If you’re an online streamer who uses OBS Studio (Open Broadcaster Software) to produce live and recorded videos for your audience, you’re probably familiar with the MKV file format. MKV is the recommended file format for videos produced in OBS Studio. However, MKV is incompatible with some multimedia players so you will have to convert your MKV videos to MP4 first before you can play them.
MKV or .mkv is the video filename extension for the Matroska Multimedia Container, which is a free and open-source file format that can hold unlimited video, audio and subtitle streams. Matroska is a universal multimedia container format (similar to MP4 or AVI) that allows the user to record or save an entire movie or CD in a single file. It is compatible with commonly used multimedia players such as VLC and Windows Media Player.
When streaming or recording in OBS Studio, you will have to choose either FLV or MKV as the file format for your video recordings. You can save your videos in MP4 but this is not recommended because there’s a real chance that you’ll lose your recordings if your software crashes or if your computer accidentally shuts down. MP4 is not ideal for direct recording because it requires a finalization process to output the video. If the recording was interrupted before this process, the output file will be rendered unusable and all your hard work will be lost.
The downside of MKV videos is that it’s not supported by some multimedia players particularly the default media applications in mobile devices and smart TVs. To play an MKV video, you’ll need to install a compatible software such as VLC media player which supports all video formats. Otherwise, you will have to convert your MKV file to a supported format like MP4.
Another drawback is that you can’t upload MKV videos to YouTube because it’s not a supported file format. Again, you will have to convert your MKV video to MP4 or any other YouTube-supported format before you can upload it to your YouTube channel.
Fortunately, it’s extremely easy to convert an MKV video to MP4 using free software like VLC. You don’t need any special skills or know anything about codecs to convert your video. There are also free video converter websites that allow you to upload your video and have it converted to any file format you prefer. However, we recommend using VLC because it does a great job preserving the quality of the source video.
How to Convert MKV Video to MP4 Using VLC Media Player
VLC media player is possibly the best software to convert MKV videos to MP4 since it has its own set of codecs for most video and audio formats, allowing you to produce videos that are playable across multiple platforms and devices. VLC is a free and open-source software that you can download and install in Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS and other operating systems.
Here is the step-by-step guide to convert MKV videos to MP4 format:
Step 1: Open the VLC media player and click “Media” on the main menu. Select “Convert / Save…” on the dropdown menu (you can also type Ctrl + R on your Windows keyboard).
Step 2: Under the “File” tab, click the “Add…” button.
Choose the MKV file that you want to convert to MP4 and click “Open” to add it to the list of files. Alternatively, you can drag and drop your MKV file into the list of files. To remove a file from the list, highlight it and click “Remove.”
Step 3: Click “Convert / Save.”
Step 4: Click the Profile dropdown field and select “Video – H.264 + MP3 (MP4).”
Step 5: Click the wrench icon with the hint “Edit selected profile,” right next to the profile field.
Step 6: Under the “Encapsulation” tab, make sure that “MP4/MOV” is selected.
Step 7: Click the “Video codec” tab and check both “Video” and “Keep original video track.”
Step 8: Click the “Audio codec” tab and check both “Audio” and “Keep original video track.”
Click “Save” to finish editing.
Step 9: Under the Destination section, click the “Browse” button. Choose the destination file or enter its filename. Click “Save.”
Step 10: Finally, click “Start” to commence the conversion process. Depending on the size of the file, it will take anywhere from instant to a few minutes to complete the MKV to MP4 conversion.
Be sure to check the output video to confirm that the MP4 file has the same quality and length as the original video.
Free MKV to MP4 Converter Websites
If installing VLC player is not your cup of tea, you can instead use free MKV to MP4 converter websites such as:
(Editor’s Note: Tech Pilipinas is not connected or affiliated with any of the websites mentioned above.)
These websites offer an easy and hassle-free way to convert your MKV videos to MP4 format. However, these file converter sites lack the features and functionality of software such as VLC, so don’t be surprised if the output is of poor quality. Web-based file converters also take a longer time to process videos especially if large files are involved.
For the best results, use VLC media player to convert your MKV files to MP4. Only use free online file converters if it’s not possible to use VLC (i.e. public computer) or if you work with small files of less than 100MB in size.
Converting your videos from MKV to MP4 may look at daunting at first but it’s actually one of the easiest tasks on your computer, thanks to VLC media player. So don’t worry if you’re using OBS Studio to record your videos because you can easily convert your MKV files to MP4 with just a few clicks. No need to buy expensive software because VLC player is totally free.