We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Video software Reviews
15,669 Reviews

HandBrakeBatch for Mac review: makes batch convserion of video files easier


Manufacturer: HandBrake community

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

HandBrake can handle batch conversion of video files, but HandBrakeBatch makes the process even easier. Read our HandBrakeBatch for Mac review to find out more.

When you mention HandBrake around media-savvy Mac users, DVD ripping is the first thing that comes to mind. And while HandBrake is indeed a great tool for ripping the DVDs you own, it’s also quite a good (and free) video-conversion tool, letting you take video that doesn’t play on a particular device (like, say, an iPhone or an Apple TV) and converting it to a format that does. One thing that HandBrake doesn’t handle very elegantly, however, is batch processing—converting a bunch of video files in one shot. See all video reviews.

In fact, for a long time, HandBrake didn’t support batch processing at all. It’s recently gained this feature, but it’s still not as easy as it could be: To batch process a group of videos, you must click HandBrake’s Source button, navigate to a folder full of videos that you wish to convert, choose File > Add All Titles To Queue, select the conversion preset you want to use, and then click Start. If the desired videos happen to be spread across several folders or volumes, you must repeat this process for each folder or volume. While the procedure is hardly painful, it’s not as easy as simply dragging movies into a single window, choosing a preset, and then starting the conversion. See also: video conversion reviews.

Fortunately, there’s a utility that does exactly that: Cesare Tagliaferri’s HandBrakeBatch, and it doesn’t even require that you install HandBrake—HandBrakeBatch includes the open-source components of HandBrake necessary to perform conversions. (Though if HandBrake is installed on your Mac, and you’ve added any custom conversion presets, HandBrakeBatch will be able to use those presets.) HandBrakeBatch is free to download, but the developer asks that if you find it useful, you donate to a charity.

Drag, drop, choose, and click. Your videos are converted.

Launch HandBrakeBatch, and a single window opens—into this window you drag any and all videos you want to convert. Click the HandBrake Preset pop-up menu, and you’ll find all of HandBrake’s default conversion presets as well as any custom presets you’ve added to HandBrake—choose the desired preset. Finally, choose the folder where you want converted files saved. (HandBrakeBatch will remember this folder for future conversions.) Click Start, and HandBrakeBatch uses the engine that powers HandBrake to perform the conversion(s).

HandBrakeBatch accepts many of the same file types as HandBrake: In addition to the QuickTime and H.264 files you’d normally convert, it will also convert the .VOB files found within the VIDEO_TS folder from a ripped DVD. It can also handle .mkv files, which are typically images created from Blu-ray discs. And if you drag a mounted DVD into HandBrakeBatch, the utility will produce a converted movie file. (HandBrakeBatch uses HandBrake’s code to automatically determine the disc’s main title, which means that some copy-protection schemes may foil this step. If so, you’ll need to use HandBrake proper to find the right title.)

For movies with multiple language tracks, HandBrakeBatch’s preferences let you choose a particular language; you can also choose to include subtitles.

HandBrakeBatch offers a very easy-to-use avenue for converting multiple video files to common formats. If you’re not the kind of person who needs to routinely fiddle with arcane conversion settings, it’s definitely worth the download and optional charitable donation.

(Note that the developer of HandBrakeBatch has announced that since HandBrake now includes a batch-processing feature, HandBrakeBatch will no longer be updated. But I still find HandBrakeBatch’s workflow to be enough of an improvement that it’s still worth recommending.)

HandBrakeBatch for Mac Expert Verdict »

File size: 7.41 MB
Minimum OS version: 10.7
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

HandBrake can handle batch conversion of video files, but HandBrakeBatch makes the process even easier.

  • HandBrake 0.9.4 review

    HandBrake 0.9.4

    HandBrake is a versatile and powerful open-source application for ripping DVDs and recompressing video down to more useful sizes.

  • Squared 5 MPEG Streamclip review

    Squared 5 MPEG Streamclip

    MPEG Streamclip - free the video footage from your digital camcorder by converting it to friendly formats with this free utility

  • First look: iTunes Digital Copy

    First look: iTunes Digital Copy

    iTunes Digital Copy is a new feature included with selected movies. When you buy one of these videos on DVD or Blu-ray, you'll also get a version of the movie that's compatible with iTunes and Apple's associated media players.

  • Freemake Video Downloader review - grab any video with a URL

    Freemake Video Downloader - grab any video with a URL

    Download and convert videos from thousands of sites with Freemake Video Downloader. Here's our Freemake Video Downloader review.

  • Freemake Video Converter review

    Freemake Video Converter

    Freemake Video Converter is a free app that can convert between several video formats with a few clicks.

IDG UK Sites

How to get a gold Apple Watch for £329: Save £7,500+ with this cool upgrade kit

IDG UK Sites

It's World Backup Day 2015! Don't wait another minute: back up now

IDG UK Sites

Seducing Strangers by Josh Weltman book review

IDG UK Sites

History of Apple: how Apple came to lead the tech industry