iDVD4 Frustrations!! Can't do a 2-hour DVD!!!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by MattG, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. MattG macrumors 68040

    MattG

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    #1
    OK--everybody remember in Steve's keynote a month ago when he was telling everybody about how now you can get 2 hours of high quality video on a DVD using iMovie and iDVD4? Well, has anyone here had any luck doing so?

    I've got two hours worth of video (actually about 1:59--I had to cut it down a bit) that I'm trying to make a DVD out of. I've done my editing in iMovie, exported it to iDVD, hit "Burn," and then it starts it's process. Problem is, it gets stuck on "Step 3: Asset Encoding..." for about 3 hours or so, before I get one of those "iDVD has unexpectedly quit" errors. The DVD never burns, and I wasted several hours of my time. For what it's worth, I've tried this on both my DP G5 at work and my DP G4 at home. Same error occurs, although on the G5 it occurs much faster :)

    I have done two other projects with iMovie and iDVD with shorter length videos with no problems at all, so I'm guessing the 1:59 length of this video is what's causing the problem. I called Apple and spoke to a tech, and he told me that it's most likely due to the length of my video. When I asked him, "Didn't Steve say at his keynote that you could successfully burn 2 hours worth of video onto a DVD using iDVD?" he basically told me that "my mileage would vary," and that "up to two hours" means that theoretically you could get two hours, but no promises. He made the analogy of iDVD to a laptop battery, and how they say you can get 5 hours out of a PB's battery, but you'll probably actually get more like 3.5. Needless to say, I'm not satisfied with that answer. Has ANYONE been able to burn a full-length DVD using iDVD?
     
  2. raytube macrumors member

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    #2
    Hi,
    I had a similar problem with iDVD3, intitially I wasn't aware of the 90 min limit so I had to strip back an edit to make it fit.
    I had to do this twice as the first time I got it under 90mins but it seemed to need a bit of extra space for additional files to finish the disk, I ended up being 5 or 6 mins under 90mins and it accepted it.

    When video is encoded it doesn't do it exactly the same for every bit of video, 2 different movie that are 10 mins long may actually be different files sizes due to the colour content etc in them. This could be why you are having problems, you may need to strip it back in length a bit more and hopefully it will work.
    If I'm right I think video that is lighter i.e. white, bright, is larger as it takes more data than dark or black areas.

    Anyway, interested to know how you get on as I've just bought the new iLife suite and it's on it's way!

    Rick
     
  3. janey macrumors 603

    janey

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    #3
    uh why are you not satisfied with the answer?
    ymmv. that's plainly obvious.
    its not like you can get 5 hours out of an iBook battery, or cram two hours of whatever on a DVD all the time.
    you complaining that you cant fit two hours of whatever on that DVD is just like me bitching to Apple because my airport base station cant reach the theoretical 54mbps 802.11g is theoretically capable of.
     
  4. Engagebot macrumors regular

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    LSU - Baton Rouge
    #4
    iDVD is great, but <2hr doesnt do it for me.

    on a pc i can cram up to 6 hours if i need (crappier quality, but i need to burn 3 hour discs each week for my job).

    if iDVD could bump up the max play time, i'd use it for my job, even if it just compressed the crap out the movies.
     
  5. MattG thread starter macrumors 68040

    MattG

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    #5
    I think that's a poor analogy. Your base station is limited by distance, walls in your house, etc. 2 hours of video is 2 hours of video, and every DVD has the same capacity on it. If they say it should fit 2 hours, it should fit 2 hours, and if it can't, the program should be able to tell you prior to encoding the data and crashing three hours later.
     
  6. MattG thread starter macrumors 68040

    MattG

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    #6
    Other than this problem, it's been great! GarageBand is fun, and iMovie/iDVD seem to work a lot faster now (although...I've been doing my work on a G5 as of last week :)). Haven't used iPhoto yet...
     
  7. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #7
    Part of the problem is most likely that your menus contribute to the 2 hours of DVD... depending on how complex a menu system you use that will bring the time down from 2 hours...
     
  8. raytube macrumors member

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    Scotland
    #8
    Hi,
    Yeah, that's what I was referring to in my first post, the menu's contribute to the diskspace so it can sometimes mean that you get less footage on there than the 90 or 120 mins suggested. As I said before, video doesn't compress equally for the same length of time so it will be a bit inconsistent how long you can make your video.
    However, it is annoying that you didn't get warned that there was insufficient space before you started burning.

    Yep, I'm using a G5 too and I'm looking forward to seeing some performance gain from the new iLife apps.

    Cheers,

    Rick
     
  9. Lanbrown macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 20, 2003
    #9
    Two hours of a blue screen takes less room then two hours of a non-action packed movie, which takes less room than two hours of a lot of full screen movement. All of them were two hours long, but all of them will use a different amount of space on the disc. Two hours is two hours in length, which is independent of size. The disc holds x amount of data, which can be two hours, it can be more, or it can be less.
     
  10. janey macrumors 603

    janey

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    #10
    uh i beg to differ.
    dvds are all different. Disagree all you want, but I know I am right.

    It's not a poor analogy. Speed does vary on where you are, but what if the computer is right next to the base station? Hrmm.
     
  11. MattG thread starter macrumors 68040

    MattG

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    #11
    Yes, it is a poor analogy. The two situations are no where near remotely similar. You're talking about a wireless signal which varies depending on far away you are. On the other hand, a DVD is a constant 4.7gb no matter what--unless of course you've got some weird external DVD burner that varies how much data it can burn dependent upon how far away the burner is from the computer.

    The fact is there is software out there that can put more than two hours on a DVD anyway--another poster on this thread said he has PC software that can put 6 hours worth on a DVD. Sure it's not as good a quality, but he can do it. Surely Apple can squeeze 2 hours worth on a DVD. And besides, I'm not so upset about the fact that I can't fit the 2 hours worth on. I'm upset because iDVD goes to burn the DVD as if it's going to be able to, wastes three hours worth of processing time, then crashes, giving no rhyme or reason as to why.
     
  12. janey macrumors 603

    janey

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    #12
    hmmm
    http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,,sid9_gci213923,00.html

    and the two situations might not be similar, but still...what if i bitched to apple because my iBook or PowerBook battery doesnt last up to x number of hours no matter what i do or something.
    like i said YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY.
     
  13. MattG thread starter macrumors 68040

    MattG

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    #13
    Well, regardless of analogies, the fact still remains...iDVD should tell you "I can't do this" if it can't do it, and it certainly shouldn't be in the form of a program-crash three hours into encoding.

    I cut my video length down to 1:45 and it worked this time. I'd sure like to have the end part that I cut out, but oh well. It'll work.
     
  14. janey macrumors 603

    janey

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    #14
    well sometimes it cant. software has limits. iDVD doing that is just like some software developer starting a large project, working on it for three years of their life, and then saying they cant do it after the three years.
     
  15. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #15
    Close, but wrong. Two hours of a blue screen takes less space at the same quality setting than two hours of action. If I understand the changes made in the latest version of iDVD, it takes this fact into account.

    The important factor in all this is that in the previous version of iDVD, the encoding was constant bitrate. This means that stillframes or small amounts of motion are going to look great, even if you try to squeze 4 hours of constant bitrate video on a disc. High motion scenes, however, are still limited by that same constant bitrate, so they're going to look like crap. That's why the first version of iDVD only allowed 1 hour DVDs--even high motion video was guaranteed to look good at that bitrate.

    iDVD 4, on the other hand, uses variable bitrate encoding when you set it to "best quality" (I think "best performance is still constant bitrate, which is why you are limited to 90 minutes on it). The whole point of variable bitrate encoding is that the software looks at the whole movie first, and figures out where the action scenes are. Then, it goes through and actually does the encoding, but saves space on the slow parts by using a lower bitrate (since the high bitrate is just a waste), and turning up the bitrate for the speedy parts, where that extra data is necessary.

    Therefore, you can set essentially any finished size you want (a DVD minus menus and extras in this case), and iDVD should be able to fit the video into it. If there's a lot of motion, the overall quality might degrade some, but since it does one pass to check the video it can compress a given chunk of video as much as it wants to make it fit.

    The bottom line is, iDVD should NOT have a problem like this; it knows how much space the extras take up, and it should have no problem squeezing the video into what's left, whether quality suffers or not. The fact that it's not only failing (which I suppose could be possible if they set a lower limit on quality, and it wasn't able to maintain that for a given chunk of video), but crashing in the process rather than just saying "sorry, I was wrong, this doesn't fit" means that it is a bug, not an unavoidable fact of life like inconsistant battery life.

    I can understand a bug like this getting through, but it is a bug and it's incorrect to believe otherwise. I do hope Apple fixes it in a later version, since iDVD really is a fine piece of software.
     
  16. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #16
    Um... couldn't you just buy DVD Studio Pro?

    It's expensive, but it can do more than 2 hours AFAIK.
     
  17. GregA macrumors 65816

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    #17
    I'm encoding 1:33m at the moment. It has compressed the MPEG fine (2.8GB), just has to burn.

    So it does do greater than 90mins... but not sure about 2hrs. I also have a 3m30 video as my main menu (though the video is a single JPEG with an 3minute song).
     
  18. MattG thread starter macrumors 68040

    MattG

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    #18
    I shouldn't have to buy more software just to do what the software I got for free with my computer says it can do. Besides, I doubt my boss, who just spent $4000 on my new setup, is going to be very eager to buy any more accessories.
     
  19. Engagebot macrumors regular

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    #19
    unless you're a software developer yourself, then just stop with the complaining.
     
  20. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

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    #20
    I've burned a 1:59 minute DVD on my Powerbook without motion menus... took like 6 hours to encode, but it was fine. iDVD wont quit because you have too much data, it will tell you that before hand. Chances are it has something to do with the video youre using, or a setting thats messing up the MPEG2 encoder.
     
  21. MattG thread starter macrumors 68040

    MattG

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    #21
    How about unless you have something constructive to add yourself, then just stop with the replying?
     
  22. janey macrumors 603

    janey

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    #22
    mmm if you were a software developer you'd know why what you suggested is so difficult to do.
    And also, how does a program know if its gonna crash (when it begins a task) when its 99% done with something? :p :rolleyes: :confused: :eek: :p
     
  23. Lanbrown macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Blue, green, red what ever for two hours takes less room, then a non-action packed movie, which takes less than an action packed movie. If the screen changes a lot, that takes room on the DVD. A constant color for two hours has no changes. A non-action movie has less changes then an action movie. Fog and smoke take a lot of bandwidth/space as well as the entire screen is constantly changing. My statement is correct.
     
  24. lightboy56 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 31, 2004
    #24
    iDVD 4 and 2 hr limit.

    Okay I am going to go out on a limb and point out that the program suite only cost $49 unless you pirated it. Not making any accusations, just pointing out the cost of the program. I bought the new iLife and use everything but Garageband and I haven't had any problems. I have done numerous movies and iDVD always tells me when I have too much video. I have to agree with someone elses post about your system or whatever else you may have been running while being bored to tears waiting for the movie to burn. I don't like the fact that the progress bar isn't as good as the one that they give you when you are installing programs or even Panther.

    I know what Steve said and look, that sounded great and it almost gets us there, but I have had sooooooo many PC users ask me which program I am using and wonder where they can get a copy. I just laugh and smile and say that they aren't lucky enough to get such an easy program to use, unless they switch. They look at me real dissatisfied and then mope away. I don't know where else you can get a really good program for the price that makes it so easy. Just take a look at where things were a couple of years ago and then where we are now. Big difference and a nice change. More will come, so stop complaining.
     
  25. Mantat macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    As the 2h video, I have to agree, the menu and amount of screen action is relevant to the maximum availlable time.

    I think you should try to cut your movie into diferent chapter. It might help iDVD to analyse the best bitrate to use.

    Finaly, I have to agree with you: you are right to hope that you will be able to fit 2h on a DVD with iDVD, but you can not expect every 2h movie that you are making to fit on one.

    iDVD is mostly for personal - family use, any serious work has to be done in studio pro. I hope that they are going eventualy to allow you more control over the encoding but I think its like the 'superdrive only' thing: if you want to use the best stuff, you have to have studio pro...
     

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