HandBrake 0.7 How-to

by Gand — last modified 2007-06-26 03:08 PM

HandBrake site: here - HandBrake 0.6 How-To

A Command Line Interface guide here.


Most video files have at least two different types: the container, and the codec(s) used inside that container.

  • File Format (container): describes the structure of the file; Handbrake can create MP4, AVI, and OGM file formats.
  • Codec ("compressor/decompressor"): is the mathematical routine that compresses the raw video and audio into a stream of bytes.
Handbrake container/codecs table
Video codec MPEG-4
Audio codec AAC AC-3 MP3 Vorbis MP3
  • Encoder: is how the data is written into each frame. Each codec will support one or more encoders. H.264 has: Main and Baseline. MPEG-4 has: FFmpeg and XviD.


MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Information
MPEG-4 ASP Information
Ogg Theora Information
Digital Video Formats by Akkana Peck

Use WM9 today and get Micro$oft controlling the A/V market tomorrow for free.

Insert your DVD and quit DVD player.

Welcome to HandBrake

  • Start HandBrake.
    Select your DVD volume (generally only one)…
  • … or browse to your folder with VIDEO_TS exctracted from DVD.
  • Click Open button and HandBrake will start DVD scan for some seconds.


  • In Source panel select the DVD title, the longest is the first of the list and all (default) or one/some chapter/s.


  • In Destination panel select File format (file container) and video Codecs:

MP4 file format

  • MP4 file - MPEG-4 video / AAC audio (MPEG)- the Apple audio video format (not DivX)
  • MP4 file - AVC H264 video / AAC audio (MPEG)- the Apple audio video format QuickTime 7 - Advanced Video Coding (AVC) for the next-generation High Definition (HD) DVD (*)

AV file format

  • AVI file - MPEG-4 video/ MP3 audio (Lame) - the used DivX players .AVI file
  • AVI file - MPEG-4 video/ AC-3 audio
  • AVI file - AVC H264 video / MP3 audio (Lame) -
  • AVI file /- AVC H.264 video / AC-3 audio -

OGM file format

  • OGM file - MPEG-4 video / Vorbis audio (OGG)- the open, patended free audio/video format (*)
  • OGM file - MPEG-4 video / MP3 audio (Lame) -

(*) We invite you use and spread these free and open formats, they are best quality than other ones.

  • Then Browse your hard disk to select file destination folder.


  • In Video panel chose encoder; we suggest FFmpeg instead of XviD,
    as both are MPEG-4 compliant encoders, FFmpeg is pretty faster on OS X.
  • Set Framerate to Default as is the frame rate of your original clip, and it should stay like that.
  • Choose your Custom Bitrate for less than 90 min video…
  • … or your CD Target size for full video.
  • Select 2-pass encoding, it performs a slower but better compression - basically it makes sure you'll get a constant quality so you won't see blocks in fast motion scenes. Though it's disabled by default, is strongly recommend to use it except if you really care about time.


  • Select Language subtitle (or None)

Picture Settings…

  • Clik on Picture Settings… button to open edit window:
    You can re-size Width and Height keeping (or not) aspect ratio

You can scale down to width=512 x height=whatever handbrake says to improve H264 encoding speed and the quality is pretty well unaffected.

  • Crop image to remove little black outline borders (we suggest use Auomatic button)
  • Deinterlaced picture - only to use if movie has visible scanlines.
  • You can** Browse** previous and next scene
  • Useles OpenGL effects - play with the previous/next buttons after checking it, you'll see


  • In Audio panel select first (and second language) and audio Sample rate (default 44100) and Bitrate (default 128).
  • Click on Rip button to start encoding, a progress bar show encoding perc, fps speed and time remaining.
  • Encoding can be paused, resumed or cancelled.

iPod Video settings

Use Instant HandBrake (OS X, UB, 2.8 MB), iPod/PSP-dedicated version of HandBrake. _ (screenshot)

In Destination panel select:

  • File format: MP4 file
  • Codecs: AVC/H.264 Video / AAC Audio

In Video panel select:

  • Encoder: x264 (Baseline profile)
  • Quality: Average bitrate (kbps): 400
    Note: enter also a value between 400 and 600; higer bitrate = higer quality = higer disk space.
  • Select 2-pass encoding, it performs a slower but better compression.

In Audio panel select (as default):

  • Sample rate (Hz): 44100
  • Bitrate (kbps): 128

Clik on Picture Settings… button to open edit window and set size to:

  • Width: 320
  • Height: 240 (or less if aspect ratio is not 3:2)
    Note: Keep aspect ratio checked. Calculate maximum video size using Podsize

iPod can play the following video formats:

  • H.264 video
    File formats: .m4v, .mp4 and .mov
    Video: Up to 768 Kbps, 320 x 240 pixels, 30 frames per second, Baseline Profile up to Level 1.3
    Audio: AAC-LC up to 160 Kbps, 48 KHz, stereo audio
  • MPEG-4 video
    File formats: .m4v, .mp4 and .mov
    Video: Up to 2.5 Mbps, 480 x 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile
    Audio: AAC-LC up to 160 Kbps, 48 KHz, stereo audio</li>

Queue tasks

  • Click on Enable queue check button.
  • Click on Add to queue button to queue tasks.
  • Click on Show queue to list queued tasks.
  • Click on Remove button to remove task/s.
  • Click on Start button to start rip tasks on queue.

How do I play files created by HandBrake

More info at HandBrake WIKI page.

If you want to learn more about MPEG-4 and relish the idea of wading through technical speak, check out this thread

Use WM9 today and get Micro$oft controlling the A/V market tomorrow for free.

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