HandBrake is a free and opensource tool for converting video files from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs. It enables anyone to easily prepare their camera videos to be played on a wide variety of devices, including all versions of iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs, Android phones, Android tablets and more. Of course, the app fully supports one of the most popular video conversion processes of all time -transfer of movies from your DVDs to your hard drive by converting them to files in the MPEG-4 format. You can apply many great video filters (grayscale, detelecine, decomb, deinterlace, denoise, deblock), as well as set the video codec, quality and framerate, audio codec, mixdown, sample frequency rate and bitrate.
HandBrake was originally created in 2003 by the Eric Petit who made this app exclusively for the short-lived BeOS operating system but was shortly after ported to Windows, MacOS, and Linux (Ubuntu). It continued being active on the development of the app until 2006 when he left and enabled its community to continue working on updates (originally made under the name “MediaFork”, but later renamed back to Handbrake).
Today, after so many years and a turbulent state of development, It still represents one of the most popular video conversion programs on the market, with support for many features that make the conversion process easy and intuitive. Even still, Handbrake remains to be 100% free and with regular updates continues to expand its capacity to work with all currently popular video and audio codecs on the market.
Handbrake Video Converter Features
Built-in Device Presets
Get started with HandBrake in seconds by choosing a profile optimized for your device, or choose a universal profile for standard or high-quality conversions. Simple, easy, fast. For those that want more choice, tweak many basic and advanced options to improve your encodes.
Supported Input Sources
Handbrake can process most common multimedia files and any DVD or BluRay sources that do not contain any kind of copy protection.
- File Containers: MP4(.M4V) and .MKV
- Video Encoders: H.264(x264), MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 (libav), and Theora(libtheora)
- Audio Encoders: AAC, CoreAudio AAC/HE-AAC (OS X Only), MP3, Flac, AC3, or Vorbis
- Audio Pass-thru: AC-3, DTS, DTS-HD, AAC, and MP3 tracks
Even more features
- Title / Chapter selection
- Queue up multiple encodes
- Chapter Markers
- Subtitles (VobSub, Closed Captions CEA-608, SSA, SRT)
- Constant Quality or Average Bitrate Video Encoding
- Support for VFR, CFR, and VFR
- Video Filters: Deinterlacing, Decomb, Detelecine, Deblock, Grayscale, Cropping and scaling
- Live Video Preview
One of the highlights of the app (besides the impressive number of supported input and output formats) is the fact that it comes pre-packed with a wide range of presets. These are neatly classified into several general categories, which makes selection a breeze.
The thoroughness of the settings section has also impressed us, since it offers extensive customization, even for the most demanding users.
HandBrake still packs a punch in terms of what it offers and how it delivers it to its users. If you’re looking for an intuitive way of converting video files, this app might very well have all the right attributes and some more.