DVD authoring software?
May 4, 2004 1:23 PM   Subscribe

DVD authoring software?

I'm itching to try out this brand-new DVD burner, but it looks like the software that came with (RecordNow) is a bit on the simple side. Seems like there are tons of options out there -- Alcohol, Adobe Encore, DVD Maestro, Easy CD & DVD, Ulead DVD Movie Factory, and on and on. Can anybody point me toward something that's flexible, functional, and doesn't have an insane learning curve?

For CDs, I like Nero, btw--it seems to have the right balance between tweakable and accessible.

I'm looking for a Windows answer, but there's no reason MacHeads couldn't add their recommendations here, too.

Thank you much.
posted by muckster to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Adobe Encore is easy to learn and very powerful but mucho expensive.

If you're serious about the Mac, DVD Studio Pro is the way to go there.
posted by jeremias at 2:02 PM on May 4, 2004

This is my favorite hobby. Here's what I use (after a lot of trial and error, so I didn't fall into this combination):

TMPEGenc and Virtual Dub for converting AVIs to MPEG-2. Tmpgenc has a trial version, but it's readily found as buried treasure (if you get what I'm saying, Matey!).

Then I use Ulead DVD Moviefactory 2 to author the DVDs. This is a great program and well worth the money, but you need to make sure that you author complaint mpeg-2's (with the above programs) or the encoding takes forever.

I don't often use Ulead for burning, though. That's because I usually save the output as DVD files on my hard drive and then shrink them with DVD Shrink. This helps to fit more on an individual DVDr, which is important because those bastards are expensive. DVD Shrink is also invaluable for "backing up your existing DVD collection."

Finally, I burn the DVD Shrink output to good old Nero Burning Rom. The result is DVDs that are very clear and very sharp.

Feel free to email me with other questions.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:41 PM on May 4, 2004

Another Mac answer: iDVD and DVD Studio Pro are simply amazing. I haven't spent too much time on the Windows side of things, but what I've seen hasn't been very impressive in comparison.
posted by jragon at 4:20 PM on May 4, 2004

What's wrong with using Nero for DVDs?
posted by NortonDC at 4:57 PM on May 4, 2004

You can download the trial version of Nero 6, which has some acceptable DVD authoring. It had a few rough spots when it first came out, but now I am quite happy with it.

Since the trial is free, you have nothing to lose.
posted by phatboy at 6:30 PM on May 4, 2004

What's wrong with using Nero for DVDs?

It just burns. It doesn't author-- in 5.x anyway, you can't just drag an mpeg or avi into the video dvd window and get a usable disc.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:21 PM on May 4, 2004

Alcohol is very good....and what Mayor Curley said....I've used most of those...

There is also a good piece of software for converting a DIVX to DVD - its called....unsurprisingly...DIVX2DVD and is available from X-OOM, I've used this a lot for turning (legally obtained) DIVX into DVD's....quality is good, and you can build menus etc...
posted by mattr at 2:51 AM on May 5, 2004

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