Handbrake: Open sourcing your video
This is the second open source application review that I've done, but it really should have been the first. I could probably live without talking to other people (Adium), but I'm not sure I could survive long flights without the occasional movie. Handbrake covers this fundamental human need.
What is Handbrake?
Quite simply, it's a DVD-to-MPEG 4 converter. And what does this mean? It means you can take your DVDs (i.e., DVDs that you own) and instead of carrying them with you on trips, you can simply copy (and compress) them to your hard-drive. Why? Well, so that you don't lose or break DVDs on your travels, but also so that you can preserve battery life. Spinning DVDs in your DVD drive wastes precious battery life. Spinning the hard drive...not so much.