HandBrake is a free, open source, and multi-platform video transcoder tool that can be used to convert videos of any format to modern, and widely supported codecs. It works well on popular operating systems, including GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows. Believe me or not, Handbrake helped me to encode a video of size 1.7 GB shot from a Canon Camera (.mov file) to just 50 MB (.mp4 format). In this tutorial, I will explain how to encode high quality movies and videos using Handbrake application on Linux operating systems.
On Ubuntu and derivatives like Linux Mint, Elementary OS, you can install it using its official PPA as shown below.
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:stebbins/handbrake-releases
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install handbrake-gtk
If you want command line version, run:
$ sudo apt-get install handbrake-cli
On Arch Linux and derivatives, you can install using command:
$ sudo pacman -S handbrake
To install CLI version, run:
$ sudo pacman -S handbrake-cli
For other distributions, get the latest version of Handbrake from here, and compile and manually install it yourself.
Encode High Quality Movies and Videos Using Handbrake
After installing Handbrake, launch it either from the Menu or Dash.
The default interface of HandBrake GUI should look like below.
- Click “Source” button in the top left corner, Select the videos which you want to encode.
- Select the destination where you want to save the encoded video and choose the output format of your choice such as .mp4 or .mkv.
- In the “Summary” section you will see the video details like video dimensions, frame rate, Aspect ratio and codecs.
- Now choose the preferred “presets” in the right corner. If you are a beginner and don't know to select which preset, just select “Normal” preset. This is the handbrake default preset. Every settings will be changed automatically after you selected a preset. I strongly suggest you do not change any settings until you're familiar with Handbrake presets.
If you want to play videos in any ordinary mobile phones, check the supported video dimensions, video and audio bit rate, Frame rate etc., from manufacturers site.
- Click the “Video” tab, select the video encoder. If you want to play the videos in your mobile or ipad, choose “mpeg-4” in the “video encode” dropdown box. Select the frame rate and bit rate or leave the defaults.
- Click the “Audio” tab and select the encoder, bit rate etc.
- Go to “Subtitles” tab and select the subtitle for your videos if you have one. Select whether the subtitle should be hardcoded or softcoded.
- Click “Advanced” tab, change the values as per you need or just leave them as it is. Here, I have given some advanced string settings which are taken from the Handbrake website. Just copy and paste them in the “Current x264 Advanced Option String” column box.
Click the “Picture Settings tab and set dimensions that supports your device.
Now click "Start" button to start converting video. If you have many videos to convert, simply click "Add to Queue" button to queue these and start task from the "Encode Queue" dialog.