This article is a draft and may contain incomplete or incorrect information.
The History of HandBrake
HandBrake was started in 2003 by “titer”. He continued to be the primary developer through April 2006, when the last official Subversion revision was checked in.
titer continued to be active on the forums for a short time after that, then contact was lost. Since the May/June? 2006 timeframe, nobody in HandBrake circles was been successful in communicating with titer and no further code changes were officially made.
In early August 2006, development work on HandBrake resumed on an unofficial basis. “Banana” from the HandBrake forums posted a message about “HandBrake Extreme”, an optimized build of HandBrake, platform unknown.
Starting September 2006, Rodney Hester and Chris Long were independently working to reverse-engineer Apple’s new 640×480 H.264 iPod firmware 1.2 format and came together on the forums. Fortunately, their work complemented each other’s, and they banded together to put together an unstable but compilable release of HandBrake supporting the new format (including Apple’s new uuid atom).
Since then, considerable progress has been made in terms of stability, functionality, and look-and-feel. Unfortunately, it was not possible to check changes into the m0k Subversion repository for HandBrake without prior authorization, which couldn’t be obtained without permission and a reply from titer, which we had not received.
As a result, Rodney Hester created a subversion repository mirroring the 0.7.1 and final Subversion trees from the official HandBrake site and we began building our changes on top of that. This site, along with the development forum, were created to support those efforts.
As of January 26, 2007, our HandBrake fork was officially known as MediaFork.
On February 13, 2007, we finally heard from titer, who was fully in support of our work and encouraged us to continue. We laid plans to reintegrate our projects under the HandBrake banner, relocated our web services to m0k.org, and as of March 2, 2007, all developer and end-user servers had returned to m0k.org. The next code release was officially named HandBrake and will remain so going forward.
Today, HandBrake is hosted by titer and the development team remains in contact; however, he is not active in the day-to-day running or development of the project.