What HandBrake Does Great
As with most open source products HandBrake will only get better with time as users chip in to add functionality. At a base level operating HandBrake is a snap. Selecting a source is fairly obvious for any user. You can choose from files already downloaded to your computer or choose from one of the many presets that automatically setup HandBrake with most of the popular mobile devices on the market. Once a file is selected you have to ability to choose how you want to output your file. HandBrake gives you the ability to export as MP4 and MKV, and even chose the size. Exports are available in larger file sizes for higher quality, web optimized or iPod 5g support. For novice users converting files is as simple as clicking the bright green start button. More advanced users will be able to take advantage of the plethora of tools included in the program. Video filters allow you to manipulate telecine, comb, interlace noise and block. You can control titles and chapters, subtitles and even surround sound. For those times when you have multiple files, HandBrake offers the ability to batch jobs by adding files to a queue and scheduling them to convert. Additionally you have the ability to tell HandBrake what to do when it is done, including shutdown hibernate and so on. There is even an activity window which operates much like a standard log file and gives you the ability to track your progress.
HandBrake Tips for New Users
HandBrake is easy to use. If you want to jump into the program and just go you can. However, it would probably be a good idea to read up a bit on videos and all of the features and functions that go along with them. HandBrake itself does a decent job of outlining all of the features of its product on its website. (https://trac.handbrake.fr/wiki/HandBrakeGuide). But there are a lot of things that you can do with this product, if you know what you are doing.
Where HandBrake Needs to Improve
If you are a novice user HandBrake can quickly get away from you if you stray from the basic features. Choosing a file and clicking the convert button is a piece of cake. However, if you don’t have a lot of video experience there are a lot of places where you can get lost. The terminology alone is enough to confuse even the most avid computer user. Additionally, while HandBrake is not the flashiest program around, it does have a lot of things going on visually. Given the open nature of the program HandBrake tends to present you with all of the options in the main view. It’s enough to make you think you should be doing stuff, even if you don’t’ need to.
Overall HandBrake is an easy to use free program that will undoubtedly get better with time. It’s easy enough for a novice to use, but still has enough horse power under the hood where you can really blow your hair back if you wanted to. If you are looking for an easy, free way to convert your videos, HandBrake may be the way to go.
Previous File Versions