Continuing on its 12- to 14-month release trajectory, version 0.9.6 of the open-source video conversion program HandBrake has been released with a long list of encoding updates, tweaks, and bug fixes. At the top of the list, the release improves audio gain control, adds the MPEG-2 video encoder as well as AAC and FLAC (MKV only) audio encoders, improves handling of DVD subtitles, and improves the decomb filter. The release does not fix a break that occurred when VLC 2.0 was recently released (VLC provides the necessary DVD decrypting libraries) but the release notes provide a link to download the required libdvdcss library file if you have updated to VLC 2.0. Live Preview window widgets are updated to work under Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, but support for 10.5 Leopard has been taken away. Be sure to read the detailed release notes for a complete list of updates and fixes, and to download the VLC library file. (Free, 7.1 MB)
Beware Country-Specific iTunes Stores
If you buy an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, and you happen to be a user of the iTunes Store in more than one country, take note which country's store you're viewing in iTunes when you plug in the device for the first time. This will be the country the device will register with, and you will be forever barred from purchasing or even updating free apps from anywhere else. The only way out is to delete everything on the device and do a full restore.
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