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Discussion Starter #1
What software package do people recommend for DVD authoring?


I don't need anything fancy. My goal is simply to take a DVDRW I've previously burned and use an authoring program to select certain titles or portions of a title, burn these selected portions onto a new DVD, and create a basic menu allowing a user to play any specific title on the newly burned disc.


Cost and ease of use are probably the biggest concerns.


I am currently considering TMPGEnc Author.


Thanks
 

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I like TMPG Enc Author (though it needs a shorter name! :) ). My only complaint is there's no audio during the editing process. Other than that, it's reliable and affordable and easy to use.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Redleg
My only complaint is there's no audio during the editing process.
Thats actually been addressed in the latest release. It now supports an optional AC3 encoder/decoder (for an additional $29).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Has anyone tried a product called "Womble"?

The LordSmurf.com Video Guides site found it easier to use for simple jobs like removing commercials. It indicated that it operates much faster than TMPGEnc (I presume because it does no re-encoding). However, I am unsure if Womble allows for the creation of menus. Their website provides very little information.
 

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I'm no Womble expert, but it is strictly an editting package. It doesn't author DVDs (e.g. create menus, etc).


TMGEnc DVD Author performs both editting and authoring functions.


Womble performs more advanced editting. It does re-encode the areas around edit points resulting in smoother video playback.


The edits performed by DVD Author are similar to those performed onboard the Panasonic recorders. These edits can sometimes cause slight pauses during playback.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by PatsWonSB
Thats actually been addressed in the latest release. It now supports an optional AC3 encoder/decoder (for an additional $29).
I looked at this and then saw that it A) Appears not to allow you to specify Bitrate, B) requires product activation, and C) For good measure beyond B, appears to expire periodically and require a 're-activation' at that time.


I hate product activation so I'm giving it a pass (Although I already have some AC-3 capability through Vegas Video/Mpeg Video Wizard).


In my experience, measures like Activation have always eventually caused me grief even though I was using the software as allowed by the licensing agreement.


It seems to me as though measures like activation only seem to inconvienience legitimate users while the pirates seem to have no trouble working around them.


-Greg Bohn
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I will not be using TMGEnc DVD Author.


I downloaded the trial version last night, installed it, and was in the process of using the authoring program (simply copying the contents of a DVD+RW to the hard disk for working purposes) when my WinXP machine froze up. No way to fix the problem except to hard-boot the machine.


Upon restarting, I get an error that WinXP cannot start because of a corrupt file and that I should try repairing/restoring it with the WinXP system disk. I tried that, and it was unable to repair the problem. As such, I'm now left having to completely reinstall WinXP, along with every program I had on my machine. Unfortunately, I haven't backed up my data in over a week, so I also lost a good amount that cannot be easily recreated. I have two nights worth of work ahead of me now.


I believe it was on the dvdrhelp site that I read that some other people had the same or similar problem with this program (although it appears that others don't).


I've been running WinXP for 2 years, and have never had a problem even remotely as serious as this occur.

On that note, can anyone recommend a different authoring program that allows for basic editing (cutting/splicing) and menu creation? Again, I will likely be using it only on occasion, so money is a consideration.


Thanks
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by gbohn
I looked at this and then saw that it A) Appears not to allow you to specify Bitrate, B) requires product activation, and C) For good measure beyond B, appears to expire periodically and require a 're-activation' at that time.
As far as AC3 support in TDA, I actually bought it already. Up til recently, a package that supports AC3 encode/decode was in the $500 range. To get AC3 support for an extra $29 is a bargain.


It does require an activation. Not sure how the periodic re-activation process works yet.


I believe the AC3 bitrate is derived from the bitrate of the MP2 audio stream. So if you encode your videos with 256kbs MP2 audio then you will get 256kbs AC3 audio.
 

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stevenrt, the only other program I can recommend is Ulead DVD Movie Factory. It supports VRO files. I had some issues with V2, but V3 just came out. It now even supports AC3 audio (although not in the trial version).
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by PatsWonSB
As far as AC3 support in TDA, I actually bought it already. Up til recently, a package that supports AC3 encode/decode was in the $500 range. To get AC3 support for an extra $29 is a bargain.


...

I see that Ulead DVD Workshop 3 has a version with AC-3, and a version without AC-3 (as well as some other features).


The basic is about $50.00 and the fancier one is about $100.00. Assuming they are charging for the other features as well, it would appear that $30.00 is probably in the ball park for their AC-3 charge as well.


So far, I haven't seen any mention of activation requirements for 'MovieFactory 3 Disc Creator'.


I tried their demo (without AC-3 support) and was disappointed by the behavior of the slider 'postion bar' that scrolls you through the video preview. It only seems to update when you stop, making it harder to look for commercials, etc.


Maybe I just haven't figured out the right technique in MovieFactory, but I actually like the 'scrolling' action of the DVD Author's preview window better. It seems to have a more 'fluid' update which makes it easier for me to move around to where I want to be.


Both seem like they're a bit rugged to use on 1 or 2 hour videos (although I think MovieFactory is worse because of the above mentioned slider behavior.) I haven't found a way to change the zoom/scale of the slider which I think would help (in navigating to find/remove commercials).


As it is, I use Mpeg Video Wizard for Commericial removal, and then only have to do chapter/Menu work in DVD Author.


-Greg Bohn
 
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