Free DVD Ripper, HandBrake, Gets Update

Nov 27th, 2009 | By | Category: Video

handbrake

HandBrake – a free, multiplatform DVD ripper and video transcoder  – has been updated.

HandBrake is a great tool if you want to rip DVDs for backing them up or using them with Apple TV or other multimedia system.

The update should provide better quality conversions for all users and should work faster for many.

Here’s what’s new:

  • x264 – Better picture quality, at a smaller size, faster.
  • 64-bit support -  64-bit builds tend to perform approximately 10% better than their 32-bit brethren.
  • Soft subtitles – HandBrake can now include subtitle tracks that can be turned on and off, instead of rendering them onto the video track permanently (which also reduces video compression).
  • Live preview – Ever wished you could test HandBrake settings before spending hours on a full encode? Now, you can.
  • HandBrake now uses a better DVD reading library called libdvdnav. This means it can now read some DVDs it had trouble with before, and it can also select different angles on a DVD.
  • For non-DVD sources, HandBrake now offers improved transport stream support, especially for high definition sources.
  • Constant quality encoding – No more looking for the perfect bitrate for a source–HandBrake is migrating to quality-based encoding. This means that instead of telling encoders to use a specific size and vary quality to meet it, we tell the encoder to vary size to meet a given quality level. Overall quality improves, since bits are spent only when they are needed, and are saved when they are not.
  • Another result is that 2-pass encoding is not needed. A single pass at a constant quality provides just as much compression efficiency as two passes at an average bitrate.
  • Audio-video synchronization has been further improved.
  • Mac users can now encode AAC audio using OS X’s Core Audio, rather than using the open source libfaac. Core Audio offers far superior audio quality.
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