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HandBrake Lite is a free, simple to use program, used to create iPod sized movies from DVDs

If you know what HandBrake is, HandBrake Lite will do the same thing, but HandBrake Lite is easier to use, as it automatically applies the settings you need to make iPod sized movies, and saves you the time of setting everything up yourself.

What's New

Version 1.1: Release notes were unavailable when this listing was updated.


Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later

*Previously available here

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HandBrake Lite User Discussion

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MR650 Member IconComment+50

The link is to an early version of Handbrake Lite created when Handbrake was not under active development. It was made by the author of VisualHub (a sadly missed product), and predates that product. The current version of Handbrake with VLC installed is much better in speed and encoding quality.

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Version 1.1
nachopolean Member IconComment+5

I've used HandBrake once, and I still haven't tried out HandBrake Lite.

When I used HandBrake, It took a long time, and ran my PowerBook G4 very hard. I was wondering if HandBrake Lite is faster, and easier on a computer.

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Version 1.1

Video encoding is ALL about cpu. Any encoding programmes will use as much CPU as they can get with only small differences in speed realistically. Especially for h.264 encoding.
When I do a high quality encode into .mp4(h.264) on my Powerbook G4 (1.66GHz) it often takes 20hours+.

It's good that the Handbrake team are coming up with ways to improve ease of use because it can take a tech. savvy person a lot of reading (like it did me) to fully understand all the features and settings of video encoding.


Most of the free or shareware transcoding products you will see for the Mac will use the x.264 codec and often something like ffmpeg as the encoding front end. x.264 is notoriously slow on PowerPC machines. If you want to export useful video, for the sake of argument 640x480/640x36(0/8), h.264, with support for your computer, all ipods, iphone, ps3, etc, then you want to use something like the legacy ipod settings in handbrake. On a G5 consumer machine you can expect something like 7-15 frames per second (your mileage may vary). On any intel machine you can expect between 25-50 frames per second (consumer models).

If you need to convert video then I recommend getting an intel based machine, if this is not possible then consider purchasing one of the older elgato turbo.264 USB sticks. The turbo.264 (not the HD) can be found on places like amazon for around $75 today. The HD appears to require an intel machine. The turbo.264 should improve encoding time on a PowerPC to be on par with, if not faster than an intel machine using x.264 based encoders. The problem with the turbo.264 is that the quality of output is similar to Apple's Quicktime h.264 encoder or the iTunes in-built converter. You will see artifacts, but waiting 6 hours for a video to be processed for general use on a PPC machine is just a waste of time.

The same arguments about quality of video apply to the elgato products and toast, but the turbo.264 HD churns out a respectable 110 fps average on my 2.53 Macbook Pro so it's good for the occasional encode.

In general:

PPC = 1/3 realtime
intel = > realtime
Dedicated Hardware = > realtime
intel + turbo.264 HD = full processor usage AND turbo boost.

For the record, the old turbo should let you use your computer without running up the processor (good because there wasn't much point to using the processor in the PPCs), the new one runs at 200%.

ShawnBoucke Member IconComment+29

I still have yet to use it, and I still am not a fan of the cartoony icon, but I must say that the sippy cup, instead of the martini glass, for the lite version makes me laugh.

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Version 1.1
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Current Version (1.x)


Downloads 13,175
Version Downloads 13,165
License Free
Date 24 Jul 2009
Platform OS X / PPC 32 / Intel 32
Price Free