Thursday, April 24, 2008

Your Teacher Wants What?

Your kid is assigned to make a movie for a class project. A DVD movie?
Not just a video clip you can email but a DVD you can play in front of the whole class.

You may be tasked with teaching training class at work but don't like speaking in front of lots of people.

We all likely have old copies of home movies that we might want to convert to DVD. There are many products that get the movie to the PC but gtting it on that DVD seems to be the source of quite a bit of technical blackmail. Sure Nero came with your DVD burner but what do you need that burner the most for? You guessed it, video. Of course my son comes to me with a project where he has movie files captured in MP4 format. He wants to author a movie with sound tracks and special effects.

Step 1: Get that movie into a MPEG2 or WMV format.
AVI works in many cases but the extension says AVI but it comes in many flavors most of which will leave you wondering what the hell happened. Use a program called Any Video Converter. You can use the free version from the download page. I'm not sure how they can even sell a version since the code behind the converter is the open source MPLAYER.

Step 2: Author that video.
I have a progam called ULEAD Video Studio. All it is is Windows Media Encoder with a interface almost identical to Windows Movie Maker. So naturally I use windows movie maker. My post to getting HD quality out of MovieMaker is below. It comes with plenty of cheesy effects as well.

Turn Windows Movie Maker into the best HD video production software for free.

Create your movie.

Step 3. This is where technical blackmail comes in.
You get just about to the end of this project and the Nero software says they can't support your audio format without paying $30. Many of these free DVD players do the same with limited audio functionality.

This is when I found: DVD Flick

It can take a number of video files stored on your computer and turn them into a DVD that will play back on your DVD player, Media Center or Home Cinema Set. You can add additional custom audio tracks as well as subtitles of your choice.


  • Burn near any video file to DVD
  • Support for over 45 file formats
  • Support for over 60 video codecs
  • Support for over 40 audio codecs
  • Add your own subtitles
  • Easy to use interface
  • Burn your project to disc after encoding
  • Completely free without any adware, spyware or limitations
Basically this gets the movie from the PC onto that DVD. They are working on menus in the Beta which I don't recommend at this time. This tool takes that video and imports it, encodes it, and burns it. Its a bit slow but beggers can't be choosers. In this case Biggars.

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