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Why Do Pirates Use MKV, Not MP4?, From Topic ID: 62762
eofor
post Apr 23 2008, 08:53
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QUOTE (Emon @ Apr 21 2008, 19:03) *
AVI isn't a codec, it's just a container. You can have an H.264 encoded video in an AVI file...MKV is just becoming popular because (presumably) it's a better container format.


I'm still baffled why .mkv is used by the pirates instead of .mp4, which in terms of features can do exactly the same and is far more widely supported.
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cabbagerat
post Apr 23 2008, 09:57
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QUOTE (eofor @ Apr 22 2008, 23:53) *
I'm still baffled why .mkv is used by the pirates instead of .mp4, which in terms of features can do exactly the same and is far more widely supported.
This is a bit offtopic, but the real reason is fairly simple. The .mkv format is seen by the community as being "cool" and a mark of a clued up user. This is mostly because it is less widely supported, and can be harder to use than the more mainstream container formats. In communities like the movie/episode piracy community, technical merit is only one of two requirements on a technology - the other is community perception.

I've been far away from that community for a long time, and the culture may have changed, but the use of some formats rather than others as a "secret handshake" was fairly common. One example is .mp2 - some groups used it long after MP3 was shown to be technically superior. I know other regulars around here have a history in the scene, and probably have similar experiences.


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j7n
post Apr 23 2008, 11:56
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QUOTE (eofor @ Apr 23 2008, 10:53) *
I'm still baffled why .mkv is used by the pirates instead of .mp4, which in terms of features can do exactly the same and is far more widely supported.

How about limited set of codecs, including AC-3? Transcoding was supposed to be bad, wasn't it? Matroska can store just about any format and has the most easy to use multiplexing tool – MkvToolNix. Nobody would say that Ogg Vorbis is a bad format just because it's less "supported" than AAC.

QUOTE
I've been far away from that community for a long time, and the culture may have changed, but the use of some formats rather than others as a "secret handshake" was fairly common. One example is .mp2 - some groups used it long after MP3 was shown to be technically superior.

I would say that the Scene cares about some installed base of hardware. 2005's video rules dictate that releases must be done in AVI format with average bitrate to match a yellow book CD in size – long after the compact disc had become obsolete.
Also NFOs are written as if for newbies, and every released game includes an installer – to make product usable for the average joe, who can't master a file manager.
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SebastianG
post Apr 23 2008, 12:07
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QUOTE (eofor @ Apr 23 2008, 09:53) *
I'm still baffled why .mkv is used by the pirates instead of .mp4, which in terms of features can do exactly the same and is far more widely supported.

MKV has some advantages:
  • Its open source software player/tools support is pretty good due to specifications and libraries being free of charge. (MP4box kinda sucks, doesn't it?)
  • MKV supports a lot of different formats (including AC3 aka Dolby Digitall and VobSub DVD subtitles). Correct me if I'm wrong, but to my knowledge you can't put 5.1 AC3 into MP4 without transcoding to AAC or some other "mp4 codec" first.
For someone who doesn't care about "hardware support" it looks like a good solution.

Cheers,
SG
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smok3
post Apr 23 2008, 12:47
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afaik ac3 is the main reason, and i think there is still no 'standard' way to store ac3 in mp4.


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Gabriel
post Apr 23 2008, 12:58
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QUOTE (SebastianG @ Apr 23 2008, 12:07) *
Correct me if I'm wrong, but to my knowledge you can't put 5.1 AC3 into MP4 without transcoding to AAC or some other "mp4 codec" first.

I think it's possible. The data format description within the stsd atom would be "ac3" instead of "mp4a", but that should be specs compliant. (even mp3 can be put within mp4 container)
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=trott=
post Apr 23 2008, 15:26
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  • Quality-wise, better GUI for muxing tools and more idiot-proof.
  • Support for almost any codec. MP4 does not support AC3 streams out of the box
  • While both support embedded text-based subtitle streams, playback of timed-text substreams in an MP4 container seems to be impossible using a standard filter while still keeping them readable.
  • the process is less error-prone: I have (occasionally but not often) experienced audio/video synchronization issues when remuxing to mp4 but never when remuxing to mkv.
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slks
post Apr 24 2008, 03:59
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All pirated movies and TV shows I've downloaded, with maybe one or two exceptions, have used the AVI container. Where are you seeing MKVs? Wait, don't answer that. It's probably against TOS or something.

As for why MKV is a better container format, it's already been said but it's more flexible in terms of what codecs, subtitle formats, and other stuff you can put in it. It also supports chapters and some other neat things, IIRC.


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Yirkha
post Apr 24 2008, 11:02
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There is no substantial advantage for using MKV instead of AVI for movies or TV shows with standard MPEG-2/4 video track and one audio track. Where MKV format (and "OGM" before) is used much more is the anime fansubbing scene, for example, where they use multiple audio tracks, chapters, subtitles with advanced typesetting and embedded fonts, etc.


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Curtor
post Jun 7 2008, 01:14
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QUOTE (eofor @ Apr 23 2008, 01:53) *
I'm still baffled why .mkv is used by the pirates instead of .mp4, which in terms of features can do exactly the same and is far more widely supported.

Oh those darned pirates...

How about this: without change and new developments, there is no progress. Your point seems to be that you like .mp4 and it's presently more popular so you think everyone should use it exclusively and never change. Well sorry, but we could all be watching 160x120 10fps Indeo Video 3.2 movies with that approach. As has been stated several times in this thread, .mkv is actually a superior container in several aspects. People are migrating to take advantage of this. It makes the A/V universe an evolving and better place. Down the road will come another container... perhaps one that supports video-in-video streaming and we'll move on to adopt that too. That's how the technology universe works... and it's a good thing.
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PaJaRo
post Jul 6 2008, 14:07
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QUOTE (cabbagerat @ Apr 23 2008, 10:57) *
QUOTE (eofor @ Apr 22 2008, 23:53) *

I'm still baffled why .mkv is used by the pirates instead of .mp4, which in terms of features can do exactly the same and is far more widely supported.

One example is .mp2 - some groups used it long after MP3 was shown to be technically superior. I know other regulars around here have a history in the scene, and probably have similar experiences.

Some people uses mp2 instead mp3 cause patent licensing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MP3#Licensing_and_patent_issues . They could use other formats like ogg but it is not easy playable on every devices.
I think mp2 is a middle point between mp3 and ogg, it is portable and patent free. It has no noticeable quality loss at high bitrae.
This is the twolame info "Because of patent issues surrounding the MPEG Audio Layer 3 (MP3) encoders, the ability of most MPEG Audio players to play layer 2 files, and the similarity in command-line syntax and API, TwoLAME makes a very good drop-in replacement for
LAME or other layer 3 encoders."
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Sebastian Mares
post Jul 7 2008, 22:15
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As if people who are illegally copying and distributing movies care about MP3 patents... But yeah, some people might still use MP2 because of those reasons.


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xmixahlx
post Jul 15 2008, 21:06
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the anime scene jumped on matroska early on because of the better support of multiple subs, audio streams, stream formats, etc. ...afterwards it spread to the rest of the scene as people were convinced that matroska was better than ogg/ogm (replacing) and avi (competing)

simple encodings (2 streams: xvid + mp3, or ac3) will usually be found in AVI for compatibility.


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pepinox
post Sep 15 2008, 13:26
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QUOTE (slks @ Apr 24 2008, 03:59) *
All pirated movies and TV shows I've downloaded, with maybe one or two exceptions, have used the AVI container.

Why do you download pirated content? It's much better to use P2P to download the same content without involving any pirating at all.

(Because you know "pirating" involves "for profit", right?)

Regards.
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Yirkha
post Sep 15 2008, 13:37
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You know both "pirated" and "P2P" in this thread refers to "file sharing", right?


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felix26591
post Dec 5 2009, 07:02
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QUOTE (cabbagerat @ Apr 23 2008, 09:57) *
QUOTE (eofor @ Apr 22 2008, 23:53) *
I'm still baffled why .mkv is used by the pirates instead of .mp4, which in terms of features can do exactly the same and is far more widely supported.
This is a bit offtopic, but the real reason is fairly simple. The .mkv format is seen by the community as being "cool" and a mark of a clued up user. This is mostly because it is less widely supported, and can be harder to use than the more mainstream container formats. In communities like the movie/episode piracy community, technical merit is only one of two requirements on a technology - the other is community perception.

I've been far away from that community for a long time, and the culture may have changed, but the use of some formats rather than others as a "secret handshake" was fairly common. One example is .mp2 - some groups used it long after MP3 was shown to be technically superior. I know other regulars around here have a history in the scene, and probably have similar experiences.


Actually I thought the same thing, I always thought that mp4 container could do the same thing as mkv, but i was as wrong as you, I recently started experimenting with mkv and it is a much advanced container, it has all the features mp4 has and more. For example when adding subtitles to an mp4 file you can have many but one has to be burned into the video. With Mkv you can have as many subtitles as you want and can turn them on and off without any issue. You can add as many audio streams as you want, no limits on the codecs inside the container. I use mp4 container, but after these past few days of trying out mkv i gotta say i wish mkv was better supported because it is much better than mp4, plus it is open source and has almost no limitations, on what codecs, video or audio, you put into it.
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Synthetic Soul
post Dec 5 2009, 12:47
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QUOTE (felix26591 @ Dec 5 2009, 06:02) *
For example when adding subtitles to an mp4 file you can have many but one has to be burned into the video.
Are you sure? I've only experimented with MP4 with subtitles a little, and I think I've only added one subtitle track, but those were not embedded: I could turn them on or off in VLC as I wished.


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andy o
post Dec 5 2009, 19:00
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QUOTE (felix26591 @ Dec 5 2009, 06:02) *
For example when adding subtitles to an mp4 file you can have many but one has to be burned into the video.
??? Wouldn't that mean that if you had two subs, you'd see the overlay one on top of the burned one?
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andy o
post Dec 5 2009, 19:19
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BTW mkv can also take DTS-HD and TrueHD audio, does mp4? That makes bluray backups easy and compatible. The m2ts container used in bluray can also be used of course, but for one movie it takes up about 1-2 GB more due to overhead.
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kurtnoise
post Dec 8 2009, 13:33
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QUOTE (andy o @ Dec 5 2009, 19:19) *
BTW mkv can also take DTS-HD and TrueHD audio, does mp4?

it's already registered but none public tools use them if I'm not wrong...
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andy o
post Dec 9 2009, 01:00
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Hmm interesting, but they probably still won't use them for some time. DTS HD and TrueHD are only found on bluray right now, and give the pain in the ass they've made for them to be bitstreamed from a PC, I'd guess they don't have much interest in them being used in the home environment.
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