Handbrake 0.9.6 Released, More Features Lost


Want to install in Ubuntu 11.10??

Want to install in Ubuntu 12.04??

Handbrake, the absolute ‘gold-standard’ in video trans-coding for Linux, Windows and Mac, has reached version 0.9.6.  For a full list of changes, please read the release notes here.  Not surprisingly, the staff at The Powerbase is mostly concerned with changes that affect the Linux version.  Here they are;

Linux GUI

Audio panel

  • New advanced audio options section for gain and audio track names
  • Dynamic range compression and samplerate moved to advanced audio options


  • Minor UI tweaks and usability enhancements


  • Target Size is gone. Constant Quality is the recommended encoding method.
  • CLI: Support for x264 presets, tunes and profilesnew –x264-preset, –x264-tune and –x264-profile options
  • DVD: fix issues with some discs
  • DVD: improved main feature detection
  • Updated libbluray (0.0.1-pre-213-ga869da8, late May 2011)

Blu-ray Support

We haven’t tried to rip any Blu-ray discs with this version of Handbrake yet, be we can assume that this is likely just as experimental at VLC’s new support for the restrictive format.  Worry not, because like a pair of acid-washed jeans, my ever-growing collection of discs are just begging to be ripped.

Target Size

This one is a little bit upsetting.  The disappearance of target-size as a feature makes sense, since data-density is so high, what’s the point.  Handbrake will still let you create a 4GB ceiling if you’re one of the unlucky folks that is using a filesystem incapable of anything greater, but those of you eager to put Avatar onto a floppy disk, or create a VCD quality Matroska file that you’d like to catalog on a ZIP drive, you’re out-of-luck.

In all seriousness, I think that the ability to set a target size is a pretty significant feature and I’m sad to see it go.  This is not the first time Handbrake has lost a feature that merely seemed irrelevant.  Just a couple of versions ago, Handbrake dropped support for the undying Xvid format.  We understand that there are only a handful of modern codecs being used, but the only excuse for dropping support for one is if one of your dependencies axes it.  This is not the case for Handbrake.

Dear Handbrake, please bring back Xvid support so that I can encode movies for my children’s classic Apple computers running Mac OS 9.

Kind Regards,

The Powerbase

About Dean Howell

Aside from being a huge Sega fan, Dean is an LPIC certified Linux professional with over a decade experience. In addition to spending his free time burning through the classics from Sega and evangelizing open source, he's also the editor-in-cheif of The Powerbase.
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  • Linux Mint User

    Target size was one my favorite feature, so we could resize short family video clips to 20M before uploading them to Picasa. Very convenient. I can’t believe they removed such a great feature! My LMDE box will not upgrade to this version…

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  • Jonas Kulla

    This is so confusing.. why in the world woud you ever remove a feature unless it bloats the software (which I couldn’t imagine Target Size doing..) ???

    • jgm

      Linux. There’s some sort of curse or infection attached to Linux that makes some people hate features. Maybe it’s just sour grapes because Linux users had to live without basic features for so long; I don’t know. :-)

      You’ve seen the type… everything is “bloat” to them. Handbrake itself is probably bloat to them because they’d say they don’t need a GUI; what’s wrong with the command line? I chastised one of these people the other day for calling KDE bloated; I told him the proper term was “feature-filled’. He violently disagreed, and began a diatribe about “rounded corners” and how he didn’t need them to do his work and how much CPU cycles (!!!) are taken up by rounded corners.

      There is simply something wrong with the minds of some people who use Linux or develop things that run on Linux. I don’t understand it. They’re the ones who think OpenBox or such is the pinnacle of desktops and everything else is “bloated” and every distro is “bloated” except TinyCore.

      My Creative Zen MP3 player, which only plays xVid files, was not amused with Handbrake’s removal of xVid support.

      • Jim Grant

        I’m assuming this is a joke? Linux is known for its features.

        Target size was probably removed because of its redundancy. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what file size a constant bit rate is going to render. They don’t call them megabits per second for nothing.

        • Huff

          Yeah, and why don’t they just remove the “Browse” dialogue button as well? It isn’t actually rocket science to type in the file path either… That’s what we have keyboards for! Hell yeah, why just make the bloody thing command line only, while we’re at it?

        • Tim Courtland

          And its not in mbps it is in kbps, plus they are bits NOT bytes which doesn’t cause a problem for you and I, but would the layman know that they have to divide by 8 before multiplying by the seconds in their video file? At least give an estimation of file size underneath…

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  • Peta

    You said in your article ‘Handbrake will still let you create a 4GB ceiling if you’re one of the unlucky folks that is using a filesystem incapable of anything greater’, can you please explain how this is done?

    • http://www.facebook.com/DrigoLA777 Rodrigo Avila

      If you leave the “large file size” box unmarked I’m pretty sure that will give you the 4GB ceiling. Please let me know if that works.

  • Nowhere

    Xvid? Please bring back ASCII art support for my grand children’s Apple ][+ .

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.kluesener Chris Klüsener

    Those ppl who need to encode to a special Size can use VidCoder (also based on Handbrake) or MeGui.

    • Acpadhi

      Anything equivalent in Linux/Ubuntu for Vidcoder and MeGUI ? both rely on .NET, so I assume they will not run on the WINE too.

      This sucks, something working so well under linux has better extensions in WIndows :(

  • F Gerard

    Basically, the feature was a bit buggy, but these lazy guys prefered to remove it instead of solving the issue.. This is the natural trend of tooo lazy guys, whatever their skills are…

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  • Peter

    Really? you removed the Target Size feature? bugged or not, you shouldn’t have removed it. I encountered no errors with it, it was one of the most convenient features there, but now you’ve just made the program more complicated. If this “bug” only happened on particular systems, then I don’t see what the problem is by just editing it for that particular system, rather than all of them.
    A typical like myself wouldn’t have a clue on this bitrate crap or the other parts, target size was the only part that made sense actually xD But seriously, I used this program to compress videos for youtube, and now I’m having trouble figuring out how exactly to compress it.
    As for the Xvid thing, I don’t see why you’re more bothered about that tbh. Oh well, I guess i’ll have to figure out the bitrate thing, if I can’t then I’m gonna use a different program.

  • Max Renn

    I just updated to 0.9.6 and was looking for the target size option. I need it to convert a video to a specified size (45 MB) to upload for college. Now it’s gone. What am I supposed to do now? A stupid decision to remove it.

  • Nig

    WHats so hard about installing VLC player on your kid’s mac?

    • http://www.ryanwaddell.com Ryan Waddell

      The hard part about installing VLC player on an Mac running OS9 is that there IS no version of VLC player for OS9.

  • sc2pilot

    Please bring back Target Size support. Getting rid of it was monumentally stupid.

  • bryancohen

    Agreed with the Target SIze aspect. I might have a way around it by modifying settings using DVD2OneX, but the Target SIze setting made it much more convenient for me to keep my movie sizes around 2-3 GB.

  • http://www.arcane.org Mystech

    Shedding features faster than a Google product! Time to look elsewhere, at this rate Handbrake will 1.0 will be a file renaming application.

  • gss303

    Dropping the Target Size feature broke a huge part of what made this app useful. But I’ve found a workaround: Download the old 0.9.5 version (found it on oldapps.com) which still has the feature, yet doesn’t work properly on OS X 10.8+. Open your video in 0.9.5 and type the Target Size you want – average bitrate gets recalculated for you. Now use that average bitrate in the latest version to get a file size close to what you want. It’s an estimate, so shoot low – if you want under 10MB plug in 9MB. If 20MB plug in 18MB, etc. It’s a two-step process but beats doing countless guesswork encodes hoping to get lucky.