Best avi to DVD for linux?
September 10, 2010 11:21 AM   Subscribe

I have some avi files that I want to turn into a video DVD that is watchable with a standard DVD player. Here's the catch-- I want to do it using Ubuntu. What's the easiest way to do it?

For work, for their content, no need to pee your pants about copyright, etc.
posted by Mayor Curley to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried it in the DVD player? Every $30 DVD player I've ever bought from Costco has played avi files right out of the box.
posted by The World Famous at 11:26 AM on September 10, 2010

Yeah, I've had two 30$ LG DVD players, and both of them just play pretty much any video file that I put in. I've never had a .avi file not play in one. I suspect that most players will play .avi files, just burned as straight data.
posted by Stagger Lee at 11:29 AM on September 10, 2010

Can I ask, why does it have to be Ubuntu?
posted by Biru at 11:31 AM on September 10, 2010

Not all AVI files are the same - some contain material that was encoded with a non-standard codec.

I can't speak from experience, but this walkthrough using Devede looks pretty straight-forward.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:32 AM on September 10, 2010

I'm assuming he means he's not running Nero.
I use k3b in Ubuntu, and it works alright. I haven't tried enough burning software there to really say whether it's better or worse than everything else out there.
posted by Stagger Lee at 11:33 AM on September 10, 2010

See also: VideHelp has info on 10,851 DVD players, though not all have been tested (3,322 players support DivX/XviD, some of the more common codecs).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:35 AM on September 10, 2010

apt-get install mencoder dvdauthor

mencoder -oac lavc -ovc lavc -of mpeg -mpegopts format=dvd:tsaf -vf pp=fd/de,scale=720:480,harddup -srate 48000 -af volnorm,lavcresample=48000 -lavcopts acodec=ac3:abitrate=192:aspect=16/9:vcodec=mpeg2video:vrc_buf_size=1835:vrc_maxrate=6800:vbitrate=4900:keyint=18:vstrict=0 -ofps 30000/1001 -o out.mpg in.avi

Now that you have a suitable mpg, you need to author a dvd. Here's a suitable dvd.xml The aspect field should be changed to 16:9 depending upon your source .avi . the vbitrate=XXXX can be changed to something closer to the size you need.
 <vmgm />
    <video format="ntsc" aspect="4:3" resolution="720x480" />
    <vob file="out.mpg" chapters="0,20:00,40:00,1:00:00,1:20:00,1:40:00" />
dvdauthor -o MYDVD -x dvd.xml

this will then create a new subdir MYDVD with the dvd tree. Yes, annoyingly that doubles the necessary diskspace. Now, cd into the MYDVD directory and run:

growisofs -speed=4 -dvd-compat -Z /dev/dvd -R -V $VOLLABEL ./

I'm not a gui person, so hopefully you aren't either.
posted by nobeagle at 11:44 AM on September 10, 2010 [4 favorites]

You probably want to use DeVeDe, unless you are using Kubuntu or another KDE-based flavor (or just prefer KDE apps), in which case KMediaFactory seems to be the closest thing to a one-stop-shop.

Neither one are exactly iDVD, but if you just want to get those AVIs onto a DVD-Video disc in a way that will be playable on most machines, either ought to do the trick.

As others have pointed out, the fact that the source are AVIs doesn't really tell you anything. AVI is just a container, and inside it you can have video which uses any number of codecs, from the commonplace (MPEG-4) to the really obscure. DeVeDe uses MPlayer for the transcode steps, so you will want to make sure that you can play the source files with MPlayer first. If you cannot, then you are out of business until you either get the right codecs installed, or convert the video into something better.

You may need to enable non-free codecs in Ubuntu, if you haven't done that already. Due to patent/licensing/sundry-IP-bullshit reasons, Ubuntu doesn't have a lot of common codecs by default. Try without and if the video plays, awesome; if it doesn't, follow the Mediabuntu instructions and then see if it fixes things.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:49 AM on September 10, 2010

And of course I note above that the mencoder command was actually for source content that was 16:9 which didn't match the dvd.xml that I gave. To avoid odd problems, make sure that you use the same aspect for all commands.

Another nice thing is once the MYDVD directory is created, you can use "mplayer -dvd-device MYDVD dvd://1" to test playing. This will createa vcr-like movie in that you put the dvd in and it immediately starts playing rather than having any title screens.

One can also use multiple titles for the dvd.xml and it conveniently jumps from one to the other without any title screens, but allows remote control navigation.
posted by nobeagle at 11:49 AM on September 10, 2010

another satisfied devede user here. creating menus, main menu background music/image, chapters, automating play are all easy. it creates an iso which you then burn to disc.

i've used vlc to test the iso before burning.
posted by kimyo at 12:37 PM on September 10, 2010

I've used DeVeDe to great success.
posted by jrishel at 12:38 PM on September 10, 2010

Brasero, which I think is installed in Ubuntu by default, can do this, Just start it from the Sound & Video menu, choose a Video Project, drag your AVI files into the window, and click burn. It will take care of transcoding them to the right formats for a VCD or DVD.
posted by PueExMachina at 5:18 PM on September 10, 2010

I just installed kdenlive today and worked up some simple avi files into a dvd and played them through my standard 2006ish dvd player. Worked like a charm.

Even better:

sudo apt-get install kdenlive
posted by Gravitus at 8:48 PM on September 10, 2010

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