This is a snapshot release of SVN revision 2592. It is not stable code. It is unstable (and undocumented) development code which will one day lead to a stable release of HandBrake 0.9.4. But in order for that process to happen, it needs a lot more bug testing.
Which is where you come in.
Download it now.
When you find broken things in this snapshot--which you will--post a thorough bug report in our bugs forum. Don't pay too much attention to interface issues at this point. We know some things are still kind of rough around the edges. The biggest concern right now is the fundamentals -- that encodes perform as expected. Prettying things up more will come later.
There have been a massive number of changes to the codebase since November of 2008, when 0.9.3 was released. This is an extremely brief summary.
- New build system, allowing 64-bit binaries (around 10% faster)
- Soft subtitles and Closed Captions
- Better support for non-DVD inputs:
- Sources with no audio
- DTS-HD demuxing
- 8 bit audio sources
- Preserves MP4 metadata
- Better AV sync
- libdvdnav and DVD angles support
- DTS passthrough for MKV
- Better sample interleaving
- Updated libraries, for better x264 performance
- Variable verbose logging levels
- Better, optional deinterlacer for decomb (EEDI2)
- Live video preview
- New subtitle tab
- New filters and picture settings inspector
- Custom anamorphic mode
- Updated Sparkle
- Custom number of preview images
- Quality slider now works off actual rate factor/quantizer values instead of percentages
- Updated advanced x264 tab
- New built-in presets
- Core Audio AAC encoding
- H.264 video source decoding bug fixed
- New audio tab
- AAC audio source decoding bug fixed
- Improved picture settings controls
- Tray minimization is now optional
- Queue can now be started from main window
- Cosmetic GUI improvements
- Inhibits sleep mode while encoding
- Single title scan
- Chapter duration display
- Notifications when encodes complete
- Tray minimization
- Full screen preview
- Options to handle new subtitle, anamorphic, and preview features
As we've had on our roadmap for quite awhile now, one of our goals for version 0.9.4 is to refocus on HandBrake's key strengths and to remove dead weight. As part of this process, several presets, containers, and a codec have been removed from HandBrake.
* AVI: AVI is a rough beast. It is obsolete. It does not support modern container features like chapters, muxed-in subtitles, variable framerate video, or out of order frame display. Furthermore, HandBrake's AVI muxer is vanilla AVI 1.0 that doesn't even support large files. The code has not been actively maintained since 2005. Keeping it in the library while implementing new features means a very convoluted data pipeline, full of conditionals that make the code more difficult to read/maintain, and make output harder to predict. As such, it is now gone. It is not coming back, and good riddance.
* OGG/OGM: HandBrake's OGM muxer is just as out of date. It hasn't been actively maintained in years either, and it too lacks support for HandBrake's best features. It requires conditionals to work around missing functionality too...only this one gets tested so infrequently the conditionals were never even put in the code, so it just fails when you try to do anything advanced. This one is not coming back either. And yes, we're aware of HTML 5. For patent-free muxing, HandBrake still has Matroska.
* XviD: HandBrake, these days, is almost entirely about H.264 video, aka MPEG-4 Part 10. This makes it rather...superfluous to include two different encoders for an older codec, MPEG-4 Part 2. When choosing between FFmpeg's and XviD's, it came down to a matter of necessity. We need to include libavcodec (FFmpeg) for a bunch of other parts of its API, like decoding. Meanwhile, XviD's build system causes constant grief (it's the most common support query we get about compiling, after x264's requirement of yasm). Since we mainly use MPEG-4 Part 2 for testing/debugging, and recommend only H.264 for high quality encodes, Xvid's undisputed quality edge over FFmpeg's encoder is inconsequential, while FFmpeg's speed edge over XviD is important to us.
* Video game presets: There are no more presets for the PSP, PS3, or Xbox 360. Quite frankly, they didn't work well. None of the development team members own the devices, so testing was minimal and support was nonexistent. Keeping up with the firmware vagaries and ambiguous specifications of these devices was not fun -- we get enough of that from Apple's kit, and those we all have around to test on. The new "Normal" preset should work perfectly fine on any device that supports standard Main Profile H.264 with AAC-LC audio in an MP4 file, which the PS3 and 360 ostensibly do.
* High profile presets: Instead of a confusing series of content-targeted presets, there is now a single, constant quality, High Profile preset with automated filtering and all the H.264 bells and whistles.