How to: Convert Blu-ray Discs for Audio File Playback (Atmos supported)

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HomerJAU

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Overview:
This ‘how to’ will show how to convert a Blu-ray disc contents to file(s) that can be played back on computers and media players, with a focus on creating lossless surround files. This can also be applied to DVDV discs (as opposed to DVD-A disc).

Blu-ray and DVDs have copy protection/encryption and disc drives are very slow. Step 1 is to decrypt the disc and copy the video and audio streams to your hard disc for further processing from much faster hard drives.

Once we have decrypted the disc, we can then convert the audio to a file format that best suits how we wish to play the contents and device/software intended to use. Often this will be FLAC but there may be a requirement to keep the original codec, such as TrueHD/Atmos, so it can be decoded by an AVR during playback.

Converting Atmos discs for file playback in Atmos is covered.

Requirements:
You will need the following to decrypt your disc and copy to your hard drive:
  • A Blu-ray drive in your PC or MAC
  • MakeMKV software (free – donationware)
MakeMKV can create a copy of the original disc’s video and audio stream in a Matroska MKV video file format. MKV can be played back on most devices.

You will need the following to manipulate and tag your ripped disc:

This ‘How To’ will use Music Media Helper (MMH) to Extract Audio from your MKV file to audio files. MMH is free but currently runs on Windows only.

MAC users could use Parallels or another Windows Emulation program for MAC OS to run Music Media Helper:


For MAC users, MKVToolNix (free) can be used to split the MKV video file to individual MKV song files or to create MKA (Matroska Audio files). EDIT: I’ve now covered this topic in Version 2.


Version 3 of the 'How To' PDF here:

EDIT HISTORY:
Version 2:
2021-4-19: Add section: 'Using MKVToolNix to create MKA files on Apple MAC OS' (it can also be used in Windows but MMH does auto-renaming of files, tagging, CUE creation etc)
Version 3: 2021-4-20: Updated section: Playback Software Discussion/Recommendations for various media player programs, minor corrections.

Please post your comments, questions and suggestions etc here and I'll attempt to update this thread and PDF document with additional info.
 
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ted_b

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Great how-to Garry!! At first, for the newbie, it might look daunting (20 page pdf) but the reader needs to realize there are various options in there, and this how-to will hold your hand through any and all of it.

Note: typo in Step One (page 4). Should read "and then Run MKV".
 

polmac

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Hi. I have a Mac but need to get myself an external Blu-ray burner. Will any old one do the job, or are some incompatible?
 

HomerJAU

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The BD drive needs to be compatible with MAC OS. In another thread here the external Pioneer BDR XD05TB drive is mentioned as being ok for MAC OS.
 

madscot

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I have the pioneer and it’s great, the software that comes with it is windows only though so you might be as well trying to sell that
 

HomerJAU

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Here’s a post (and following posts) on how to configure Foobar to play MKA and M4A files with Atmos/DTS-HDMA etc in Foobar2000:

 

CINERAMAX

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Hi Gary If for example, I want to mix a few songs each from John Williams, Kraftwerk, Booka Shade in an Atmos MP4 compilation how can I stitch them?
 

HomerJAU

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Apologies. I just saw your post.

What player are you using? You could use a play list or a CUE file achieve same. (It will appear as a single album)

You could use MKVToolNix to append (join) multiple files to make a single MKV or MKA file. Then convert to MP4.

I’m modifying MMH to do joining of MKVs at the moment. I could also add support for same for MP4.

The issue is the files to join into one new must have same video and audio streams. You can’t mix 1080p video at different frame rates or files with different video resolutions, or files with DTS stream with Atmos etc.

If your files do have differences like above you can’t join. You could use a play list or CUE though.
 

CINERAMAX

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Sounds cool. So I extracted the Black Magic woman chapter from Mike Fleetwoods Peter Green concert, 9:16 long there are a couple of minutes of blah blah blah banter after the song ends. Id like the song to end at 7:00 Do I have to find and manually enter the time code in the chapter edit section of mmh? Could not get to shorten to 7:00:00:000...
 
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CINERAMAX

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Apologies. I just saw your post.

What player are you using? You could use a play list or a CUE file achieve same. (It will appear as a single album)

You could use MKVToolNix to append (join) multiple files to make a single MKV or MKA file. Then convert to MP4.

I’m modifying MMH to do joining of MKVs at the moment. I could also add support for same for MP4.

The issue is the files to join into one new must have same video and audio streams. You can’t mix 1080p video at different frame rates or files with different video resolutions, or files with DTS stream with Atmos etc.

If your files do have differences like above you can’t join. You could use a play list or CUE though.
Easy enough to keep dts-hd appended (but hopefully chapter marked)playlists separate from the atmos.
 

HomerJAU

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What player are you using?

Kodi and VLC support m3U playlists with start and end times for a track. So you could just add the chapter start time and shorten the end time to cut off the unwanted banter in your Black Magic Woman track.

So you could add any file or any song in a multi song file and trim the exact start and end times, you don’t need to use a chapter start and end time.

EDIT:
MMH 4.2 can create an m3u playlist from a cue file for a multi song cue for Kodi. The cue that MMH creates from an MKV file uses the chapter start times. So using MMHs playlist tool on a cue will use the MKV’s chapter start and end times. But you can edit the playlist (it’s a text file) and change the end time to trim the banter.

Start and end times in the m3u are in milliseconds.
 
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CINERAMAX

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Unfortunately for mental, finncial and heart health reasons, I cannot use any networked media player system without getting hacked. Every time I try ...slam! Have a cemetery of pc's on display.:)So I usb into the oppo and the panny, I don't think the cue sheets would work. Thus I have been forced in the past to buy a Kaleidescape system for movies. But for multichannel music...

I think the solution to my edit needs is in MKVToolsnix, people in avsforum use it to mark snip and append best demo scenes of movies. That is exactly what I am after but for multichannel music and concert clips. I don't mind having separate folders for music atmos-concert 60hz atmos-music dts-hd-concert 60hz dts-hd.

Unfortunately using the Black magic woman chapter under chapter tools in mtn did not cut the song to 7 min. Will keep on trying...:)
 
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HomerJAU

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Unfortunately for mental, finncial and heart health reasons, I cannot use any networked media player system without getting hacked.
You don’t need a networked media player system to do the things discussed here. All the files and metadata can reside on a USB drive or hard drive.
 
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