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Summary:

Fair Use rights fans rejoice! Last updated in 2009, Handbrake, the open-source, cross-platform video transcoding app with the ugly icon, kicks off 2011 with updated presets for the new Apple TV, the iPad and the iPhone 4, but drops PPC support.

handbrake-atv2

Fair Use rights fans rejoice! Last updated in 2009, Handbrake, the open-source, cross-platform video transcoding app with the ugly icon, kicks off 2011 with updated presets for the new Apple TV, the iPad and the iPhone 4, but drops PPC support.

Handbrake 0.9.5 adds presets for the iPhone 4 and the iPad, as well as the Apple TV 2. For the latter, the changes include setting the frame rate to NTSC Video standard. These features should make it easier to get content onto a variety of devices, with the best quality possible.

Other improvements include AC3 encoding support, universal audio downmix support, updated libraries for x264 and ffmpeg, SSA subtitle support, better detection of a DVD’s main feature, and more. In terms of usability, editing queue jobs is now thankfully possible.

For Mac users, Handbrake now checks for VLC in /Applications and ~/Applications. That’s important because DVD decryption libraries were decoupled from Handbrake in version 0.9.3, so you need VLC to convert DVDs. Note that if you’re using the 64-bit version of Handbrake also requires that you use the 64-bit version of VLC to handle DVD conversion. Likewise, if you’re using the 32-bit version, you’ll have to have the 32-bit version of VLC installed for the programs to work together.

While Handbrake 0.9.5 now also supports the Blu-ray format, it does not decrypt discs. You’ll need separate ripping software, VLC, and Handbrake for that. Sadly, the state of Blu-ray support on Mac remains weak due to Apple’s indifference towards the format.

HandBrake 0.9.5 is available 32-bit and 64-bit versions for both OS X 10.5 and 10.6, but not PowerPC Macs, though running Handbrake on anything less than a G5 would be pretty painful anyway. Handbrake 0.9.5 is available for download, and don’t forget to get the latest version of VLC for DVD decryption, too.

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  1. Can you use this to rip files from a dvd to the avi format? I believe that feature was removed in the last update so I never upgraded.

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    1. What’s wrong with h.264 MP4s?

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  2. “…for the latter, the changes include setting the frame rate to NTSC Video standard…”

    This makes it sound like the encode will happen at 29.97 frames per second – but the ATV2 preset uses VFR; V(ariable(F(rame)R(rate) encoding is the actual new feature here.
    Meaning that the encode will use the same frame-rate as the source material. (And preserve all frame rate variations of the source as long as they are not OVER the peak of 29.97)

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  3. Ugly icon? Put down that cocktail, your view is wrong! Best icon on my dock, and, it’s free.

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  4. “What’s wrong with h.264 MP4s?…”

    I am just used to downloading video torrents as avi files so, when I rip files to upload as torrents, I try to upload in the avi format. Is h.264 MP4 comparable or better in some way?

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    1. File format is MP4 or MKV, and the video is eitherMPEG-4, H.264, or Theora. Personally, I think H.264 is pretty good, and isn’t .avi just the wrapper, anyway?

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      1. I guess I just need to research more; avi is just what I have been familiar with and what most video torrents I download are formatted in.

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  5. Luke,

    Do everyone a favor and embrace the h.264 format. By most accounts, it’s better than .avi.

    On a different, but related note, it’s too bad .avi files won’t play on an Apple TV. In fact, it sucks. I’ve had to convert (via Visual Hub) all my .avi files to the .mp4 format so that I can view them through my Apple TV. Can you all imagine if iTunes didn’t play .mp3s? It’s unthinkable.

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  6. Here is how I installed XBMC with Windows PC with untethered jailbreak. 10 minutes job.

    http://arturito.net/2011/02/14/apple-tv-2-untethered-jailbreak-on-windows-and-xbmc-media-centre-installation/

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