Video Converter

HandBrake Review: A Simple & Useful Video Converter That Could Have Been Better!

Written by Christine Smith

HandBrake is an open source video transcoder. It is a free video converter compatible with Mac OS, Windows and Ubuntu. The present version available for downloaed is 0.10.5. The software works with Mac OS X 10.6 to 10.12 and Windows Vista to 10. HandBrake is a relatively new video converter on the scene and it is pitching itself against the longstanding popular choices like Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate.




Here is our comprehensive review of HandBrake where we list its strengths and weaknesses, how it fares when pitted against its competitors and why we rate it 3.5 stars, on the more generous side.

Key Features of HandBrake

  • HandBrake starts with built-in device presets.
  • You can customize your profile or you can opt for standard profiles.
  • The interface is simple and hence easy.
  • There is no fluff, just the technicalities you would have to deal with while using a video converter.
  • HandBrake works with the common multimedia files including DVD and BluRay videos.
  • The output formats are.MP4 or .M4V and .MKV.
  • HandBrake has a few video encoders including H.265 (x265 and QuickSync), H.265 MPEG-4 and MPEG-2, H.264 (x264 and QuickSync), VP8 and Theora.
  • The software also has audio encoders including MP3, AC3, Flac and AAC / HE-AAC.
  • Users will get audio pass-thru features like AC-3, DTS, E-AC3, DTS-HD, AAC, MP3 and TrueHD tracks.
  • HandBrake lets you work on a range selection which you can maneuver using the chapter or title section, you can conduct batch scan and queue up encodes, you can have chapter markers, subtitles and average or constant bit rate video encoding.
  • HandBrake supports CFR and VFR.
  • There are video filters you can use like de-interlacing, de-noise, de-comb, de-block, de-telecine, cropping, grayscale and scaling.
  • The software offers a live preview of the video converted.

Pros and Cons of HandBrake


  • HandBrake has a very simple layout which makes the video converter very easy to use, even for those who are converting videos for the first time.
  • The live preview is really help.
  • The fact that the software is free and has device presets for iOS and Android certainly make HandBrake a welcome video converter.
  • The queuing tray for batch conversions is particularly nice.
  • People who convert a lot of videos will find it very helpful.


  • On the flipside, the settings are not always easy to deal with.
  • It takes a lot of time and then there are errors. The latest version fixes some old bugs but there are hiccups.
  • The live preview is for up to four minutes of a video.
  • It is futile for very long videos.
  • The settings interface and that of live preview could be better.
  • The open source software also doesn’t support all video formats.
  • Given the diversity of devices and multitude of formats in use today, HandBrake needs more compatibility.

Best alternative to HandBrake

Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate


win Version mac Version


Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate is the best alternative for HandBrake. Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate works with Windows 7, 8 and 10, Vista and XP. It can help you download videos from YouTube and other sites. You can convert these videos and also compress them if you want to share them on sites or apps that would not support very large videos. Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate is the only tool you would need for downloading, converting and compressing videos. It supports dozens of video and audio formats. There is a ton of editing features. You would have videos converted and compressed for specific devices like iOS or Android, specific browsers like Chrome or Safari and you can also go for app specific compressions for compatibility.


There are other alternatives as well:

OnlineVideoConverter ,DivX Converter and Convert2mp3. All the three are free. Online Video Converter is an online interface. It doesn’t help much with compression or editing and quality enhancement or restoration. DivX Converter works on Mac and Windows but you cannot work with all formats or specific mobile interfaces like camera roll. Convert2mp3 is good if you are using Chrome, Safari or Firefox but not if you want some desktop software to rely on all the time which Wondershare is.


About the author

Christine Smith

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