DVD Authoring Advice for Elementary School Movies?
June 23, 2014 2:56 PM   Subscribe

Please recommend some good software for amateur authoring of DVDs?


My kid's school wants to give out a DVD of the year's performances. I've been assigned the task of compiling the movies, and then creating the DVD with menus for duplication.

What are recommendations for cheap/free DVD-authoring software? PC is preferred, but Mac is fine. Is DVDStyler or DVDFlick any good? (I don't mind tinkering with software settings...)

We're not (necessarily) looking for animated menus. Just a straight-forward way to share the year's memories.

Any tips from people who have done this before?

We also have a lot of pictures and would love to have a photo album as part of the DVD (not DVD-ROM). Any suggestions on how to integrate that into the DVD would be great. (I thought of making a movie of a slideshow of the pictures, but that seams like overkill.)

posted by bodega to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I use DVDflick (windows) and it's easy. The default menu templates are annoying, but tolerable (I usually go for the space invader). Easily does chaptering, 4 episodes/screen in the chapter menu, but also does menuless DVDs just fine as well.

I do find that it sometimes overshoots the target byte volume and can't be burned because the image just barely exceeds the size of the DVD. I've taken to manually setting that item.

I'm not sure if DVDflick ever handles MPEG2s directly if you wanted to handle the transcoding yourself; I usually just start with MKVs, MP4s or AVIs (Xvid or H.264 in all of the above containers) and let it do its thing.

It uses Imgburn to do the burning to disc. Since you're making many copies of one disc, be sure to check the box that says "Create an ISO file of this DVD." After DVDflick burns the first copy, and you've checked it over for quality (test the menus and such), then find the file dvd.iso, rename it for your reference, run Imgburn into Write Mode, open the ISO, and start burning disc after disc.

Not sure how to do stills, or if it's at all possible with DVDFlick.
posted by Sunburnt at 3:57 PM on June 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you for the response, Sunburnt. I'll try experimenting with DVDFlick.

It looks like DVDStyler supports slideshows, so I'm going to give that a try too. Though, the comments on the download site for DVDStyler warn of malware...
posted by bodega at 8:17 PM on June 23, 2014

Doom9.org and Videohelp.com are the go-to sites for free software and a lot of guides and walk-throughs. Quite a lot of what they cover isn't simple, but they can point you to simple. Doom9 is the "DVD Backup" site-- that means ripping to any number of playable formats, as well as copying DVDs, while Videohelp is more of a general purpose make-this-video-into-the-thing-that-I-need kind of site.

I did a quick search for malware reports and it appears Styler (and probably Flick, too) are afflicted with malware if you opt-in at install. Don't opt for the easy install ever with software like this; they will want to install toolbars and adware, and those in turn will install god knows what.
posted by Sunburnt at 8:56 PM on June 23, 2014

Best answer: http://www.videohelp.com/ looks great, if not overkill. Thanks.
posted by bodega at 9:08 AM on June 24, 2014

Another vote for DVD Flick. I like the plasma sphere menus. It works.
posted by illuminatus at 12:13 AM on June 27, 2014

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