wcn_dave Level 1

                                              Good points.  I actually have two NAS that i sync that are in remote locations. I am an advocate, and have to keep reminding people that RAID systems are for redundancy and offer *zero* backup of any sort...


                                              They are each 4 bay with 12TB of space, and I am running out very rapidly... but yes, dirt cheap relatively.


                                              I just don't like having two versions of a file... it's messy.  I'm not OCD, but I have been through this...


                                              I actually do this for music.  I have a flac file for my squeezebox network, and mp3 files for mp3 players.

                                              keeping them both up to date, ripping twice, explaining to the wife how to add her latest CD to both, and then how to copy to her MP3 player... i just don't want to go there again


                                              As I create temporary folders for projects, and mkv -> TS is lossless, I think i will use tsMuxer to decode, use premier, then delete all files once I am finished...


                                              This is all complicated by MOV files that are invalid, MOD files from my JVC, and two types of MP4 from another camera, and our phones, so I want to drop files in a folder, have them processed, and be done with it.  then use those files for editing where I choose to.


                                              sorry to Hijack your thread!


                                              BTW: tsMuxer, I checked the audio / video sync and seems perfect from watching lips moving.  I have experienced problems before with AVS, freemake and others, so tsMuxer may work well on it's own for me!


                                              Thanks again!

                                              • 20. Re: Importing MVK files into Premiere Pro (all versions)
                                                Mike D Kelley Level 1

                                                Well, glad you've figured out a workflow.


                                                The problem with MKV->TS is that MKV (like AVI before it) is a container that can contain... well, nearly anything.  So relying on TSMuxer to separate out the parts on its own, while it works for you (since you're using only one format) is not something that most folks can rely upon.  While is why I outlined the procedure at the start of this thread (which will always work, since the MKV is being demuxed in nearly all cases by the same process which muxed it).


                                                And, of course, I also say that using TS files in Premiere is what I end up doing -- they work very well (although IMX they don't play well in all other players.  Not nearly as nice as MKV, for example). 


                                                I truly think that nearly all of this type of situation will go away someday (when everything will be "in the cloud") but I'll be so long dead it won't even be funny (actually, I'm not even amused about it right now :>).

                                                • 21. Re: Importing MVK files into Premiere Pro (all versions)
                                                  wcn_dave Level 1

                                                  Oh dear, just found some red video at the end of a longer clip so looks like I am getting sync problems.


                                                  The MKVextractGUI requires MKVtoolnix, and the latest versions linked from the website http://www.bunkus.org/videotools/mkvtoolnix/ are 404, however you can from here http://www.bunkus.org/videotools/mkvtoolnix/win32/ choose an older version as they seem to be available.


                                                  Edit: and unfortunately the extracted files using MKV extract are not supported by premier either :-(

                                                  Edit2: Ok ignore me, you have to then use the tsMuxer to put them together again... bit of a pain, will have to avoid mkv for editing wherever possible and create two copies of all files... sigh....