Beginner's Question on DVD to Flash Drive

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by jparker402, May 13, 2017.

  1. jparker402 macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2016
    Bellevue, NE
    Have some old 8mm movie films which I had neighbor transfer to a DVD (I think it is a DVD). My MacBook Air does not have a DVD drive, so I am now wanting to transfer those films to a USB Flash Drive so that I can play them on the Mac. I checked tonight, and the Windows 7 machine that I do have a DVD drive on says that the disc has 0 remaining, and 1.02 GB. I assume that means that the DVD was completely used, and that it held 1.02 GB of data.

    Is that correct? And if it is correct (my films used 1.02 GB of space), would a USB Flash Drive greater than 1.02 GB hold the films? Does DVD space equal FlashDrive space?

    Thanks from a novice!!
  2. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    I think that movies transferred from home movies to DVD are not likely to be copy-protected (like a commercial movie would be), so you could try copying the entire DVD to a flash drive. And, yes, all you will need is 1.02 GB, or more, space on the flash drive. (The DVD will report no space remaining, because you can't record anything more, once the DVD has been used once (unless it was set up for multiple use - which in my experience, often doesn't work)

    You can use the Windows machine to get files from that DVD directly to your Mac - copy them to a flash drive, if that's what you want to do. Here's an Apple support article that will help you use (share) an optical drive on a PC when your Mac doesn't have one.
  3. ColdCase, May 14, 2017
    Last edited: May 14, 2017

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    If you open the DVD in the finder, you will see that the DVD will have a bunch of files on it. Just copying the DVD files over to a flash drive is not going to make a playable DVD. You need to copy the image itself, which is easy on a Mac, dunno about a PC.

    You could get yourself a portable USB DVD drive (maybe $20-$30). You may run into other situations that need a DVD/CD drive and its handy to have one around.

    If all I want to do is play the DVD from my hard drive or a flash drive (not wanting to extract or edit) then I use the built in MacOS disk utility to make a disc image of the DVD. I save it to my hard drive and then copy/drag it over to the Flash drive (just because I don't trust flash drives enough). When I want to play it, I just double click the image. You may be able to set it up so the image is opened whenever the flash drive is inserted, and the MacOS DVD starts playing the video.

    In Disk utility, you select DVD/CD master format. Otherwise it won't play. No need to encrypt.

    Dunno if your PC has the same capability.

    Yes a typical burned DVD will show 0 bytes available and the size of the DVD image (Video file). Your destination needs to be at least the size of the image plus a little room for overhead. So in your case a destination with 1.1+ GB capacity should be fine. You can put multiple disk images on a flash drive, whatever will fit.

    During burning, when DVD is closed (the last step of making it playable) end tags are burned in and that makes the rest of the disk unusable (most DVD media have a 4.6GB capacity, CD media much less). There is DVD media where this isn't the case, but thats typically how it works.

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