Despite the fact that a long time has passed since the Blu-ray format for movie distribution has been accepted as the mainstream, most of the consumers still don’t have the Blu-ray players or Blu-ray drives installed in their computers. For this reasons for majority of the consumers DVD is the ideal medium of choice for buying movies, music videos etc. In addition with the passage of the time storage mediums are getting more and more capacity while becoming cheaper at the same time. These days you can get hard drives with a capacity of 500GB or even 1TB of capacity really cheap. So some users might want to transfer/copy there DVD movies to their hard drives to avoid the hassle of constant shuffling of DVD disks whenever they want to see an other movie. If DVD movies are copied in as it to the computer they can quickly fill up space even on large capacity hard disks – as the MPEG2 format that is used to encode the DVD movies is not very good in low bit-rate compression. So in this scenario it is beneficial to directly rip the movie in to a format such as MP4, MKV etc. and use an encoding scheme such as MPEG4 which is far more space efficient. Another compelling reason for many users to rip a video/movie might be to convert it to a IPhone/IPod, Apple TV etc. compatible format.
Market is already flooded with a lot of video ripping and video conversion software but most of them are either very complicated to setup or they are too simplistic to even lack the some basic options. It is difficult to maintain a right balance between the simplicity and functionality. Handbrake is once such software that I think succeeds to maintain a good balance between these contradictory objectives.
In fact, using Handbrake is really easy – say if you want to rip a DVD movie just put it in the computer DVD drive (you can also read already copied DVD on the hard disk) and just select the appropriate menu item from the Source menu in Step 1. Handbrake will automatically select the appropriate title with the longest duration and also length of the video is shown in the interface. In Step2 select the output file path – where the newly encoded should be saved. You can change the output container format if you like (default is MP4(uses FFMPEG encoder) and is recommended). There are many other options nicely categorized in to different tabs such as Video, Audio Picture etc. For example if you want to crop some part of the output (black borders at the top & bottom in some movies) it can be done in the Picture tab and also resizing. In the video you can change the encoder type for the video (MPEG4 or H.264). If you are not sure about it I would recommend to keep them at the default. For the information H.264 is a newer higher quality encoding standard but can be computationally very expansive as compared MPEG4. Once you are done with the changes to the configuration you have two options: either you can start the encoding process right away by pressing the Start button on the top toolbar (Step3) or you can press the Add to Queue to add the current job to the encoding queue and start the job later on. Queue is useful if you want to configure multiple encoding jobs and then later on they can all be started together as a batch. After these three simple steps sit back and relax as whole encoding process might take some time. Status of the progress is also available on screen.
An important and very useful feature of the program is the support of multiple encoding profiles. Some preconfigured profiles comes preloaded with the software. One of the most useful one is convert movie in to IPhone compatible video format so that it can be transferred and easily played back on the IPhone with out compatibility problems. Another interesting profile is the conversion in the Apple TV compatible format. It is also possible to create and save you custom profiles. Latest version of the software supports multithreading and multicore CPUs and should run significantly faster in case your PC is equipped with the Intel’s latest and greatest Core I5 or Core I7 CPU.
Overall, I am impressed with the functionality and relatively clean interface of Handbrake and it is a compelling option if you want to rip your DVD movies or want to simply encode some videos in to a more space efficient video format. You can get it here from the official website.
You Might Like:
Get Free Email Updates
Inspired Geek is your primary source for latest tech news, guides and articles on Windows software, games, Apple and Android devices.
- Get extensive coverage on latest tech news.
- Exclusive guides on rooting, jailbreaking and unlocking mobile devices.
- Useful apps and tips&tricks for your iOS and Android devices.
- Exlclusive Top Countdowns for the best software.