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How can one make an DVD MP3 disc?
June 26, 2014 12:57 AM   Subscribe

My brother's only means of listening to MP3s is with a DVD player. I've many spare DVD-Rs and would like to put them to use by making him DVD MP3 discs to listen to when we get together.

When I listen to MP3 or FLAC files I stick to using the software music player Foobar2000 (when on the PC) or a portable audio player (a Sansa Clip+) when away from the PC. But my brother, who recently moved out here and owns neither a computer or an MP3 player (and doesn't seem interested in buying either, I guess, because he's somewhat oldschool and isn't very tech savvy) who's been listening to the same music since his teens, would be happy if I could make him a compilation of my music for us to listen to when we get together. He owns a DVD player and (shit) speakers so this is his only means of listening to MP3 files.

I remembered the other day that I have many DVD-Rs I bought some years ago that, now that I own external HDDs and flash drives, don't have use for. So I figured I could use them to make him music DVDs consisting of music from my music collection that we can listen to when we hang out. His DVD player doesn't support data DVDs so I'll have to make him a music DVD that reads as a DVD. I'm sure there's software out there that allows this and I've spent a bit of time looking for software that does this—with no luck.

So: can someone recommend good (preferably freeware) software that allows this—preferably one that allows you to add sexy backgrounds and menus and such? I'd be happy to finally put these DVD-Rs to use. Also, if there's software has support for FLAC, that's a huge bonus as it won't require me to spend time converting a ton of FLAC files—99% of my music collection is in FLAC format—prior to making the music DVDs.

Help me MeFi, you're my only hope.
posted by GlassHeart to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
If his DVD player supports mp3s directly, you just burn a data DVD and put the mp3s on it. That's it.

Finalize the DVD if he has trouble reading it.

Next your problem is how his DVD player reads the discs - does it read the metadata off all the mp3s and build a catalogue? Probably not. Does it go through them in simple order? Probably. Does it get confused by weird characters, or not sort at all? Maybe. I suggest the following layout on disk:

Artist/AlbumName/TrackNumber Title.mp3

You keep the filename short, which will avoid other issues, and it normally plays in the right order., plus he can play a whole album by choosing the first file.

If his DVD player doesn't support this - which is luckily quite unlikely - you'll need to convert the mp3s into something that looks like a dvd movie.
posted by devnull at 1:43 AM on June 26


A DVD can hold many, many songs. I would put the songs in folders by artist, then by album. Most players and most TV sets will recognize the folders and allow a single folder to be selected.
posted by megatherium at 4:24 AM on June 26


Back in the days when buying an MP3 CD player was a competitive option, i also had a dvd player which supported this. It was basically a cool bonus feature that let you burn some disks and use it like a proto version of one of those network MP3 streamers in a sneakernet way.

It works exactly the same way as MP3 CDs layout wise. I'd google around about the brand the player is and see what luck people had with that. I've had this not work more than work, and the only times i ever had 100% success with it was using an ancient version of nero express that i used for basically all the 2000s almost exclusively for this. I wish i remember exactly how that laid the disks out, because i studied it at one point.

Even wikipedia, though, makes a point of noting how annoying it was to make a disc that every player could recognize. There was no ratified standard for what an "mp3 CD/DVD" entailed. Some players will play anything in the root directory of the disk. Some want them in a specific folder titled "music". Some are even dumber.

The best way to find out is to bring a laptop and a CD-RW, and just keep re-burning it and seeing what works and what gets what results. The advice above about folder structuring is NOT consistent from brand to brand or model to model. Of the 3 players i've owned which supported this, none handled it the same. Including two similar sonys that were from different tiers in the same 1-2 year range. Support outside of DVD players was even weirder and less consistent.

So: can someone recommend good (preferably freeware) software that allows this—preferably one that allows you to add sexy backgrounds and menus and such? I'd be happy to finally put these DVD-Rs to use.

Doing it this way limits you to a not much more than maybe two CDs amount of music, since it has to de-compress the MP3s and convert them to standard DVD movie audio. It would have to get converted to MP2 or AC3 at a specific bitrate and stuff iirc. The only way you get cute menus like that without doing that is if you have a nice player which has them built in(i remember my grandpas high end sony had cool menus for this).

Some players would display album art if it was in the right folder. On a later DVD player that supports this i bet it would have a pretty decent menu for browsing the music in this mode just built in.

If you really want to do exactly what you described, most home movie maker software supported converting MP3s as the background for "slideshows" in addition to making menus. I really think what you're looking for here is the standard MP3 CD playback mode though. Even on the more basic player i had it would show full track titles, etc from the id3.

also, if there's software has support for FLAC, that's a huge bonus as it won't require me to spend time converting a ton of FLAC files—99% of my music collection is in FLAC format—prior to making the music DVDs.

setup winamp or foobar for flac>mp3 batch conversion via playlist then burn with something else. there's no streamlined method to this i can remember, and google seems to agree with me.
posted by emptythought at 4:29 AM on June 26


We're missing some important information here. You say the DVD player doesn't support data DVD's but if you list the model and brand that might help confirm there isn't some other way it supports audio playback. What kind of computer do you have at your disposal? How savvy are you with learning new software? Do you know how to use any video editing programs or DVD authoring software already? I am pretty sure you could use Toast to make a disc with mp3's on it that reads as a "normal" DVD with some amount of menu support. You could also use a video editor to make a QT for an album with a bunch of MP3's strung out together with chapter markers at the start of each track and then make each of these QT's a separate track on a DVD. There are definitely ways to make this work. You're probably going to have to try out a few things.
posted by mzurer at 6:45 AM on June 26


From an A/V standpoint, I'd need to see a make/model on the player. Then I could check and see what menu structure it supports. The difference is in whether it will play actual .mp3s versus playing CD audio.
posted by Sphinx at 6:50 AM on June 26


Does he have an actual TV hooked up to the DVD player? When you go over there can't you just hook up your mp3 player to the TV? This doesn't solve the leaving him with music part but you would at least be able to listen to music together when you visit. I know you want to use the DVD-R's you already have, but you could also very easily just burn a bunch of CD-R's that will almost certainly work in the DVD player. A spindle of 25 of them costs less than $10 on Amazon.
posted by mzurer at 6:57 AM on June 26


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