HandBrake update adds new presets, goes Intel-only

[Editor’s note: The MPAA and most media companies argue that you can’t legally copy or convert commercial DVDs for any reason. We (and others) think that, if you own a DVD, you should be able to override its copy protection to make a backup copy or to convert its content for viewing on other devices. Currently, the law isn’t entirely clear one way or the other. So our advice is: If you don’t own it, don’t do it. If you do own it, think before you rip.]

DVD-lovers, start your engines! On Monday, the developers of the free, open-source video transcoder HandBrake released an update that’s small in number change but large in feature additions.

HandBrake 0.9.5 adds presets for the iPhone 4, the iPad, and the second-generation Apple TV; allows editing of queued jobs; includes support for SSA subtitles; can now find the VLC media player (required for HandBrake to convert encrypted DVDs) in the user’s Application folder; supports the Blu-ray disc structure (but doesn’t decrypt Blu-ray discs); and more.

HandBrake 0.9.5 comes in 32-bit and 64-bit varieties for OS X 10.5 and 10.6 on Intel Macs, but PPC support has been dropped as of this version. You’ll also want the latest version of VLC media player, and make sure to grab the 64-bit or Universal version if you’re going to run HandBrake on a 64-bit-capable Mac.

Here are the complete release notes for HandBrake 0.9.5.

Core Library

  • BluRay disc structure support (No decryption support)
  • Updated Libraries (x264, ffmpeg)
  • SSA Subtitle support (Including burn-in)
  • MP3 audio now supported in MP4 files (Note: Limited Player compatibility)
  • VOBSUB subtitle now supported in MP4 files (Note: Limited Player compatibility)
  • Updated Presets for newer devices and better quality
  • AC3 encoding support
  • Many Bug Fixes and other small improvements
  • Improved DVD Main Feature detection (when using dvdnav)
  • Universal audio downmix support (all audio types can be downmixed)
  • Poin-to-Point encoding (second or frame start and end times)
  • Peak framerate option (Capped VFR)

All GUIs

  • Updated x264 Advanced Panel
  • Video Quality Slider drops % value and only shows RF for x264
  • Batch Scan (Scan Multiple files at once. N.B: Does not include multiple VIDEO_TS folders / Image files)
  • Many Bug fixes
  • Many Tweaks to improve usability
  • Ability to edit queue jobs

Mac GUI

  • New Audio Panel supporting >4 Audio Tracks
  • VLC detection in /Applications and ~/Applications
  • Multiple instance support

Windows GUI

  • Encode Status in GUI. (CLI window is now always hidden)
  • Improved Auto-Naming for Destination file name
  • Drag / Drop Video onto Main Window to scan

Linux GUI

  • Multiple instance support (run multiple copies of ghb at once)
  • Many Bug fixes and UI improvements

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