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)
Open Links from Apple Mail in the Background
If an email message in Mail includes a Web link which you'd prefer to check out after you've read all your mail, and you don't want to hunt for the link later, Command-click the link in the message to open a browser window in the background. Mail remains the foreground application, and the browser window can wait till you're ready.
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