Currently Being ModeratedApr 20, 2011 2:32 PM (in response to gotporch246)
1. I have some ideas, but some clarification on a few of the details may help. When you went to your friend's computer, was the DVD you burned using the same iDVD project file copied from your computer? Does "without any problem" mean that the DVD played correctly in a DVD player? Did you make the "Toasted" copy on your computer or your friend's computer? So you're saying that the DVD you burned with your friend's computer played correctly in a DVD player, but the "Toasted" copy of that DVD did not?
~ ~ ~
2. What we do know is this: It's probably not your DVD burner, because it burned a DVD, not because it burned a CD. DVD burning is a different mechanical act than CD burning, one that uses a different laser. There are 4 laser beams used by most CD/DVD burners: CD-read, CD-write, DVD-read, and DVD-write. Each one uses a different amount of power, and selecting faster reading/writing speeds will use even more power. So, a broken CD/DVD burner might still read (play) DVDs fine, but it won't write (burn) DVDs at all, or it might burn DVDs correctly, but it can't burn CDs without errors. In other words, just because 1 laser beam works doesn't mean the other 3 do.
~ ~ ~
3. The culprit is probably either your blank DVDs or iDVD. To verify the problem isn't with your blank DVDs, try burning one of your own blank DVDs using your DVD burner and your friend's computer (if you haven't already). And then right afterwards, burn one that came from a different pack of blank DVDs, again using the same burner and computer. And by the way, if the DVDs you're dealing with are double-layered DVDs (a "DL" will follow their name, as in "DVD+R DL" or "DVD-R DL"), peculiar issues can arise when using them. They are useful in the right conditions, but single-layer DVDs are generally a better choice.
~ ~ ~
4a. If it's not the blank DVDs, the culprit is probably within iDVD. To verify that, use iDVD to export your iDVD project to a disk image, instead of burning it to a DVD, and then test it inside Apple's "DVD Player" app. (See "USING DISK IMAGES WITH iDVD" below if you would like a more detailed explanation.)
~ ~ ~
4b. If the disk image does play correctly inside Apple's "DVD Player" app, use Apple's "Disk Utility" app to burn that disk image to a blank DVD. Then, verify that the freshly burned DVD plays correctly inside Apple's "DVD Player" app. This won't fix your problem, but it does present you with a useful workaround. Unfortunately, if that freshly burned DVD does not play correctly inside Apple's "DVD Player" app, and you're sure that your blank DVDs aren't the problem, then your computer doesn't like that DVD burner. Get a different one.
~ ~ ~
4c. However, if the disk image doesn't play correctly (or even open) inside Apple's "DVD Player" app, then the problem is inside iDVD. To see if the problem will require reinstalling iDVD, you will first need to recreate your iDVD project again from the beginning, this time using a simpler DVD menu. Starting with a new iDVD project, keep your DVD menu really basic, with no slideshows and only a few items on each menu page, and only use a few menu pages. Then, use iDVD to export this new iDVD project to a new disk image, and open that new disk image in Apple's "DVD Player" app. If it plays correctly inside Apple's "DVD Player" app, then your original DVD menu design was the problem, not iDVD - problem solved. But, if the new disk image doesn't play correctly (or even open) inside Apple's "DVD Player" app, I would either try the whole thing again with an entirely different iMovie project (to be sure the problem isn't your source material), or just reinstall iDVD.
~ ~ ~
5. USING DISK IMAGES WITH iDVD: iDVD allows you to export an iDVD project into a "disk image". A disk image is like a special folder which contains all of what gets burned on to a DVD (or CD), and it uses the .dmg file extension. Once a disk image is created, it will need to be opened (which will "mount" it in the Finder) in order to access it. Once it is opened, if you then open Apple's "DVD Player" app, any mounted disk image (that was made in iDVD) should automatically start playing in Apple's "DVD Player" app, as if it was a regular DVD. While you watch it using Apple's "DVD Player" app, verify that the DVD menu pages and the DVD video/audio are all visible and of an acceptable quality. Next, use Apple's "Disk Utility" app (in the Utilities folder, which is inside the Applications folder) to burn that disk image to a blank DVD; the disk image must still be open (mounted) in order to be easily visible from within Apple's "Disk Utility" app. When you're done with the burning, you'll need to eject (unmount) the disk image from within the Finder, as if it was an actual DVD (or CD). Lots of people, including myself, regularly use disk images to test their finished iDVD projects before burning them to DVDs.
Currently Being ModeratedApr 27, 2011 6:37 AM (in response to rar745)
Thanks for your reply. Here are the answers to some of your questions.
1. The DVD I burned did use the same iDVD project file. The DVD played correctly in a DVD player. I tried to make the "toasted" copy using my computer and that one would not play in a DVD player. I did not try to make a "toasted" copy on my friends computer.
3. The blank DVD I used on my friends computer was the same as the one I tried on my own. The DVDs I'm using are blank Memorex DVD-Rs.
4a. I haven't tried this yet but I will soon and I'll let you know how it goes.
4c. I did try to reinstall iDVD and that made no difference. I didn't make an entirely new project file, however, because the one I had made was fairly involved. It may be useful noting that in the past I have used iDVD successfully several times.
I hope this helps clear a couple of things up. I'll get back to you when I have tried the other suggestions.
Currently Being ModeratedApr 27, 2011 7:13 AM (in response to gotporch246)
The DVDs I'm using are blank Memorex DVD-Rs
A Known problematic Brand of DVDs.
I only use - Verbatim
• set down burn speed to x4
These works much better.
Yours Bengt W
Currently Being ModeratedApr 27, 2011 8:08 AM (in response to Bengt Wärleby)
I have used the Memorex DVD-Rs for a long time with my current computer without any problems. Also, I tried these discs on a different computer with the same external burner and they worked fine.
Currently Being ModeratedApr 27, 2011 8:17 AM (in response to gotporch246)
I have used the Memorex DVD-Rs for a long time with my current computer without any problems.
We have seen MANY more problems with Memorex media here than ANY other brand. We can't help you if you don't want to be helped.
Currently Being ModeratedApr 27, 2011 9:36 AM (in response to F Shippey)
Simmer down. I was merely stating that I haven't had any trouble with this batch of Memorex DVDs. I do not think they are the issue but I plan on trying a different brand to make sure.
Currently Being ModeratedApr 27, 2011 9:38 AM (in response to gotporch246)
If you want to approach universal playback then you MUST consider the media as already pointed out above. I refuse to use Memorex Dvd's because they are ofen the very source of numberous playback issues on many macs. In order to troubleshoot effectively on this forum please consider using Verbatim, Maxell, or Taiyo Yuden instead of Memorex.
Currently Being ModeratedApr 27, 2011 9:50 AM (in response to gotporch246)
There is nothing to "simmer down" from. Those of us here helping give advice based on what we have observed during our own use of iDVD and what we have seen in this forum over the years.
Those who receive the advice are certainly free to follow it or not, but to refuse to consider something makes it impossible for us to help. I'm glad to see you are willing to try other, non-Memorex media. Both Maxell and Verbatim media should be readly available in most stores. Taiyo Yuden is a good buy if you are purchasing it online.
Currently Being ModeratedApr 29, 2011 9:45 PM (in response to gotporch246)
1. I have also used Memorex DVD-Rs successfully for many years, but about 1 in 20 seems to go bad after about 3-5 years. So, I gradually switched to Verbatim DVD-Rs, and things are indeed better. Plus, I found that smart people were not as disappointed in me. Heh.
~ ~ ~
2. Are you sure your friend has the exact same version of iDVD as you? Look at the entire version number - complete with periods - to be sure. This doesn't really matter either way, for it can only rule out your burner as the problem (and has already). But the fact that he could indeed burn the same iDVD project that you could not... well, that's weird, you're right.
~ ~ ~
3. "Fairly involved" DVD menu, huh? That could be it. Not that iDVD can't handle heavy lifting, but certain complex things will just stop it in its tracks without warning, depending on the specific version of iDVD you use. You simply may be envisioning a menu structure that is better served by a more extensive DVD menu creator, such as DVD Studio Pro (bundled within Final Cut Studio since 2006). Whether Apple will upgrade or eliminate DVD Studio Pro as a part of this summer's long-awaited Final Cut overhaul remains to be seen, however.
~ ~ ~
4. So, you've re-installed iDVD. Can your computer now successfully burn any other DVD project files - ones that use a different iMovie project - with your external DVD burner straight out of iDVD? (Let's hope it can.) If you can, or have already, then the problem is either (1) that "fairly involved" DVD menu design itself, or (2) your related source material from iMovie, and (3) the problem is not your external burner, your computer, or iDVD.
~ ~ ~
5. Once you confirm iDVD can successfully burn other DVD project files, use the DVD project file in question to make a disc image, like I described in my previous post. If the disc image does play in DVD Player, and then you successfully burn a DVD-R with it, then Great Success; just do that this time around and hope it doesn't happen with any other DVD projects. Yet, I suspect that it won't play in DVD Player. So again, the error will be either in your "fairly involved" DVD menu design (use a new DVD project file and make the menu less complex) or in the iMovie source material (convert your source material to .dv files using the free non-Apple "MPEG Streamclip" app and then reimport them into iMovie).
Currently Being ModeratedMay 9, 2011 8:04 AM (in response to rar745)
1. Good point.
2. They are both the same versions.
3. By fairly involved I mean that I added a movie that has eleven chapters. Also, I changed the songs for each menu/page. In total there are three menus/pages.
4. I have reinstalled iDVD but I haven't tried to burn any other iDVD projects. After I created a disc image I tried to burn that using disc utitlity, and that didn't work either. The disc image did open in the DVD player application.
Is it possible that my computer is just being really really really really stupid? I have yet to buy different DVDs, but I really doubt that the problem is with the blank DVDs themselves. Any other suggestions you have will be greatly appreciated, thanks for everything so far.
Currently Being ModeratedMay 9, 2011 8:54 AM (in response to gotporch246)
After I created a disc image I tried to burn that using disc utitlity, and that didn't work either. The disc image did open in the DVD player application.
So your iDVD disk image played correctly with the Apple DVD Player application?
Currently Being ModeratedMay 9, 2011 4:35 PM (in response to gotporch246)
A CONVENIENT SUMMARY OF THE ACTION THUS FAR: Two separate MacBook Pros use the exact same version of iDVD and the same external DVD burner. The burner can burn CD-Rs on both computers, but when using a specific iDVD project, a DVD-R burned fine with one computer, but not with the other computer. iDVD was reinstalled and the problem continued.
FOUR UNTESTED POSSIBLE CAUSES: 1. A different DVD burner. 2. DVD-Rs from an alternate spindle and superior brand. 3. An alternate iMovie project. 4. An alternate iDVD menu structure with a single menu page and a single "play" button; it is worth noting that the iDVD menu structure from the original scenario is not complex enough to cause any typical errors.
IMPORTANT CLUE #1: On the troubled computer using the external burner, a disc image was made of the iDVD project, and it played in Apple's DVD Player app, yet Disc Utility was unable to create a playable DVD-R using that disc image.
IMPORTANT CLUE #2: On the non-troubled computer using the external burner, a DVD was burned correctly from the iDVD project in question. Yet, the troubled computer using the same external burner attempted to copy that DVD with Toast, and the burn failed.
HYPOTHESIS: If the external burner is used with the troubled computer to burn DVD's, then burn failure will always occur.
-1- Maaayybe the DVD-R you used with your friend's computer happened to be a good one, and the other DVD-Rs you tried on yours happened to be bad. Maybe. (This assumes that Toast and Disk Utility are not the problem; they rarely are.) Buy some Verbatim DVD-Rs and try those, which would cover the "different spindle" and "better brand" problems.
-2- It seems very likely that your specific computer has issues with this specific burner. Just get an entirely different DVD burner that has a different brand.
(I strongly suggest the LaCie 301484U FireWire 400 burner. Just plug it in, turn it on, turn your computer on, and it works; you don't need to load any of the software it comes with. LaCie is a great company with great products, just like Apple. If your MacBook Pro does not have a FireWire 400 port, you'll need a cable with FireWire 800 on one end and FireWire 400 on the other for this burner to work.)
-3- If neither 1 nor 2 work, all that remains is for you to pay for Apple to replace your internal SuperDrive. It will not be cost-effective now, but it WILL greatly add to the resale value of your computer when you sell it later. And I know not everyone sells their old macs, but even 5-year-old ones go for several hundred dollars, so it's simply a tough option to ignore.