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;
- 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)
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.
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.