OK so I downloaded the first two episodes of Pioneer One which is a free to download mini series made for VoDo, which is a free video site. Unfortunately, like a lot of high definition (HD) video, it came in the MKV format which, unfortunately, the Xbox 360 does not support. Now the first thing you need to understand is that the video format is just a container. The actual video and audio inside the container can be exactly the same in a different container. Orange juice is still orange juice whether it’s in a glass or a cup. Anyway what we need to do is take the audio and video out of the MKV container and put it in to a container that the 360 can play such as mp4. I did a search for instructions on how to do this by searching for play MKV on Xbox 360 but the one I found required about 10 different programs. Admittedly the instructions on that page are from 2008. Mine is a lot simpler and requires just a single, portable, program called XMedia Recode. The site is in German but just click Download under where it says XMedia Recode Portable. Extract the contents of the zip file and run XMedia Recode.
- Drag the video file you want to convert over on to the XMedia Recode window and wait for it to finish checking it
- Click on the video in the list near the top of the XMedia Recode window
- Click the Format tab and change Profile to Custom, Format to MP4 and File Extension to mp4
- Click the Video tab and tick the Video Copy box at the bottom of the options
- Click the Audio tab and under Modus select Copy. If your file has multiple audio streams you can choose to remove some at this point.
- At the bottom, under Output, change it to Source Path so the mp4 version appears in same folder as the original (optional)
- Click Add Job at the top
- Click Encode
If you want to do more than one file simply repeat steps 1 – 7 before clicking Encode. So now you now how simple it is to get MKV to play on Xbox 360.
Just a minor update. I forgot that the Xbox does not like 5.1 audio so if your original file is using 5.1 audio you will have to convert to stereo. If you do you need to do this then simply setting the Modus under Audio to convert instead of copy should work just fine as the default is stereo.
Warning! – The latest version of Xmedia recode, 126.96.36.199, has a bug where selecting Video copy will result in an empty file being created. I have informed them of this bug. Appears to have been fixed in version 188.8.131.52.