I’m trying to decide what DVD software to buy to accomodate my new DVD burner. It does positive and negative although I have no idea what that means other then you have to test your DVD player to see which one works on your particular brand (so I’m told).
So does anyone know of any excellent review sites for DVD burning software. Has anyone used any burning software they love/hate? Which one has the most features? The main things I want is something that has lots of features, is fairly economical and can burn in - & +.
A related question is why are there - & + and do you tell the software which one to use (assuming it will do both)? Do I just have to see which one works in my home DVD player? Is it possible they both may work?
I like iDVD, the program that turned a month-long project into a 90-minute quickie, but you have to make sure your hardware can support it.
As for the + vs. - issue, my understanding is that it’s essentially VHS vs. Betamax all over again – fundamentally the same, but two different formats with different corporate sponsors. - was popular for a while because it was backwards-compatable with older DVD players, but it looks like + has been gaining in popularity lately.
Finally, before you burn anything, make sure your home DVD player can play burned DVDs at all. My hooked-up-to-a-TV DVD player can handle CD-Rs with ease, but chokes on non-commercially-produced DVDs of any kind. The instructions for your player should tell you what kind of home-burned DVDs it can play; if not, borrow a + and - DVD from some friends and try them on your player. You don’t want to spend hours doing a home DVD project only to find it won’t play on your home player at the end.
A great source for all questions home-video related is VideoHelp.com. You can find great howtos and lots of reviews on products and brands.
Do you mean to burn data onto DVDs, or DVD authoring software. The former controls your burner and can put already made files onto the DVD. The latter designs menus and buttons and encodes video to make standalone DVD player compatible DVDs. rjung’s iDVD suggestion is DVD authoring software (and only available on Macs).
For burning, I recommend Nero. I’ve used it for a long time, and always been quite happy. For authoring, I highly advise against Adobe’s craptastic offering, although I hear it’s gotten better since the 1.0 release.
+/- is basically a wash these days. If you’re burning for stand-alone watching, DVD-R is marginally more likely to work for everyone. But any new drive will read both formats and most burners will write both. And you’d still have to have pretty bad luck to find a DVD player that won’t read both. My 6-year-old Zenith DVD player plays both just fine. I have had good results with Ritek brand DVDs
I’ve been using TMPGEnc DVD Author for over a year now and it’s great. It allows you to do some editing and create your own menus. It’s handy for me since it can read the .vro files associated with standalone recorders. It also has a burner built in. I’ve yet to be disappointed.
My favorite DVD authoring program is DVD-lab. It gives you a lot more control over the layout of your disc and menus than newbie-level programs like MyDVD, but it’s still really easy to pick up. It doesn’t come with an MPEG encoder, though, so you’ll also need something like TMPGEnc or CCE Basic. DVD-lab comes with a simple burning program that works well enough for me, but you can also use Nero or any other burning app to write the discs once you’ve compiled your project in DVD-lab.
The main things I want to do is edit my home movies and other mpeg files. Copy my video collection to store in my safe in case something happens to the original (I’ll be copying from DVD and VHS). I tried Nero but it gave me error that it can’t duplicate copyrighted material. If it is illegal to copy those movies to just store then disregard that and I’ll figure out on my own whose software will do that. Although, I must say I don’t understand the difference in that and people recording shows on their VCR to VHS tapes. I suppose if the government ever wants to really incarcerate most of the population all they have to do is raid all of our houses and arrest us on copyright laws because I imagine most if not all of us have a lot of violations in our houses on VHS.
It is really more important to me to find software that I can use to edit and piece together clips to make my own movies from other mpeg files I have (non-copyrighted material). If this post is inappropriate because I’ve mentioned copying copyrighted material then I have no gripes, qualms or problems with it being closed. If it can remain open for people to suggest software I can investigate for the other things I have mentioned than I would appreciate that.