Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Authoring DVD's on Windows

Kevin brought over some edited video footage on his laptop. Our goal was to put that on a DVD so that he can just pop it into anyone's DVD player. Since my computer has a DVD burner, this should be a piece of cake, right?

Apparently not. Even though my machine came with Roxio Creator Plus (Dell Edition), it only allowed me to make data and audio discs. Windows XP comes with Movie Maker, but that only does video editing. To get that video onto a DVD, put in chapters, make DVD menus, and so on, I need DVD authoring software. This is probably where Mac owners laugh and point to the iDVD that comes with their computer.

After a lot of searching, I came across DVD Styler. You can drag-and-drop your video clips (MPEG or VOB) into it, then slap some text buttons onto the main menu page and assign them to play the different clips. I followed the PDF guide and quickly created a simple DVD.

When you're ready to make the final DVD, the tool creates an ISO file. This is an image file which Roxio (and probably most programs that come with your burner) can burn to a disc. I popped that into my DVD player and it worked!

So far, I've only played with short low-res video clips, so I'm not sure whether there's anything to watch out for when working on bigger projects with this tool. When I have the chance later, I'll definitely try it out.