Handbrake is the Swiss Army Knife of Video Transcoding

HandBrake is an open-source, multiplatform video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows. Convert DVDs to MPEG, compress videos to smaller filesizes, or convert from one video format to another.

Note that you’ll need to have the right codecs installed for the type of file you wish to convert however such as DivX, Xvid, OGM, 3ivx, etc.

Handbrake supports any DVD-like source such as VIDEO_TS folders, .VOB, .TS files, DVD images and real DVD.

Handbrake lets you perform two-pass conversions and codify a double soundtrack. Another great feature is the bitrate calculator, which alters the quality of the video according to the final file size you wish to achieve. You can even trim the black bands around a movie to maximize the size of the file. Other features worth mentioning are chapter selection, basic subtitle support (burned into the picture) and grayscale encoding.

Handbrake is one of those oldies-but-goodies that I sometimes forget about until I find myself in a transcoding bind, and it almost always saves the day when every other option has failed. The UI isn’t exactly brain-dead easy – you’ll fare better if you have some basic knowledge about video production such as frame rates, etc – but it’s not rocket surgery either.

And it’s free! Download it now!

Image credit: MacWorld (who incidentally has some excellent tutorials on Handbrake on their website.)

  • Overhill

    Handbrake isn’t bad, I’ve used it before and works pretty well. But, it can not process DVDs with any type of encrytion.

    If you want to “fine tune” the video for mobile devices, try “AppGeeker”. It is pretty good at handling Most of DVDs.