"A multiplatform DVD to MPEG-4 converter."
Handbrake 0.9.5 is a multithreaded, multiplatform, GPL-licensed video transcoder that converts video to and from nearly any popular format. Handbrake can successfully convert most multimedia files, however it cannot remove copy protections found on DVD or Blu-ray discs.
Handbrake is an extremely compact utility that requires minimal system resources, and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, Fedora, Ubuntu, and Linux. We'll cover the Windows version in this review. The installation process is so simple that it can literally be completed in less than five clicks, and there are no pesky checkboxes or requests to install bundled software.
The user interface is uncomplicated, yet highly effective at doing its job. The central aspect of the main window is the Output Settings section, which lets you control every aspect of the video conversion. In the top left corner, the “Add to Queue ” button allows you to queue video files for conversion, while the “Show Queue ” button lets you view previously queued files. The Activity window provides a basic log of all recent activity performed by the software, and the “Preview” button allows you to view a live video preview of what the output will look like using the selected settings.
Supports average bit rate or constant quality video encoding
Lets you decomb, crop, scale, deinterlace, and detelecine video files
Gives you the ability to select and mark chapters in a video file
Users can add subtitles to videos, with support for various subtitle types including closed captions, VOB sub, SSA, and .SRT subtitle files
The Preview feature lets you view what video output will look like before converting
Supports adjustable variable frame rates
Can convert video files to MP4, MKV, MPEG-4, or H.264, and provides support for various audio codecs, including AAC (in Mac OS X only), AC3, MP3, and DTS (in MKV files only)
Some users find it annoying to have to individually select video files when queuing a batch for converting, rather than being able to drag and select multiple video files at once.
Under the most demanding settings output may contain occasional image distortion or glitches, particularly if your system processing resources are being over-utilized.
What's New in Handbrake 0.9.5?
There are a plethora of new additions to this version of HandBrake. First, the software now supports MP3 audio in MP4 files, and AC3 encoding. Second, users can now set a cap on the video frame rate, and there are several new presets available for newer devices like the iPod 5G. Another notable change is that users can now encode specific segments of the video with point-to-point encoding by choosing a specific start and end time based on frame or second count.
Handbrake is certainly not the most comprehensive video conversion software out there, and there are plenty of alternatives available. Some of the most notable ones are FreeMake Video Converter, Format Factory, MediaCoder, and Any Video Converter Free or Pro.
If you're looking for a basic video converter that will handle most common multimedia files, HandBrake provides a compact, efficient package that may be able to accommodate your needs.
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