Arman's stuff
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DVD Authoring

(Mon Dec 15 12:01:00 2008)

I have a lot of pictures, video clips, and other multimedia paraphernalia.

I have a lot of pictures, video clips, and other multimedia paraphernalia. Now, I could just dump the files onto a DVD as backup, but then to watch my videos or look at my files, I'd have to do some fancy things with a computer. Instead, I want to make a DVD that can be read by an actual DVD player (heaven forbid!).

Included in Ubuntu are actually quite a few DVD authoring packages. After having tried them all, I can say that none of them really meet expectations. Here are the two best:

DeVeDe
Pros: to load a file, all you need do is make a title and drop in a video file. It converts using mencoder, so any video file will work. It's sparse, but it works well. You can burn a disc, or just make an ISO, or even just make the structure.
Cons: You can only put 13 titles on a DVD, since that's all that fits on one screen. Also, Ogle doesn't like the DVD for some reason; it refuses to size it correctly, making it instead twice as tall as it should be. Still works in a player, though. The menu is bland, with nothing but a picture or different font as options. I don't think it does subtitles. Not that I use them. It also refuses to not process videos, if they're already in the right format.

'Q' DVD Author
Pros: Lots of designability. I can make a million menus if I want, and link videos however I please. The interface is fairly advanced, too. The menu(s) can have audio, and somehow a video clip, if I can figure out how. It also does picture slideshows automatically, including titles and such. It also does subtitles, clip editing, automatic or manual chapter positioning, and some other good stuff.
Cons: It refuses to make an ISO. If I'm going to burn these DVDs, I want ISOs for ALL of them, because I'm probably going to burn a few copies of some of them (picture DVD for grandparents, anyone?)

I also tried a windows program, DVD Labs Pro (30 day trial). It was... disappointing. I can see that it would do what I wanted as far as menus go, but under Wine, none of the buttons or file menus showed up. Bleh. I'm going to try it again under a VM, but I don't have much hope.

It shouldn't be this hard to make a DVD, I thought. Then again, not even the big manufacturers can agree - the actual DVD menu writeup rivals most of today's legal documents. No two companies can agree on exactly what it means, what with all the legalese.

So for now, I'm going to have to do things the not-so-pretty way; someday I'll figure out the much-more-pretty way...

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This blag is tagged: Dvd, Images, Linux, All