DVD Shrink Versus Handbrake: Which Should You Use

Written by   (author of Obvious Conclusions)

Because we write a lot of articles about DVD’s, we also get lots of questions and one of those is:  Which should I use…DVD Shrink or Handbrake to copy DVDs?

Well, the short answer is both of them.

As we wrote in the post What Does DVD Shrink Do?, DVD shrink excels at shrinking a DVD down to a size that allows it to fit on a standard DVD that you will be copying to. Unless you will be recording to a DVD dual layer disc, you will need software that successfully resizes the contents of a DVD from dual size to single layer size.

In the article how to copy a DVD, we explained that DVD Shrink is the best software if you are going to copy from one DVD to another DVD. However, it is not all that you need. DVD Shrink will create an .ISO file that you can then burn to a DVD. For this, we recommend Image Burner. All of these are free tools that allow that permit you to copy DVDs without having to pay for extra software to do so.

So, where does Handbrake fit into all of this. Well, Handbrake too can take a DVD and resize it but its best functionality works when you want to copy DVD to hard drive.

Why?

Well, Handbrake offers many different choices to convert the original DVD into a watchable format on your computer. Like with DVD Shrink, you can select the components of a movie that you want added to the file or you can leave the whole think in check.

Myself, I accept the defaults with Handbrake with only one addition. I like to have the subtitles burned onto to the disk because often I am renting Spanish DVDs and using these to learn Spanish…but I need to see the subtitles to understand everything.

Thus, DVD Shrink and Handbrake are similar but different products.

Use DVD Shrink to create an .ISO file of the appropriate size that you will burn to another DVD. Use Handbrake when you want to take a DVD and turn it into a file that you will have on your hard drive.

Both of these tools are excellent at what they do and, better than that, they are free so enjoy them!

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Richard Cummings

Richard Cummings is writer, traveler, and web content developer.

Get your copy of his latest book entitled Obvious Conclusions, stories of a Midwestern emigrant influenced and corrupted by many years living in San Francisco and abroad. It just received its first outstanding review "...reminiscent of David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs" on Amazon UK.
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