View Full Version : Making menus/setlist for DVD on a Mac

2007-01-18, 12:48 PM
I've got a few DVDs that have no nice startup screen, no setlist, and they are just chaptered every five minutes (or so). I don't want to seed them in that condition. I'm on a Mac and have all the standard mac tools - iMovie, iDVD - is there a tutorial someone can point me towards that would tell me how to add a menu/startup screen and how to index this correctly?

2007-01-18, 05:08 PM
Hi Lynne. I've had good luck at VideoHelp.com. The site is mostly geared towards Windows of course, but there is some Mac related expertise there as well. I usually check out the Mac forum http://forum.videohelp.com/viewforum.php?f=9&sid=sid%3D3e556c22dbeb3d4e13446da2437ae934 (here)

I've generally found answers to most of my video related questions there, although I haven't progressed to the level of DVD authoring (yet).

Hope this helps!

2007-01-18, 05:15 PM
You are right, of course. Here I recommend that site all the time (including the Mac forum which I have posted in and gotten great help) and yet I forget about it when I need it!

2007-01-18, 05:20 PM
I think most people use Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio Pro for mac. You may find that the programs you have can't handle .vob files directly. You may have to demux them into the elementary streams mpg and wav (or ac3). Then make menus and recombine them. I know only a few pc programs can work with the .vob files without demux. Make sure you don't render when you recombine them.

2007-01-18, 09:20 PM
you don't want iMovie or final cut UNLESS those are the programs to work with the vobs
for the menu itself you will want to use iDVD of DVD SP
poss combined with photoshop

2007-01-18, 09:50 PM
i would defintely get dvd studio pro..... its actually easier to use than idvd and can do what you want it to do rather than having to use chessy templates on everything....

.. and why not... since apple is nice enough to let everyone use there programs for free :slydevil:

2007-01-19, 07:03 AM
DVD Studio Pro, but i'm pretty sure you'll need to demux first...if someone can answer definitively on that i'd appreciate it

2007-01-19, 07:11 AM
Yep, you absolutely positively do have to demux first.

A much cheaper option that will accept muxed MPEG-2 input is MovieGate (http://web.mac.com/cducommun/iWeb/MG%20English/Home.html) .

2007-01-19, 07:34 AM
thats what i thought, but it had been a long time since i used anything from a .vob source...cheers ffooky :thumbsup

lynne, here's a program i've used to demux [seems to be a decent prog for the task], but if you find something better let me know

2007-01-19, 08:55 AM
Be very careful with demuxing. Most home made videos are not fully follow DVD standard, and contain a lot of errors - dropped or/and too long frames, not correctly synched audio etc. Oryginal video may play fine, as these errors are almost not visable. However, some demuxers try to correct these errors, and very often end with more bugs like cuts on video and audio.

So, demux with high quality programes, which may check and report potenatinal problems, and also offer various options for stream "embellish" ;) One of such very good freeware and cross platform progie is Project X: http://sourceforge.net/projects/project-x

2007-01-19, 11:36 AM
Wow, this is a lot more complicated than I realized. But, I will give it a go. It's good to learn new things.... right? :)

2007-01-19, 02:03 PM
Hmmmm, OK, I downloaded MPEG Streamclip 1.8 (Aaron's link) and imported the VIDEO_TS folder and told it to Yes, fix the timecode breaks. I played it and it looks and sounds fine (in sync), but now what? Export to DV? Demux to M2V and AC3? (I know it is AC3, 256 kbps). Right now I'm trying Export to DV and it's making one big ass file! The original VIDEO_TS folder is 3.77 GB and so far this export is a bit over 2 GB and only 10% done (which leads me to think the end result will be 20 GB!). Does that sound right or should I be doing the second option to Demux to M2V and AC3?

(Sorry for the perhaps stupid questions, but this could lead to a tutorial if I figure this out. :) )

2007-01-19, 04:30 PM
You can use the M2V/AC3 option. I have no idea what the audio portion of a DV stream is but using the demuxed streams would avoid any conversion/recompression of the audio (if that's indeed what might be involved).

You're blazin' a trail for us here Lynne :clap:

2007-01-19, 06:24 PM
i'm with ffooky, go the m2v/ac3 route...but to answer re: the files size for dv, yeah that sounds about right...one hour of dv runs a little over 12GB on average

2007-01-20, 09:39 AM
U2Lynne, .DV file is in fact AVI. Such conversion of course degrades oryginal video because you first recompress *.VOB (MPEG2) files to AVI then compress again to VOB format. It's lossy process in both directions.

When you dumux VOBs, you separate them into video and audio stream only, and you do not re/compress anything.

2007-01-20, 11:56 AM
When you dumux VOBs, you separate them into video and audio stream only, and you do not re/compress anything.
Yep, I figured out yesterday that this is the lossless way to go. I have since gone and just demuxed them and I'll play with them today and see if I can figure out what I want to do.

2007-01-20, 06:44 PM
OK, here are my notes on what I've done so far....

- Open MPEG Streamclip
- Import Movie
- Say Yes to fix the timecode breaks
- Demux to M2V and AC3

Ended up with two files... one called VIDEO_TS.m2v, the other VIDEO_TS.ac3

- Downloaded MovieGate
NOTE: I had to download it using Safari. Safari downloaded it as a pkg which immediately launched for installation. Firefox downloaded it as a zip and I could not unzip it. I tried changing the extension to .pkg and changing the application to lauch to Installer, but it still would not launch properly.

- I let the Installer install MovieGate.
- Then I launched MovieGate.
- It said there was an updated version and also showed two things to install - mpeg2enc and mplayer (I think those were the two). I said go ahead and install, so it did and then it restarted MovieGate.
- For Video source, I selected VIDEO_TS.m2v and it automatically also selected VIDEO_TS.ac3 for the Audio Source.
- It said "This is an MPEG-2 video file, do you want to keep this video file as is for authoring, or you want to reencode it?" I said Keep.
- I gave the DVD a name (on the bottom of the window).
- I left all the Information the same since I'm not wanting to change the encoding bitrates at all. Then I clicked on the Add to DVD button (important or you can't get to the Chapters tab!) It then 'blanked' out the fields on that tab.
- A window popped out on the bottom listing the video. It said estimated size of 3743.76, which sounded about right, however it also said length 54:15, which sounds about half the length.

Anyway, then it went on to encode the video and I ended up with a new folder complete with an AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS folder. But, it was different from the first one in size and average video bitrate.

Original folder: 3.77 GB and 4.52 avg video bitrate
New folder: 3.74 GV and 4.48 avg video bitrate

I bolded the part where I think I may have gone wrong. I have done nothing yet to the video. I haven't added chapters or anything. I just did the "Add to DVD" button and it started the encoding and this is what I ended up with. Shouldn't the new video and 'old' video be the same size and have the same avg bitrate since I haven't done anything to them?

2007-01-20, 07:39 PM
I don't know if MovieGate can accept VOBs straight but I'm pretty sure you could have had MPEG Streamclip convert the VOB to MPEG rather than demuxing it. I've had badly authored DVDs in the past and the MPEGs I've extracted from the dodgy VOB files in order to reauthor have always been differently sized which I've put down to some kind of difference in their headers. The difference in bitrate seems to me to more of a concern. Maybe the timecode breaks have a bearing here ?

Ask the boffins at videohelp ?

2007-01-21, 07:16 PM
I'm a PC freak, so I can't help with a Mac program. Seems that you did all steps OK, what your soft allows to losslessly author a DVD. Small difference in total size of files is because of different size of menu(s).

Time difference can be due false information about DVD contents written by some standalone recorders, which is seen by computer players and authoring programes twice as large - the same video is "repeated".

However, if original video stream has an error, your authoring programe may not import whole video, so compare original and reauthored DVD if everything is OK.

Video bitrate can be changed two ways - see your program manual:

1. Lossless by patching header of the first or all frames. It's like writting a text information to a video file, and not recompressing video itself. It's not neccessary. Sometimes it's done for (old) DVD players which incorrectly read information from the stream. For example first video header is set to maximum, and such bitrate is expected for all frames and red continuously by a player, while the real bitrate changes from frame to frame (variable bitrate, VBR). Also, headers of DVB captures usually have bitrate set over 10 kbps, which is outside DVD standard.

2. Lossy: by rencoding video stream.

Anthing else to clarify? :D

2007-01-30, 01:42 PM
well i noticed that many people cant make a menu.. whats the problem?
ive downloaded some dvds and almost all the menus simply dont work.. its a part of the movie, a single chapter, before the actual concert starts..

how come? im sure its not me who does someting wrong

now i have to edit all dvds and make a menu for it..

2007-01-30, 01:45 PM
Really? Is the menu not working on both the computer and the DVD player? I have rarely come across a menu that doesn't work. I've come across a few where they goofed on a song or two (where Song A actually links to Song B), but I've rarely, if ever, come across one that plain doesn't work.

2007-01-30, 05:14 PM
i didnt burn these dvds yet, the menu's from all of the 8 dvds i downloaded from this site and dimeadozen dont work

with all my other dvds i dont have problems with... so i cant understand what it is..

2007-01-31, 06:39 PM
Lynne, how did that dvd authoring program look to you? until i get a new comp, i'm needing a temporary solution for authoring a bunch of shows that are edited and takin up harddrive space...i refuse to use that pos iDVD and can't run DVDSP on this intel mini...those wankers at apple are beginning to disappoint me]

and i like the new av :D always wondered about the front :cool: :naughty:

2007-01-31, 06:54 PM
I got sidetracked with server issues, so the farthest I got was what I wrote above. I do plan on continuing with the project when I have some more time.

Hehe. You guys kept asking for the front, so..... :D

2007-01-31, 07:41 PM
keep me posted, i'm lookin for somethin that isn't too basic, and'll do the job well [need a good compression prog too, unless i can get Compressor to run on this comp :hmm: ]

2007-02-07, 11:09 AM
This may be slightly off topic, but ...

Using MPEG Streamclip, you can also determine the stats for your DVD (rather than using the more complicated method explained in the FAQ).

With a vob file opened in the main window, choose "Show Stream Info" from the file menu (or command-i). It provides all of the stats required by TTD in one handy window.

2007-02-07, 11:34 AM
That's great MisterPitiful! Do you mind if I add that to the FAQ (with credit to you)?

2007-02-07, 11:43 AM

Please use it in the FAQ. No need to credit me.

However, you'd better use this screen grab instead. The last one had an error in the video bitrate :wtf: :rolleyes: (because I hadn't fixed the time code breaks). Also, this one uses the current version of MPEG Streamclip.


2007-02-07, 11:59 AM
I just added it here: http://www.thetradersden.org/forums/faq.php?faq=video#faq_video_stats I think I got all the steps correct. This is soooooo much easier than the method we were using before!

2007-02-08, 07:55 AM
just want to note that MPEGStreamclip does not give completely accurate video bitrate info, due to the fact the it doesn't distinguish between CBR and VBR encoding...so if you run it on all vob files, the bit rate is just an average [when it comes to VBR compressed discs]...not a big deal, but worth noting ffor anyone reading this down the road

2007-02-08, 10:51 AM
Yeah, I noticed that the stats on it were very slightly different than the stats I got on GSpot - 5.56 Mbps vs. 5.30 Mbps. But, I figure that is close enough.

2007-02-08, 11:37 AM
werd...when loading a vob file, that prog gives you the option of opening just the one vob [such as VTS_01_1.VOB] or all in the stream [VTS_01_1.VOB, VTS_01_2.VOB, VTS_01_3.VOB, etc...]

if you select one at a time, a CBR encoded disc should remain constant...a VBR show will change for each vob...

but as you said, its close enough for our purposes :D

2007-02-08, 11:52 AM
It sounds like MPEG Streamclip would be more accurate than GSpot then. GSpot will only allow you to drop one vob on it, so if it's VBR, you only get the VBR for that VOB. Whereas Streamclip does the VBR for the whole show.