Previous 1 2 Next 20 Replies Latest reply: Mar 13, 2007 6:02 PM by Generosa Rader
Generosa Rader Level 1 (5 points)
I am new to iDVD and to burning movies to DVD-R.
I downloaded "The Mummy" 1932 movie-Universal Studios, free Podcast, no apparent DRM, from "Old Time Radio Nostalgia" in iTunes Store. Part one is a .mov file - 114 MB; part two is a .m4v file - 68 MB. Using iTunes, I burned Part one .mov file to a DVD-R but neither my portable DVD player nor my TV-DVD player recognize the file. I did not try burning the .m4v file. The portable DVD player says "disk error" regarding the .mov file. Both downloads are saved to iTunes and they both do open and play as a movie in iTunes. Quicktime also plays both files as movies. I have iDVD version 5.0.1. and Super Drive PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-127D, with DVD-Write: -R, -RW, +R, +RW. +R DL
What should I do in iDVD or with some other program, to re-encode these two movie files to something else so when I burn them to DVD-R they show up on my DVD player? Thank you very much.

eMac   Mac OS X (10.4)   PowerBook 190 OS 7.5.5
  • altero Level 2 (485 points)
    DVD players only know to play mpeg2 movies. Some knows also DivX, Xvid.
    You will need to re-encode your movies in mpeg2, and by that you will lose some quality.
    The easiest way is to use Toast 7 or 8, which will take care of the conversion and burning. There are lots of other options, free, like ffmpegX, MPEGStreamclip aso.
    Of course, you can use also iDVD, but before that you need to convert your movies in a format that iDVD can read.
  • Generosa Rader Level 1 (5 points)
    Hello altero,

    Thank you for your quick reply. I shall try getting the freeware you mentioned and see how things work out. I don't normally download movies from web nor work with home made movies to watch on my DVD player, so the cost of buying Toast to re-encode movie files is not worth it to me - but thanks for the tip. If I encounter any glitches I'll come back to you for help.

  • altero Level 2 (485 points)
    I thought you have Toast, it's a good tool to keep in your Mac.

    OK, for making easier for you:
    MPEG Streamclip is here: You can take also ffmpegX (, but it's less confusing with MPEG Streamclip.
    Just drag your movie over the main window, then File > Export to QuickTime (or Export to DV, but the resulting file will be bigger). The resulting movie can be used by iDVD. Easy, eh?

    Good luck,
  • Generosa Rader Level 1 (5 points)
    Hello altero,

    Just read your reply re downloading MPEG Streamclip. Got it and am re-encoding my old .mov movie via the MPEG Streamclip window as I type this. I dragged my old movie over the window and Exported to Quicktime for encoding. However, I notice the extension for my new movie clip in the encoding window is still .mov Does this new version include the mpeg2 you said I need to burn my movie via iDVD so I can play it on DVD player? I was expecting the extension to change to mpeg2, not remain .mov

    Please advise.
    Thank you very much.
  • altero Level 2 (485 points)
    Don't worry. Mov, like avi, it's a container, where lots of flavours can stay. Just use the resulting .mov in iDVD and it should work.
    If by any chance it doesn't, export to DV. That will do it for sure.

    But I guess you already saw that the .mov is good.

    More technical explanations: iDVD will encode the movie(s) and the menus after you build your DVD. It just need a regognizable format to work with, but the mpeg2 encoding will be done by the internal engine of iDVD. More, all files will then be packed in the structure needed by any DVD player.
  • Generosa Rader Level 1 (5 points)
    Hello again,

    Sorry to be so ignorant about movies, DVD, etc. I am much more familiar with the audio burning process. Just had to let you know I'm not stupid, just ignorant. I hate not knowing what I'm doing. But that's why you're here to help.

    I notice my blank DVD-R holds 4.7 Gigs, which I know is standard, and it also says "120 minutes video". My finished movie (it just completed conversion) is 3.79 Gigs. Is my new movie now considered a "video" for purposes of playing it on a DVD and the size the DVD will hold, or doesn't it matter if its size is 3.79 Gigs, (under the max of 4.7 Gigs)?

    Thank you so much for nursing me along in this movie to DVD adventure.

    Best regards,
  • altero Level 2 (485 points)
    Hey, you don't have to feel sorry, everybody learns, nobody had it from birth.

    Yes, a single layer DVD can hold up to 4.7 Gb (meaning 4.2 GB), which means 60 minutes of Best Quality, or 120 minutes of Best Performance video (those settings you can set from Preferences > Projects). Those minutes include everything: video, slideshows, menus.
    It doesn't matter if you don't fill the DVD, a player will play whatever it finds on the disc.
    Just put the disc in the player and enjoy it!

    (Hope I was clear, you know, English is not my mother tongue... Just ask more if you feel like)

    This is off topic, but maybe you can help: I'm looking for a way to edit DTS audio files on the Mac. I can open them with VLC and capture the sound with AudioHijack, but maybe there is a more elegant way to have those DTS audios on my iPod.
  • Generosa Rader Level 1 (5 points)

    I love challenges, but I am close to giving up on this one.

    I am sorry to say that iDVD would not accept my re-encoded .mov file to work on, export, or burn or anything. The message window said file was "Too big for double DVD - 15.8 Gigs of 8.0 Gigs" whatever that means. I don't even have a double DVD and none was in the DVD tray nor in my Mac.

    I don't understand how my old movie file which was only 114 MB when I first downloaded it from web, expanded to 3.7 Gigs after MPEG Streamclip re-encoded it to the "new" .mov that was supposed to work in DVD.

    Anyway, I decided to try burning it as is at 3.7 Gigs via iTunes, but my DVD Player would not read it - message was "wrong disk". So, I've trashed 2 DVDs so far. Must buy a stack of 50 without cases - it's cheaper.

    I am ready to give up, unless I buy Toast and try that. Did I do something wrong by just dragging the old .mov file to the MPEG Streamclip window without setting some sort of parameters?

    Sorry I can't help you with DTS audio files - I don't know what DTS stands for, nor what VLC means. I just know how to convert sound from any web source (streaming audio) or external input source (like my digital piano) to AIF then to mp3 in my Mac, and set the mp3 parameters for quality from low (128 kbps) to high (160 or 192 kbps) in iTunes. Then I burn the CD for audio or data storage.

    You speak English very well for a foreigner. I speak Spanish if that is a language you know - I am bilingual Spanish-English due to my heritage of Puerto Rican parents. I was born in New York City - they were from Puerto Rico. I studied German and French in college, but since I don't use them I have forgotten a great deal. Isn't French spoken in Romania besides your native language?

    Shall we abandon this project or keep working at it?

    Muchas gracias por su tiempo, y sus consejos, es usted muy amable.

  • altero Level 2 (485 points)
    That's strange. How long is the movie you got from the net? Over 4 hours? Only then it would be too big for a dual layer. If it is over 4 hours (which I doubt), you have to cut it in smaller pieces (under 2 hours for single layer, or under 4 hours for double layer). MPEG Streamclip can do that.
    Be aware of the length of the menus you build in iDVD. Those add to the length of the movie, so try to keep them short (around 30 seconds should be fine).

    Try to get a look at iDVD's help, in few minutes you should understand the basiscs and the settings needed. Don't give up, with computers there is a sollution for (almost) everything.

    Don't try to burn the file just like that. DVDs have a special structure and format, which is done by authoring software like iDVD.

    Don't mind about DTS (digital theathre system, a 5.1 audio format). VLC is a video player that plays about any format possible. It's free, like all good things (

    I learnt English and French in school, but I practice mainly English nowadays. I know very well French, but I would avoid writing...
    Spanish, yo no habla, but I love it, so I plan to learn it. Romanian it's a Latin language, so I understand a great deal, including your words.

  • Generosa Rader Level 1 (5 points)
    Buenos Dias,

    At this point, I've given up on iDVD - I looked over the help files and I just don't get it. I am very impatient and I hate reading guidelines that take me a while to understand. Also, my movie file downloaded at about 120 MB, Part 1, and about 60 MB part 2. I have seen this movie on videotape and it's between 1 to 1//2 hours long or less. So the inflation to 3.7G for Part 1 seems weird after encoding it.

    In iDVD I don't want menus or anything else - I just want my movie as is converted to a format which will burn to DVD. iDVD doesn't seem to have such a simple format process. Everything has all sorts of options for themes, menus, music, etc.

    I don't burn that much stuff normally - just CD data disks to back up my files. I don't burn audio CDs since I put all my music into my iPod for listening. And I never work with movies of any sort until now. So the cost of Toast doesn't seem worth getting (about $80 USD). iTunes is all I need for burning my data CDs.

    I found a program at for about $25 called VisualHub - go to which promises to convert and burn my movies - I contacted them via e-mail and they claim it will do this in a few steps. Maybe I'll try them. Or I may just give up. It's really not that important - but I hate not conquering a computer problem.

    Thank you so much for your help. Shall keep in touch as I decide what to do, especially if anything works.

    Muy agradecida por su ayuda, su tiempo, y su cortesía.
    Es usted una persona muy amable.

  • altero Level 2 (485 points)
    No, the 3.7 Gb is not at all weird, it's how it should be. What's weird is the 15 Gb message!

    VisualHub it's a good tool, and will do your movie as DVD. But you can the same for free.

    OK, let's try with ffmpegX ( Unfortunately, I can not add pictures to show you exactly how to set things, but:
    - download and install the soft (it's not very easy, as it needs some components to be installed afterwards; but just follow the messages);
    - open the soft; you will have two panels. Drag the movie in the cell "From";
    - click on the little triangle in the cell "To"; choose DVD mpeg2enc;
    - make sure that in the tab Option you select the "Author as DVD (VIDEO_TS)";
    - hit "Encode";
    - after a while (it can take long time if the movie is long, and it depends also on the power of your machine), you will see in the location set with the button "Save as..." (default is the same location as the movie to be encoded) the following new files "nameof_yourmovie.ff.mpg", "nameof_yourmovie.ff.ac3", and a new folder "nameof_yourmovie.ff.mpg.DVD". That's the one you want! Inside you have the standard folders of a normal DVD (Audio_ts, and Video_ts). Burn that folder (you can shorten the name if you want) on a DVD and put it in the player.

    VisualHub it's easier to use, so it's on you to decide: does a bit of work worth 25 $?

    Thanks for your nice words, YOU are amable, like all Latin Americans (I was last summer in Guatemala, and I was very touched by the kindness of people there, especially the indigens!)
  • Generosa Rader Level 1 (5 points)
    I'm back!

    Just got back from my one hour power walk and got your reply. This project may take weeks to resolve - are you prepared for this? If you are committed then I'll persist too.

    I shall do as you say with ffmpegX. But first I have to buy a 50 disk stack of DVD's today - I ran out of the 5 I got just to try things out. I assume that DVD-R by Memorex is the right type of DVD to use? Memorex is not top of the line, but I found their CD-R and CD-RW CDs to be cheap and work well with audio and data CD stuff.

    Shall report in later today.

    Encore une fois, merci bien. Vous êtes trés gentil.

  • altero Level 2 (485 points)
    My first choice is Verbatim, but Memorex is also a good brand.
    But anyway, I supose we don't have equal quality for similar brands, in two parts of the world; even with the globalisation...

    Anyway, let me know your results.
    Glad to help. Bon courrage!
  • Generosa Rader Level 1 (5 points)
    Progress Report - 12 de marzo 2007 6:33 PM Pacific Time

    I downloaded and installed ffmpegX including the 3 "components" without problems. It looks more complex to read than to do.

    My movie "The Mummy 1932" Part 1 is now being encoded (muy lento!!) at a very slow, very arthritic snail's pace. Why so slow? I have plenty of RAM. Is my speed too low at 1.42 GHz?

    I have 1.42 GHz Power PC G4 with 1 GB DDR SDRAM, about 120 GB Hard Disk space free. I had the maximum RAM installed when I purchased my new Mac 2 years ago - I know how important plenty of RAM is for these RAM hungry applications. But I guess my new Mac is already ancient at 2 years old.

    Got 30 disks stack Memorex DVD-R. We should get this right by the 29th DVD, verdad? They were out of the 50 disk stacks.

    Hasta mañana, buenas noches,
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