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Matroska/матрёшка is an extensible open standard audio/video container format for various video and audio codecs. Matroska is based on EBML, a binary variation of XML. It's aim is to replace the ageing AVI format and be a powerful alternative to other container formats like ASF, MP4, MOV, RM, MPX and Ogg/OGM. It can store Audio Only, Video Only, or both, and is free for personal use.


Matroska has all the features you would expect of a modern A/V Container including:

  • Streamable over internet (HTTP and RTP)
  • Fast seeking in the file
  • High error recovery
  • Menus (like DVD's have)
  • Chapter entries
  • Selectable subtitle streams
  • Selectable audio streams
  • Modularly Extendable
  • Sophisticated Tagging

The current official tool for creating a Matroska file (available from Matroska's Home Page) supports the following audio and video codecs:


  • MPEG Audio 1, 2, 2.5 Layer III
  • MPEG Audio 1, 2 Layer II
  • MPEG Audio 1, 2 Layer I
  • PCM Integer Big Endian
  • PCM Integer Little Endian
  • Floating Point, IEEE compatible
  • Dolby AC3
  • Digital Theatre System
  • OggVorbis
  • FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Compresion)
  • Realmedia Audio Codecs (including Real Audio 1, Real Audio 2, Real Audio Cook, Sipro Voice Codec, Real Audio LossLess Format, and the Sony ATRAC3 Codec)
  • AAC Audio (including both LC AAC and HE AAC)
  • QuickTime Audio Codecs


  • MPEG4 ISO Profile Video, i.e DivX 4/5, XviD, FFMPEG (including Simple Profile, Advanced Simple Profile, and Advanced Profile)
  • Microsoft MPEG4 V3 (and derivatives, including DivX 3, Angelpotion, SMR, etc. V1/v2 covered in VfW compatibility mode)
  • MPEG1
  • MPEG2
  • Real Video (Real Video 1.0, Real Video G2/G2+SVT, Real Video 8, and Real Video 9)
  • Video from QuickTime files (including the Sorenson and Cinepack codecs)


  • MKV - File containing at least one video stream and possibly audio and/or subtitle stream(s).
  • MKA - File containing at least one audio stream and possible subtitle stream(s).
  • MKS - File containing at least one subtitle stream.


Additional reading