Help with iDVD burning & music copyright ? before I start a Slideshow to DVD Business

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Mac Mom in AZ, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. Mac Mom in AZ macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2008
    I've had my iMac OS X 10.4.11 for about 2 years and I love the iLife feature software. After making some great musical slideshows with my own family photos and storing them to disk using iDVD I decided I want to offer this service as a small business.

    I live in a small town and I would like to advertise locally rather than on line, at this point, to keep the business small scale and learn things as I go.

    I have done research to see what similar online businesses along these lines offer and before I launch my own I am needing some help with a few questions re:my Mac software, hardware and music copyright issues.

    Here goes:

    - When I try burning an iDVD project to either a blank DVD+R or DVD-R it works some of the time, but I'd say in about 4 of 5 attempts I get a message saying "Insert a Recordable DVD disk" though a new, blank disk is already in. (On the 5th attempt, as I mentioned, it records to a disk from the same package with no problem) I've checked the condition of my DVD drive and everything seems to look OK. Any idea what the problem may be? I've stayed current with my software updates to be sure that this wasn't hindering anything. I can't really go into business burning DVDs if my attempts to burn only work 4 of 5 times.

    ** I was considering purchasing an external DVD drive so that I could use the Light Scribe feature for my DVD labeling and I'm wondering if I just plan to burn to this anyway, maybe I don't need to worry about the issue with my Mac not burning every time. I never have any problem with it playing anything.

    - Once I create these DVD slideshow projects for people I won't want to store all of their photos, music, etc. on my main computer so my plan was to make a master DVD of each project I complete. Once I have this master DVD, do you know if I can just burn a copy of it (since all of the media will be contained on it and not my Mac) if someone wants to reorder copies later on?

    - Music - I have songs in my iTunes library from CD's I own and also from iStore downloads I've purchased. I know I need to take copyright laws into consideration as I go about this business but I don't know much about it. I've noticed that my iStore songs can only be burned up to 7 times and then they can't be played except on authorized machines. Does that mean they may not play in the DVDs I'll be creating for people? It seems that most of the slideshow dvd businesses I've researched on line ask the customer to provide the music for their project but I think some may see that as an inconvenience. I would rather provide a library of songs myself (based on theme) and have the customer choose from these. Can you suggest how I can do this legally? Is it as simple as buying the CD's for all my selections, putting them in iTunes and using only those? How do videographers do this for their customers?

    - And finally - do I have the right Mac and software to think I can do this type of business? Like I say I have a Mac OS X 10.4.11 with 2 GHz Intel Core Duo processor, 1 GB 667 MHz RAM and all the basic software it came with. I have since purchased an Epson Perfection V350 Photo Scanner than can scan film and slides in addition to photos. Plus, as I mentioned, I'd like to get a Mac compatible external DVD drive with Light Scribe. Any suggestions as to adding additional memory or upgrading to a better software package to do the job?

    Well - I think that's it for the most part. I feel I need to have all of these answered before I can launch a business and begin advertising. Any suggestions you can offer would be SO GREATLY appreciated. :)
  2. John.B macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch
    You can buy royalty-free music or you can pay royalties for the other music you use. Simple as that.

    Start someplace like this for an (albiet basic) primer on a complex subject. Then, if you will need licensing for mechanicals visit the Harry Fox Agency for how to proceed. They do small scale mechanicals licensing for the types of work you are considering. You could even line-item the costs on to your clients (i.e. no markup, just invoice your costs).

    The reality is that a lot of people just use what they want and hope nobody ever figures out that royalties are owed. And as long as they are small time, probably nobody will be the wiser. If someone was to get busted, back royalties and legal fees will be beyatch, but the odds are probably microscopically small. :shrug:

    John (musician, songwriter, software developer, et al)
  3. John.B macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch
    You'll also want to add memory. 1 GB will be fine for most everyday stuff, but you'll need more than that for what you have in mind. With the price of memory what it is, you should probably just get a 4 GB kit (a pair of 2 GB SODIMMs) from OWC or somewhere. Its as much as your MBP will hold and it'll cost you about a benjamin or less. Even if you MBP is a little older and only recognizes 3.3 GB (instead of 4 GB) you'd still be ahead.

    Oh, and you'll probably want a FireWire drive for your video stuff, and maybe for backup. (Remember: You aren't really backing up if you are backup up to the same drive the data is on.)
  4. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    About problems burning DVDs: A lot depends on the quality of the DVDs you buy. Some DVDs have a 95% rate of working DVDs or higher, other brands are basically worthless. Try different brands.

    About music copyrights: With iTunes music, you must distinguish between what the software allows you and what copyright allows you. iTunes allows you to burn several CDs - useful in case the CD player in your car tends to damage CDs. But nothing gives you the right to make copies and give them away to others. Check out for example which sells music together with a license of your choice that allows you to make commercial copies of the music (limited by the license). Prices seem to be very reasonable.
  5. MacDD macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2008
    Copying DVDs

    Mac Mom, I wanted to offer some other advise regarding your DVD business. as in any business, marketing is a key element of success. Using the LightScribe to label your DVDs may not be the best method for you to use. It is very slow (20+ minutes per disc) and it only makes monochrome labels. Twenty minutes per disc is a lot of time when you are trying to be productive. Also the limits of the LS color scheme is not going to help you sell your product. I would also not recommend any of the sticker labeling systems out there as they are prone to peeling and the glue can react with the data on your DVDs. I use a labeling printer called the DiscPainter by Dymo. It is a dedicated disc printer that makes color labels with many nice text effects. The DiscPainter only takes 1 minute to print a label. I use it for my photo business and it has really helped me market my products. Best of all it is Mac compatible (even with Leopard). Good luck with your business.
  6. Mac Mom in AZ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2008
    THANKS for all the great advise

    Thank you all for the great advise and suggestions. It's so nice to have a place like this to compare notes and learn from the wisdom of others. I will go forward with many of the suggestions you each suggested.
    Have a wonderful day! :D
  7. pclearner14 macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2008
    I would like to understand how to burn dvds.

    whats the first software ill need to download?

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