Handbrake 0.9.4: Your best deal on Black Friday

Handbrake, the world's best video transcoder, just hit its 0.9.4 release and delivers more than 1,000 changes while improving speed, quality, and file size.

Desperate for a deal after sleeping right through Wal-Mart's early-morning Black Friday frenzy? You're in luck. The best deal this holiday season may be just a download away.

Handbrake
That's right: Handbrake, arguably the world's best video transcoder, just hit version 0.9.4.

And boy, is it beautiful.

Handbrake has long been my go-to choice for ripping DVDs to my hard drive (saves battery life when watching videos while traveling and ensures my kids won't ruin the DVDs), but this particular version exceeds my expectations. Why? Because it delivers over 1,000 new enhancements while delivering better picture quality at a smaller file size and faster.

Or as the Handbrake developers say:

There's an old proverb in the video encoding world: "Speed, size, quality: pick two." It means that you always have to make a trade-off between the time it takes to encode a video, the amount of compression used, and the picture quality. Well, this release of HandBrake refuses to compromise. It picks all three.

This isn't hype. In my own use of the software during the past week, performance is noticeably faster, and picture quality is awesome.

Importantly, while the Handbrake developers have been hard at work over the past year to update the venerable video transcoder, the team owes a lot to developers from the x264 project:

A large portion of these speed, size, and quality improvements come to us for free, from the x264 project. The past year, like every year, has seen some massive improvements for that video encoding engine. As always, it has been further hand-optimized for better performance. But it has also gained new features like macroblock tree rate control and weighted P-Frame prediction.

This is how open-source development works: Handbrake focuses on what it does best (User interface, features like live preview, etc.) while leveraging the best of other project's strengths.

It's a recipe for a supereasy and very powerful transcoding experience. And at a 100 percent discount now through forever (Handbrake is open source and costs nothing to download), now is a good time to download it and let 'er rip, whether you run Mac (Intel 32-bit and 64-bit, plus PowerPC), Linux, or Windows.

About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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