Don Melton Video Transcoding Tools Help

Hi everyone,

I really enjoyed the article by Casey Liss ( as to how he rips movies for his Plex server. However, there is a portion of his article that’s a little over my head and I need some help.

I’ve got a movie ripped and it’s sitting on my desktop as a MKV file. Everyone seems to suggest using the Don Melton Video Transcoding Tools mentioned in the article to compress the files. Here’s the thing: I read the article but I still don’t quite understand the actual mechanics of how to use those tools on the files.

Can anyone start to walk me through this?

Thanks in advance,


Melton has a guide and a faq on his github.

What is your end result - Geeking out totally on every little compression parameter, or having a workflow to transcode to a smaller but maybe not uber-small size?

If the latter, I would suggest getting Handbrake. It’s a free transcoder anything-to-anything converter, widely used, and well respected.

But it has a straightforward GUI and lots of pre-defined settings for click-and-go.

It is not a toy though. I regularly record screen sessions on my Mac with QuickTime Player and Handbrake easily converts a 2 GB .mov file to a .mp4 that is under 50mb many times.

I totally agree, if you’re not comfortable with the command line then Handbrake is the tool to use.

I admit that my command line knowledge is weak but I want to learn. So I want to run this line from the article as an example: “transcode-video --mp4 --burn-subtitle scan avengers.mkv”. I have my mkv file on my desktop titled Heat_t00.mkv

So I’ve installed the file from GitHub, is it now as simple as transcode-video --mp4 burn-subtitle scan Heat_t00.mkv"?