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?
 
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