AVStoDVD

Not a half-bad program, I tried it when Avi2DVD kept cutting the audio on a certain video. AVStoDVD allows you to set custom chapters, which is a huge plus for me, but I haven’t tried using the menu editor yet. The first time I tried it the video stream was all black so I changed the encoder. The second time, it worked properly.

Like Avi2DVD, this is actually a GUI for several programs. This one’s also neat because you can output the file as a DVD-folder structure (my choice), an ISO file, or use ImgBurn to put it onto a DVD right away, as well as several other options.

AVStoDVD

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Another DVD authoring tool.

Although Avi2Dvd is still a bit buggy, I found it an easy-to-use app to create DVDs.

ImgBurn

Really good free CD/DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-Ray/Whatever burner. Made by the same guy who made DVD Decrypter until dumb Macrovision killed it.

ImgBurn

Another AVI encoder — AutoGK

As most of you know, I usually use avi.NET for encoding MPEG/VOB files to AVI. However, I had heard about another tool called Auto Gordian Knot (or AutoGK for short), and decided to give it a try.

It works pretty great — and one feature I like is the option to select the output size (either a predefined size, a custom size, or a target quality).

Testing Authored DVDs before Burning Them

I’ve been authoring a few DVDs, and I can tell you it can be a waste of discs to burn one and then find out you have to make one tiny adjustment, such as moving a button a half-inch to the left. (I can turn into a perfectionist when it comes to these things.) I read there were ways to test them before burning, but most people recommended commercial DVD players which I didn’t need.

I did a bit of testing, by opening the Video_TS.ifo with a few different media players.  Neither Windows Media Player (which I despise) or Winamp would open them. Neither would VLC Media Player. However, Media Player Classic did!

DVD Authoring

What tool do you use for DVD authoring?

I’ve used DVDStyler and DVDFlick — both with good results. There’s also a nice list of free tools here. If you want a bigger list, including commercial programs, check out Wikipedia. The top-end, studio-professional, and corporate professional may be a tad bit too much for some people, but there’s a good list of programs for home users too.

Need to get clips from a DVD? Try AIV DVD Cutter

Okay, so I had this DVD, and the chapters were a bit messed up. So I didn’t feel like ripping a whole buncha chapters for one little clip. So I checked out a few freeware sites and found AIV DVD Cutter, which works beautifully — it saves the clips into VOB, so I use avi.NET to make an AVI out of it.