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Old Apr 25, 2012, 12:53 PM   #1
Boisv
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Best DVD authoring program?

So now that Apple has abandoned both iDVD and DVD Studio Pro, what is the best alternative? What do you use?

I'm looking for a program that will not just burn a DVD, but let me design the menu. I know that Compressor and Toast burn DVDs, but I don't think they're what I'm looking for. I need full color motion menus, text, music, submenus, etc.

What would you guys suggest?
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Old Apr 25, 2012, 12:58 PM   #2
JasonA
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I still use DVD Studio Pro.
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Old Apr 25, 2012, 12:59 PM   #3
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DVD Studio Pro.

Look for used Final Cut Studio 2 or 3 offers on eBay, some can be had for as low as 100 USD sometimes.

The other "affordable" solution is Adobe Encore, but it is a different beast altogether.
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Old Apr 25, 2012, 01:00 PM   #4
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What do you need to do that DVD SP currently does not do? If you already own it, I'd just keep using it. If you don't, you can probably find a copy really cheap on eBay because DVDSP has been at version 4 since like '05.

The first DVD SP alternative that comes to my mind is Adobe Encore (I don't have any first hand experience with it though).


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Old Apr 25, 2012, 01:46 PM   #5
Boisv
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Originally Posted by LethalWolfe View Post
What do you need to do that DVD SP currently does not do?
Nothing really. I have iDVD and DVDSP, and I'm still using them (as well as FCP7). I'm not in any hurry to switch; I'm really just wondering what alternatives (if any) are out there right now. I'm hoping to find a program that I actually like better, but I'm not holding my breath.

Also, I'm sort of shocked by the whole thing. I knew last June that Apple was abandoning DVDSP, but I just found out about iDVD fairly recently. I'm shocked because there doesn't seem to be another company offering any comparable alternative. I guess Encore is the closest thing we have.

Usually, when Apple suddenly drops support for a product, it is because either Apple has a better product, or it is a need already being covered by a third party. Apple dropped iWeb along with MobileMe, but at least one could argue that there are cheap alternatives to iWeb out there. I haven't found a program comparable to iDVD.

It's funny. In spite of all the fuss being made over Final Cut, I'm actually far more upset over iDVD and iWeb. I use them all the time.
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Old Apr 25, 2012, 02:19 PM   #6
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I would say Adobe Encore given that fact that you can literally do whatever you want in terms of design. Only downside is that it is quite buggy actually and often force closes more than I would like.
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Old Apr 25, 2012, 04:25 PM   #7
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Apple stopped them because it tries to stay ahead of the curve not behind. Thunderbolt (just like Firewire years ago) was a year or two ahead of its time. Steve Jobs believed correctly that DVD's are going to go the way of VHS, CD's, 8-tracks. Those of us who still like DVD's, such as myself, can keep making great DVD's with DVDSP. It still is a great program, but you have to be blind to not see that DVD's will be extinct very soon. The internet and the Cloud are the future, (maybe even Apple TV who knows what they have in store with that at this point in time). DVD's are so limited in their size and their durability. Open your eyes.
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Old Apr 25, 2012, 04:47 PM   #8
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Apple stopped them because it tries to stay ahead of the curve not behind. Thunderbolt (just like Firewire years ago) was a year or two ahead of its time. Steve Jobs believed correctly that DVD's are going to go the way of VHS, CD's, 8-tracks. Those of us who still like DVD's, such as myself, can keep making great DVD's with DVDSP. It still is a great program, but you have to be blind to not see that DVD's will be extinct very soon. The internet and the Cloud are the future, (maybe even Apple TV who knows what they have in store with that at this point in time). DVD's are so limited in their size and their durability. Open your eyes.
Lightpeak (aka Thunderbolt) is from intel, not Apple. IEEE 1394a was developed by a consortium, not just by Apple (and it might have taken off more if Apple did charge high fees for the FireWire name). After a decade of plummeting CD sales digital downloads have finally, by 0.3%, outsold CD sales in the US (vinyl is having record breaking sales btw).

Apple stopped developing DVD SP because it doesn't fit in their version of reality (not to mention that Blu-ray is a competitor to the iTMS) and, unfortunately, Apple's version of reality isn't always, well, real. Questions about authoring apps come up all the time on many of the forums I go to. Posting a video on YT or sending someone a small H.264 file via YouSendIt doesn't always fit the bill for what people need or want.

You might want to take your own advice and open your eyes because the world is a bigger place than just Apple's walled garden.


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Old Apr 26, 2012, 10:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by LethalWolfe View Post

Apple stopped developing DVD SP because it doesn't fit in their version of reality (not to mention that Blu-ray is a competitor to the iTMS) and, unfortunately, Apple's version of reality isn't always, well, real.

You might want to take your own advice and open your eyes because the world is a bigger place than just Apple's walled garden.


Lethal
ditto! lol

I offer video transfers for clients and no joke, I have some older clients who are just getting rid of their VHS decks and buying blu ray or DVD players. Even some younger folks in their 40s/50s stare blankly when I ask if they would like some digital files to stream from their computer to TV or for their iphone/ipads. Some understand, but the majority (in my non-scientific unofficial study), do not.

To the OP, keep using DVDSP if you don't need blu ray. Compressor 4 offers blu ray support, but very basic menu design. For my clients, they want to hit a button and watch their movies so it works, but I certainly would like to 'dress' it up a bit more as it won't even do chapter selections (like you can in DVDSP). I've been looking at Encore, but from what I can see, not a product which can be purchased by itself unfortunately.

Good luck,
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 11:03 AM   #10
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You asked for the BEST DVD authoring program and the answer is Scenarist. But it costs a ton and you have to buy a PC.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 11:13 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by LethalWolfe View Post
What do you need to do that DVD SP currently does not do? If you already own it, I'd just keep using it. If you don't, you can probably find a copy really cheap on eBay because DVDSP has been at version 4 since like '05.b
No kidding, and its not like DVD technology has been updated of late.
For one offs Ive been spitting them out of Toast and now FCPX.
I use DVDSP for older projects and sometimes new ones (rarely).
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 12:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by harddriveowner View Post
The internet and the Cloud are the future... Open your eyes.
Huh? I just asked what people use to author DVDs. Why do you assume that I'm clinging to optical media like a life raft? Believe me, my eyes are very open to this.

I am already moving my company away from DVD, offering videos as quicktime and avi files on USB drives as an alternative. It's starting to take off, but right now, in the present, not the future, most of my customers still want a DVD or a blu-ray. I've been expecting Apple to ditch these programs at some point, but IMO they pulled the trigger a bit too soon.

And Apple is right, optical media is going away. But that's besides the point. They can talk about the future of the industry being totally online until they're blue in the face. It won't change the fact that we are living in the present. DVD and blu ray are certainly on their way out, but they're still long from dead. It's a slow process.

And believe me, I want them to die. Burned DVDs are the largest area of complaint that I've noticed in the event videography industry. That's speaking from my own company's experiences as well as other companies I've worked with. They're unreliable, they're cheap, they're slowly becoming obsolete, and many players have a difficult time playing them correctly. They skip. They freeze. Sometimes they can't even be read. I hate them. I'll be happier when I can export a video, put it on a thumb drive, maybe upload it to Dropbox or Vimeo, and move on to the next project.

But until then, DVD is still king.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keebler View Post
Compressor 4 offers blu ray support, but very basic menu design... I certainly would like to 'dress' it up a bit more as it won't even do chapter selections (like you can in DVDSP).

Will do. I'll give Compressor a go too. I've actually never used Compressor to author a DVD.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Keebler View Post
I've been looking at Encore, but from what I can see, not a product which can be purchased by itself unfortunately.
I was just saying yesterday in another thread...

"Right now Adobe is pushing to get disgruntled FCP7 users to switch over to Premier. I'd like to see them do a similar push with Encore. Offer it as a stand alone program. Market it to Premier/FCP7/FCPX/AVID editors alike as an alternative to DVDSP. It seems they could make a killing. It could also help to eventually convert people to Premier."

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by WRP View Post
You asked for the BEST DVD authoring program and the answer is Scenarist. But it costs a ton and you have to buy a PC.
Thanks. I'm probably not switching to a PC anytime soon, but this is good to know.

Heck, if Apple discontinues the 17" MBP and the MacPro, as has been rumored*, then I'll definitely check this program out.



*But personally, I doubt it.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 12:48 PM   #13
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When Apple pulled the plug on floppy drives, every one was still using them. The reaction was similar to this. Apple removed Superdrives from the MacAirs several years ago. People adapt. Your clients will adapt. You can say whatever you want about Apple, but if you bought stock years ago like I did, you are laughing all the way to the bank.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 12:51 PM   #14
mBox
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Okay back to reality.
With the new Adobe Cloud option, you might be able to get Encore by itself.
I haven't looked into it but would be an option.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 01:16 PM   #15
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Will do. I'll give Compressor a go too. I've actually never used Compressor to author a DVD.
I think Compressor is limited to just making a 'play now' type disc. If you need something w/a menu structure and typical DVD features you'll need to use an authoring app like DVD SP or Encore.


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Old Apr 26, 2012, 01:27 PM   #16
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I think Compressor is limited to just making a 'play now' type disc. If you need something w/a menu structure and typical DVD features you'll need to use an authoring app like DVD SP or Encore.
This is correct, the only functions available in Compressor 4 to author DVDs are "play automatically", or load a main menu with your own optional background and only a "play movie" button. You can't move the button, add your own chapters, bonus features, intro movie before main menu, or anything else. See this thread.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 01:35 PM   #17
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A little off topic, but once you get into BD authoring and Pop-up menus you will never go back to DVD authoring
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 01:57 PM   #18
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First: mBox: What software do you use for BluRay authoring? Maybe I'll look into that...

Second: As the discussion is heating up, I would like to mention an open source software: DVD Styler. While it doesn't produce the fancy animated menus that you get with the presets in iDVD and DVD Studio Pro, it has some major advantages:
1. You can very easily set any background and buttons that you want
2. It features scripting possibilities for some advanced features (like "play all and then go to menu X")
3. It does not have the 16:9 issues I am struggling with in iDVD...

Over all: If you already have a movie that has been encoded decently to MPEG-2, and you just want menus with more than a "press play" button, it's not half bad... I would pick it over the FCPX and Compressor abilities every day.

But of course, it's far from being the "best DVD authoring program" as the thread title suggests...
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 02:11 PM   #19
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First: mBox: What software do you use for BluRay authoring? Maybe I'll look into that...
..
Adobe Encore for both Mac and PC.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 02:15 PM   #20
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Adobe Encore for both Mac and PC.
Ouch... I'm still struggling to make that investment... maybe some time this year, I'll finally spring for the Production Suite. At least working at a university, I still get the academic discount, otherwise it wouldn't be affordable for a hobbyist.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 02:23 PM   #21
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Second: I would like to mention an open source software: DVD Styler...it has some major advantages:
1. You can very easily set any background and buttons that you want
2. It features scripting possibilities for some advanced features (like "play all and then go to menu X")
You can do all those things in DVD SP. Maybe you only meant iDVD but you did mention both in the same sentence.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 02:30 PM   #22
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You can do all those things in DVD SP. Maybe you only meant iDVD but you did mention both in the same sentence.
True... DVD SP is an awesome piece of software. I think when writing this, I referred to DVD SP when mentioning "very easily", but to be honest, it is even pretty easy to handle.

DVD SP in my opinion only has two drawbacks:
1. I don't own it.
2. It's not sold anymore.

If I ever get my hands on a cheap FCS3 package, I'll definitely go for it and probably only use DVD SP out of the suite. And maybe Color. I would pay a considerable amount of money if Apple just sold me DVD SP. No support or anything, just the software. I don't know why they won't do it.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 02:33 PM   #23
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Ouch... I'm still struggling to make that investment... maybe some time this year, I'll finally spring for the Production Suite. At least working at a university, I still get the academic discount, otherwise it wouldn't be affordable for a hobbyist.
If this so called Adobe Cloud starts maybe itll be just a $20 a month purchase for the use of Adobe Encore.
I dont know if thats the specs.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 02:42 PM   #24
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If this so called Adobe Cloud starts maybe itll be just a $20 a month purchase for the use of Adobe Encore.
I dont know if thats the specs.
Yes, that does sound interesting. But I have also been making googly eyes at After Effects and Speedgrade, and would be interested in the Photoshop update (right now, I have the Creative Suite which I actually use for work).

I don't know about Audition, any experience with that? I have Logic Studio, and am pretty happy, especially with the sound library, but I wouldn't consider myself an expert and could still go for something else if well done... How do those two compare?

Anyways: For After Effects, Speedgrade and Encore alone, let alone Photoshop, the rental fee wouldn't pay off compared to the academic pricing for the suite (the discount is surprisingly generous).
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 02:44 PM   #25
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2. It's not sold anymore.
I bought FCS3 a few months ago for my work system. You have to call Apple and order it specifically through them.
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