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I have a few MKV files that need the title to be changed. My searching has led me to understand that re-encoding is the the easiest way to do so.

  1. mediainfo on one of the files

    General
    Unique ID                                : 16743895095605599160700889077762303640 (0xC98C1C3DF6AACE6D7E0AE56F6D92698)
    Complete name                            : file1.mkv
    Format                                   : Matroska
    Format version                           : Version 2
    File size                                : 218 MiB
    Duration                                 : 18mn 23s
    Overall bit rate                         : 1 655 Kbps
    Movie name                               : Movie1
    Writing application                      : Lavf56.1.0
    Writing library                          : Lavf56.1.0
    WMFSDKNEEDED                             : 0.0.0.0000
    DEVICECONFORMANCETEMPLATE                : AP@L1
    WMFSDKVERSION                            : 11.0.5721.5265
    ISVBR                                    : 0
    ARTIST                                   : 
    COPYRIGHT                                : Copyright (c)
    
    Video    
    ID                                       : 1
    Format                                   : VC-1
    Format profile                           : Advanced@L1
    Codec ID                                 : V_MS/VFW/FOURCC / WVC1
    Codec ID/Hint                            : Microsoft
    Bit rate                                 : 1 558 Kbps
    Width                                    : 720 pixels
    Height                                   : 480 pixels
    Display aspect ratio                     : 3:2
    Frame rate mode                          : Variable
    Standard                                 : NTSC
    Color space                              : YUV
    Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0
    Bit depth                                : 8 bits
    Scan type                                : Progressive
    Compression mode                         : Lossy
    Default                                  : No
    Forced                                   : No
    
    Audio
    ID                                       : 2
    Format                                   : WMA
    Format version                           : Version 2
    Codec ID                                 : A_MS/ACM / 161
    Codec ID/Info                            : Windows Media Audio
    Duration                                 : 18mn 23s
    Bit rate                                 : 64.0 Kbps
    Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
    Sampling rate                            : 48.0 KHz
    Bit depth                                : 16 bits
    Stream size                              : 8.42 MiB (4%)
    Default                                  : No
    Forced                                   : No
    
  2. I used a simple codec copy command with a title tag

    avconv -i file1.mkv -c:v copy -c:a copy -metadata title='title1' file1-retitled.mkv
    

However, there is an issue when I seek the new video - it appears all blotchy (big, dark and coloured squares) for a couple of seconds and then becomes all right. I have tried the seek with different video players. The input file has no seek issues - works perfectly fine (it might be noted that the input files had themselves been cut from other video files using avconv).

How do I fix this issue?

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RE-encoding is likely to result in a loss of quality but by using the c:v copy and c:a copy switches, you are only moving the data from one container to another this should not result in any loss of quality. My best guess for the problem you are experiencing is issues with the V_MS/VFW/FOURCC / WVC1 Video stream. It might be related to this bug: https://bugzilla.libav.org/show_bug.cgi?id=600

However:

Since the original file file1.mkv has no problems the easiest way is to simply use mkvpropedit to edit the properties of the mkv file for example mkvpropedit file1.mkv --set "title=New Title"

If it's not installed you can install the package with:

sudo apt-get install mkvtoolnix

Source: Experience

More Info: https://mkvtoolnix.download/doc/mkvpropedit.html

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