HandBrake: Multi-Threaded Video Transcoder; v0.9.5 Update for Apple TV2, iPad and iPhone 4

Written By Sam on 9 January 2011

HandBrake is a GPL Licensed multithreaded open source video transcoder that works on Windows, Linux and the MacOSX platforms with equal ease.

What should specifically interest Apple users about Handbrake is that version 0.9.5 has presets for the new Apple TV2, iPad and iPhone 4. On Apple TV 2 the frame rate can be set to NTSC video standards. This means one can get content to various devices in high quality modes. Quality is achieved through varying size while maintaining a set quality level as opposed to traditional method of setting a specific size and varying quality to meet it.

Improvements are made universal audio downmix supports, in AC3 encoding support, updated libraries for x264 and ffmpeg, support for SSA subtitles, better detection of DVD’s main features, to mention a few.

For Mac users, HandBrake 0.9.5 is available in 32 and 64 bit versions for OSX 10.5 and 10.6. However it may not work on PowerPC Macs. While downloading HandBrake it is also advisable to download the latest VLC DVD decryptors too for smooth operation. This is suggested since in the earlier version of HandBrake the DVD decryption libraries were decoupled and Handbrake checks the folder /Applications and ~/Applications for the presence of VLC since VLC will be needed for DVD decryption before it can carry out the transcoding. HandBrake is claimed to have Bluray support but a separate ripping software like VLC will be needed enable further transcoding. Use only 32 bit VLC media player with the 32 bit HandBrake or the 64 bit VLC with the 64 bit HandBrake.

Input sources supported include any DVD like source like the Video_TS folder, DVD image or real DVD, .VOB and .TS files. It can get libavformat to read most multimedia files and for decoding it can get libavcodec.

Transcoded output comprise .mp4 and .mkv file format; MPEG4, H264 or Theora for Video; AAC, AAC(OSX only), MP3, Vorbis, AC-3 pass through, DTS pass through (MKV only) and Core audio for audio. Other miscellaneous features are subtitles, integrated bitrate calculator, picture de-interlacing, cropping and scaling options, a live video preview and chapter selection plus credits options. With this functional software, complex tasks are made simple and can be carried out in a jiffy. This speed and quality is thanks to the inputs from the x264 project.

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