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Handbrake 0.93 released, capitulates on DVD decryption

Handbrake just got a little better, and a lot worse, all at the same time.


Handbrake, the closest thing to entertainment manna we have, has released the newest version of its open-source DVD ripping software, version 0.93. There's just one problem: it no longer rips DVDs. At least, not the kind you'd want to rip.

While it has some shiny, new functionality, like the ability to ingest video in any format (not merely DVDs) and superior video quality, it rid itself of the number-one reason for getting it in the first place:

DVD decryption.

Handbrake's author tries to put a brave face on this by offering a klugey workaround:

HandBrake will dynamically load VLC's copy of libdvdcss if you have it in your Applications folder in Mac OS X, and if you're on Linux, and you want to live on the wild side, you can install libdvdcss on your system and get the same effect....

[In other words] we're not about to stop you from choosing to decrypt DVDs. If you're on a Mac, and you have VLC 0.9.x installed, you won't even notice the internal capability's gone. If you're on Linux, all you have to do is install a library.

Why the change? I loved this feature, not because I want to steal movies, but because I want to rip and burn my DVDs to my Mac's hard drive so that I can watch them on flights without consuming excessive battery life, as playing an actual DVD would, not to mention the bother of lugging DVDs around with me.

Yes, Handbrake has offered a workaround, but I can't recommend the new release based on its lack of DVD decryption, the top reason anyone uses Handbrake in the first place.