Watching Blu-ray discs on your PC is not always that straightforward operation that we all usually take for granted, thinking that any player can handle a Blu-ray disc just as they handle DVDs. MakeMKV has been designed to convert your Blu-ray video streams into Matroska containers (MKV files) to help you avoid those frustrating situations. No image or audio quality is lost during the transcoding process, and all metadata, chapters, and audio streams are transferred to the MKV file with just one click.
The program is as simple as video rippers come – select the disc, video file or folder, pick the video and audio streams you are interested in and click on the “Make MKV” button. One very interesting feature that surely makes this tool an excellent choice is the fact that it can “unlock” your movie from whatever copy protection has been added to your lawfully-acquired discs. Once your disc has been decrypted, you can choose which media streams you want to have on your MKV file (video titles, audio tracks for different languages, subtitle streams...) and then enable the ripping process. All metadata associated to the streams selected, together with any chapters existing in the source video file will be faithfully transferred to the new MKV file. Apart from original DVDs and Blu-ray discs, you can use DVD folders and various HD video files as source.
MKV files are supported by all well-known software video players and most portable devices with video playback capabilities, which makes Matroska one of the most widely used HD video codecs available. The fact that the MKV container (the .mkv file) can include more than one soundtrack and subtitle stream makes it ideal for BD- and DVD-to-file conversions.
The program’s license scheme is a bit confusing, though. Apparently, MakeMKV is a free tool, and you can use it like that forever as long as you deal with video files and DVD discs only. As soon as you wish to rip a Blu-ray movie, you will be asked to purchase a key or simply enjoy the tool for as long as the trial period lasts (30 days). The mixture of freeware and shareware programs used in building this app is the reason of this somehow confusing policy. Either way, MakeMKV is still a great option to consider when it comes to lossless Blu-ray/DVD-to-Matroska conversions.