Anyone that owns a Mac and a portable media device that is capable of video playback has no doubt used Handbrake to rip and/or convert a DVD or media file to an appropriate format or size so that they could have it with them on the go.

It’s been a while since the application has been updated, but the it has been worth the wait. The speed improvements and the presets make faster and simpler than ever to drive the sometimes scary task of fiddling with video.

Best of all, it’s still free. If you’re using anything else, stop it. Download Handbrake today and put it through its paces.

A year to the day after the previous version was released, Handbrake has hit 0.9.4, and boy is it faaaaaaaaast:

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.

If you have video you want to get onto your iPhone, Handbrake is the way to go — and it’s free. New, streamlined presets still include Apple Universal, iPod, iPhone & iPod touch, and Apple TV (as well as others if you’re rocking the Xbox, PS3, Zune, or whatever floats your video boat).

Improvements include much better H.264 encoding via the x264 project, a new build system, new soft subtitles, live preview, and constant quality encoding. As can be seen by the list above, they’re all about x264 now, so they’re also winding down support for AVI, OGG/OGM, and XviD — they’ll tell you why via the link above, but basically they want to pull you kicking and screaming into the better looking future. Love them.

Here’s the direct link to downloads for Mac OS, WIndows, and Linux.

Note to 64-bit Mac users: If you decide to go with Handbrake 64-bit for OS X, and intend to rip DVDs, know that Handbrake uses VLC for the task and VLC 1.0.3 doesn’t yet have a 64-bit version, so you’ll have to stick to 32-bit Handbrake, or downgrade your VLC to 1.0.2 64-bit.

If you give it a spin, let us know how it transcodes for you!

[via TUAW]

This is a story by the iPhone Blog. This feed is sponsored by The iPhone Blog Store.

Handbrake Video Encoder Hits 0.9.4

via The iPhone Blog