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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