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Man Pages
MKVEXTRACT(1) User Commands MKVEXTRACT(1)

mkvextract - extract tracks from Matroska(TM) files into other files

mkvextract {source-filename} {mode1} [options] [extraction-spec1] [mode2] [options] [extraction-spec2] [...]

This program extracts specific parts from a Matroska(TM) file to other useful formats. The first argument is the name of the source file which must be a Matroska(TM) file.
All other arguments either switch to a certain extraction mode, change options for the currently active mode or specify what to extract into which file. Multiple modes can be used in the same invocation of mkvextract allowing the extraction of multiple things in a single pass. Most options can only be used in certain modes with a few options applying to all modes.
Currently supported is the extraction of tracks, tags, attachments, chapters, CUE sheets, timestamps and cues.

The following options are available in all modes and only described once in this section.
-f, --parse-fully
Sets the parse mode to 'full'. The default mode does not parse the whole file but uses the meta seek elements for locating the required elements of a source file. In 99% of all cases this is enough. But for files that do not contain meta seek elements or which are damaged the user might have to use this mode. A full scan of a file can take a couple of minutes while a fast scan only takes seconds.
--command-line-charset character-set
Sets the character set to convert strings given on the command line from. It defaults to the character set given by system's current locale.
--output-charset character-set
Sets the character set to which strings are converted that are to be output. It defaults to the character set given by system's current locale.
-r, --redirect-output file-name
Writes all messages to the file file-name instead of to the console. While this can be done easily with output redirection there are cases in which this option is needed: when the terminal reinterprets the output before writing it to a file. The character set set with --output-charset is honored.
--ui-language code
Forces the translations for the language code to be used (e.g. 'de_DE' for the German translations). Entering 'list' as the code will cause the program to output a list of available translations.
--debug topic
Turn on debugging for a specific feature. This option is only useful for developers.
--engage feature
Turn on experimental features. A list of available features can be requested with mkvextract --engage list. These features are not meant to be used in normal situations.
--gui-mode
Turns on GUI mode. In this mode specially-formatted lines may be output that can tell a controlling GUI what's happening. These messages follow the format '#GUI#message'. The message may be followed by key/value pairs as in '#GUI#message#key1=value1#key2=value2...'. Neither the messages nor the keys are ever translated and always output in English.
-v, --verbose
Be verbose and show all the important Matroska(TM) elements as they're read.
-h, --help
Show usage information and exit.
-V, --version
Show version information and exit.
@options-file.json
Reads additional command line arguments from the file options-file. For a full explanation on the supported formats for such files see the section called "Option files" in the mkvmerge(1) man page.

Syntax: mkvextract source-filename tracks [options] TID1:dest-filename1 [TID2:dest-filename2 ...]
The following command line options are available for each track in the 'tracks' extraction mode. They have to appear in front of the track specification (see below) they should be applied to.
-c character-set
Sets the character set to convert the next text subtitle track to. Only valid if the next track ID targets a text subtitle track. It defaults to UTF-8.
--blockadd level
Keep only the BlockAdditions up to this level. The default is to keep all levels. This option only affects certain kinds of codecs like WAVPACK4.
--cuesheet
Causes mkvextract(1) to extract a CUE sheet from the chapter information and tag data for the following track into a file whose name is the track's output name with '.cue' appended to it.
--raw
Extracts the raw data into a file without any container data around it. Unlike the --fullraw flag this flag does not cause the contents of the CodecPrivate element to be written to the file. This mode works with all CodecIDs, even the ones that mkvextract(1) doesn't support otherwise, but the resulting files might not be usable.
--fullraw
Extracts the raw data into a file without any container data around it. The contents of the CodecPrivate element will be written to the file first if the track contains such a header element. This mode works with all CodecIDs, even the ones that mkvextract(1) doesn't support otherwise, but the resulting files might not be usable.
TID:outname
Causes extraction of the track with the ID TID into the file outname if such a track exists in the source file. This option can be given multiple times. The track IDs are the same as the ones output by mkvmerge(1)'s --identify option.
Each output name should be used only once. The exception are RealAudio and RealVideo tracks. If you use the same name for different tracks then those tracks will be saved in the same file. Example:
$ mkvextract input.mkv tracks 0:video.h264 2:output-two-vobsub-tracks.idx 3:output-two-vobsub-tracks.idx

Syntax: mkvextract source-filename attachments [options] AID1:outname1 [AID2:outname2 ...]
AID:outname
Causes extraction of the attachment with the ID AID into the file outname if such an attachment exists in the source file. If the outname is left empty then the name of the attachment inside the source Matroska(TM) file is used instead. This option can be given multiple times. The attachment IDs are the same as the ones output by mkvmerge(1)'s --identify option.

Syntax: mkvextract source-filename chapters [options] output-filename.xml
-s, --simple
Exports the chapter information in the simple format used in the OGM tools (CHAPTER01=..., CHAPTER01NAME=...). In this mode some information has to be discarded. Default is to output the chapters in XML format.
--simple-language language
If the simple format is enabled then mkvextract(1) will only output a single entry for each chapter atom encountered even if a chapter atom contains more than one chapter name. By default mkvextract(1) will use the first chapter name found for each atom regardless of its language.
Using this option allows the user to determine which chapter names are output if atoms contain more than one chapter name. The language parameter must be an ISO 639-1 or ISO 639-2 code.
The chapters are written to specified output file. By default the XML format understood by mkvmerge(1) is used. If no chapters are found in the file, the output file is not created.

Syntax: mkvextract source-filename tags [options] output-filename.xml
The tags are written to specified output file in the XML format understood by mkvmerge(1). If no tags are found in the file, the output file is not created.

Syntax: mkvextract source-filename cuesheet [options] output-filename.cue
The cue sheet is written to specified output file. If no chapters or tags are found in the file, the output file is not created.

Syntax: mkvextract source-filename timestamps_v2 [options] TID1:dest-filename1 [TID2:dest-filename2 ...]
TID:outname
Causes extraction of the timestamps for the track with the ID TID into the file outname if such a track exists in the source file. This option can be given multiple times. The track IDs are the same as the ones output by mkvmerge(1)'s --identify option.
Example:
$ mkvextract input.mkv timestamps_v2 1:ts-track1.txt 2:ts-track2.txt

Syntax: mkvextract source-filename cues [options] TID1:dest-filename1 [TID2:dest-filename2 ...]
TID:dest-filename
Causes extraction of the cues for the track with the ID TID into the file outname if such a track exists in the source file. This option can be given multiple times. The track IDs are the same as the ones output by mkvmerge(1)'s --identify option and not the numbers contained in the CueTrack element.
The format output is a simple text format: one line per CuePoint element with key=value pairs. If an optional element is not present in a CuePoint (e.g. CueDuration) then a dash will be output as the value.
Example:
timestamp=00:00:13.305000000 duration=- cluster_position=757741 relative_position=11
The possible keys are:
timestamp
The cue point's timestamp with nanosecond precision. The format is HH:MM:SS.nnnnnnnnn. This element is always set.
duration
The cue point's duration with nanosecond precision. The format is HH:MM:SS.nnnnnnnnn.
cluster_position
The absolute position in bytes inside the Matroska(TM) file where the cluster containing the referenced element starts.
 
Note
 
 
Inside the Matroska(TM) file the CueClusterPosition is relative to the segment's data start offset. The value output by mkvextract(1)'s cue extraction mode, however, contains that offset already and is an absolute offset from the beginning of the file.
relative_position
The relative position in bytes inside the cluster where the BlockGroup or SimpleBlock element the cue point refers to starts.
 
Note
 
 
Inside the Matroska(TM) file the CueRelativePosition is relative to the cluster's data start offset. The value output by mkvextract(1)'s cue extraction mode, however, is relative to the cluster's ID. The absolute position inside the file can be calculated by adding cluster_position and relative_position.
Example:
$ mkvextract input.mkv cues 1:cues-track1.txt 2:cues-track2.txt

Extracting both chapters and tags in their respective XML formats at the same time:
$ mkvextract movie.mkv chapters movie-chapters.xml tags movie-tags.xml
Extracting a couple of tracks and their respective timestamps at the same time:
$ mkvextract "Another Movie.mkv" tracks 0:video.h265 "1:main audio.aac" "2:director's comments.aac" timestamps_v2 "0:timestamps video.txt" "1:timestamps main audio.txt" "2:timestamps director's comments.txt"
Extracting chapters in the Ogg/OGM format and re-encoding a text subtitle track to another character set:
$ mkvextract "My Movie.mkv" chapters --simple "My Chapters.txt" tracks -c MS-ANSI "2:My Subtitles.srt"

For an in-depth discussion about how all tools in the MKVToolNix suite handle character set conversions, input/output encoding, command line encoding and console encoding please see the identically-named section in the mkvmerge(1) man page.

The decision about the output format is based on the track type, not on the extension used for the output file name. The following track types are supported at the moment:
A_AAC/MPEG2/*, A_AAC/MPEG4/*, A_AAC
All AAC files will be written into an AAC file with ADTS headers before each packet. The ADTS headers will not contain the deprecated emphasis field.
A_AC3, A_EAC3
These will be extracted to raw AC-3 files.
A_ALAC
ALAC tracks are written to CAF files.
A_DTS
These will be extracted to raw DTS files.
A_FLAC
FLAC tracks are written to raw FLAC files.
A_MPEG/L2
MPEG-1 Audio Layer II streams will be extracted to raw MP2 files.
A_MPEG/L3
These will be extracted to raw MP3 files.
A_OPUS
Opus(TM) tracks are written to OggOpus(TM) files.
A_PCM/INT/LIT, A_PCM/INT/BIG
Raw PCM data will be written to a WAV file. Big-endian integer data will be converted to little-endian data in the process.
A_REAL/*
RealAudio(TM) tracks are written to RealMedia(TM) files.
A_TRUEHD, A_MLP
These will be extracted to raw TrueHD/MLP files.
A_TTA1
TrueAudio(TM) tracks are written to TTA files. Please note that due to Matroska(TM)'s limited timestamp precision the extracted file's header will be different regarding two fields: data_length (the total number of samples in the file) and the CRC.
A_VORBIS
Vorbis audio will be written into an OggVorbis(TM) file.
A_WAVPACK4
WavPack(TM) tracks are written to WV files.
S_HDMV/PGS
PGS subtitles will be written as SUP files.
S_HDMV/TEXTST
TextST subtitles will be written as a special file format invented for mkvmerge(1) and mkvextract(1).
S_KATE
Kate(TM) streams will be written within an Ogg(TM) container.
S_TEXT/SSA, S_TEXT/ASS, S_SSA, S_ASS
SSA and ASS text subtitles will be written as SSA/ASS files respectively.
S_TEXT/UTF8, S_TEXT/ASCII
Simple text subtitles will be written as SRT files.
S_VOBSUB
VobSub(TM) subtitles will be written as SUB files along with the respective index files, as IDX files.
S_TEXT/USF
USF text subtitles will be written as USF files.
S_TEXT/WEBVTT
WebVTT text subtitles will be written as WebVTT files.
V_MPEG1, V_MPEG2
MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 video tracks will be written as MPEG elementary streams.
V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
H.264 / AVC video tracks are written to H.264 elementary streams which can be processed further with e.g. MP4Box(TM) from the GPAC(TM) package.
V_MPEG4/ISO/HEVC
H.265 / HEVC video tracks are written to H.265 elementary streams which can be processed further with e.g. MP4Box(TM) from the GPAC(TM) package.
V_MS/VFW/FOURCC
Fixed FPS video tracks with this CodecID are written to AVI files.
V_REAL/*
RealVideo(TM) tracks are written to RealMedia(TM) files.
V_THEORA
Theora(TM) streams will be written within an Ogg(TM) container
V_VP8, V_VP9
VP8 / VP9 tracks are written to IVF files.
Tags
Tags are converted to a XML format. This format is the same that mkvmerge(1) supports for reading tags.
Attachments
Attachments are written to they output file as they are. No conversion whatsoever is done.
Chapters
Chapters are converted to a XML format. This format is the same that mkvmerge(1) supports for reading chapters. Alternatively a stripped-down version can be output in the simple OGM style format.
Timestamps
Timestamps are first sorted and then output as a timestamp v2 format compliant file ready to be fed to mkvmerge(1). The extraction to other formats (v1, v3 and v4) is not supported.

mkvextract(1) exits with one of three exit codes:
0 -- This exit codes means that extraction has completed successfully.
1 -- In this case mkvextract(1) has output at least one warning, but extraction did continue. A warning is prefixed with the text 'Warning:'. Depending on the issues involved the resulting files might be ok or not. The user is urged to check both the warning and the resulting files.
2 -- This exit code is used after an error occurred. mkvextract(1) aborts right after outputting the error message. Error messages range from wrong command line arguments over read/write errors to broken files.

mkvextract(1) uses the default variables that determine the system's locale (e.g. LANG and the LC_* family). Additional variables:
MKVEXTRACT_DEBUG, MKVTOOLNIX_DEBUG and its short form MTX_DEBUG
The content is treated as if it had been passed via the --debug option.
MKVEXTRACT_ENGAGE, MKVTOOLNIX_ENGAGE and its short form MTX_ENGAGE
The content is treated as if it had been passed via the --engage option.

mkvmerge(1), mkvinfo(1), mkvpropedit(1), mkvtoolnix-gui(1)

The latest version can always be found at the MKVToolNix homepage[1].

Moritz Bunkus <moritz@bunkus.org>
Developer

1.
the MKVToolNix homepage
https://mkvtoolnix.download/
2018-12-01 MKVToolNix 29.0.0

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