iDVD Number-of-Chapters Limit
January 17, 2007 12:28 PM   Subscribe

Does iDVD have a limit to the number of "chapters" it can burn? Do DVDs themselves have a 99-chapter limit? I need to make a DVD with about 1.5 hours of video divided into over 100 different short clips (possibly up to 120), set up with an easy hierarchical menu system.

I thought iDVD might be the easiest way to make so many menus.
posted by wavejumper to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
According to the forums at Doom9, no, more advanced software will do more.

But is this really what you want to do? 100 clips totaling 90 minutes is an average of less than a minute per clip. To navigate back to a menu, select an item and wait for the chapter to start takes a few seconds by itself.

Is there a way you can group clips by theme or some other info? What are these clips, if you don't mind my asking?
posted by Pastabagel at 12:43 PM on January 17, 2007

The DVD spec allows for 99 titles on a disc, each with 99 chapters. Seems it would work if the first layer of your hierarchy breaks out to different titles, each of them would have less than 99 chapters.

Unfortunatley, I *think* that iDVD just makes one title with your entire project, there isn't a way to make separate titles.
posted by Steve3 at 12:59 PM on January 17, 2007

More advanced software does do more than 99 as far as I know. I'm guessing he wants it so you can skip, using the remote, through a collection-- not so that you can return to the menu each time. Right?
posted by dmaterialized at 12:59 PM on January 17, 2007

No, iDVD does make separate titles, but you're still stuck with that 99 title limit from the DVD Video spec.
posted by chrismear at 1:10 PM on January 17, 2007

Yup, the DVD spec says 99 VTSs, each containing 99 titles, and with each title containing 99 chapters. And a maximum of 99 titles per disc.

But why do you have your chapters divided up into clips? Fair enough if they are independent clips (e.g. music videos, shorts, etc), but it's totally unnecessary for 1 long movie with multiple chapters (I mention this because it seems to be a common misconception). Just insert chapter points wherever you want them.

If you want to have > 99 clips that return to a menu after each one is played, then one way around the limitation is to string 99 clips together into 1 movie. Having done that, set chapter points between each clip, and use a pre-command at each point to jump back to the menu. That way, your menu can point to the start chapter point, and the clip will return to the menu at the next chapter point. You can even do a "Play All" option by using one of the GP registers as a play-through flag and checking it in each pre-command.

iDVD won't let you edit the command structure like that, but at a pinch you can do it with PGCedit or similar after authoring.
posted by Pinback at 5:51 PM on January 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, guys. Pinback, your solution might work. It doesn't qualify as an easy solution at all though ;-). Lots of hand-coding.

My project is a DVD containing political soundbites from each member of a state legislature (120). People may want a "Play All" option but I'm really hired to make a "video database" of each short clip, that runs on standard DVD machines and is easy to use.

I'm thinking I'll use iDVD and get as far as I can get, then import it into DVD Studio Pro and see if I can hack it to do what I need it to do. Good idea?
posted by wavejumper at 12:09 AM on January 18, 2007

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