I need a recommendation on a good, fast & free video file converter/DVD burn program

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by sun surfer, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. sun surfer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    #1
    Hi, I'm trying to burn some DVDs. I first burned in Finder and found out the hard way that that makes terrible quality data disc DVDs. Then I tried on iDVD, and at first it said it would only take 3 hours to burn a 1 1/2 hour movie on Professional Quality, so I was happy. But as it was encoding, it jumped to 16+ hours! So I tried again with only high quality, and it still said 8 hours, and now after 10 hours is still encoding.

    So, I need something else that's faster. I also need something relatively easy to learn/use. It may sound like I know what I'm talking about kind of, but I really don't and I just barely figured iDVD out. I still want it to convert into DVD quality discs (and good quality - I just got a new HDTV and would even like to try burning HD or Blu-ray discs). And I need it to be free.

    So, my needs are:

    #1 - FAST
    #2 - FREE
    #3 - GOOD QUALITY CONVERSIONS
    #4 - EASY TO LEARN/USE

    Any good suggestions?
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    http://burn-osx.sourceforge.net/Pages/English/home.html ?

    Btw, iDVD is already fast, unless you have one of those four and more cores Macs, as iDVD does not take advantage of that.
    What exact Mac do you have?
    It took two hours for me to transcode a 1 hour video on a four core Mac Pro 1,1 via Compressor, though Compressor took advantage of the four cores.
     
  3. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #3
    Unless you've got a really old Mac, iDVD should not take that long to render a DVD image. Do you have other apps loading down the CPU? On my dual 800 MHz PowerMac G4, it would take about 3 times as long as the video. So, if the video was 1 hour long, it would take about 3 hours. If you're seeing times of 10+ hours, something is wrong (unless you've got an antique machine).

    You might try rebooting, then closing all other applications while you're rendering.

    If you do have an old machine, the only good way to fix the problem is to upgrade your hardware. Video rendering is one of the most CPU intensive tasks out there. I solved my problem by getting a MacPro. (Also, I don't do much DVD burning anymore since I got an AppleTV and can stream video to my TV.)
     
  4. sun surfer thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    #4
    I have the newest Macbook Pro, just bought 2010. I closed everything down except Safari to burn it, and it was going fine on the 3 hour thing, until it randomly jumped up to 16 hours, which is when I stopped it. Then, I even closed Safari and did it on the lesser quality, and it said 8 hours from the start (but overnight it must've made it longer because all in all it took about 11 hours).

    I have not tried rebooting it yet so maybe that will help, as iDVD is fine for me if it would burn faster.

    I will say, my Macbook has seemed slightly sluggish in loading pages and stuff lately and I'm not sure why. In fact, this always happens to me on every Macbook I get (I update to a new one regularly) - starts off fast then eventually gets more sluggish. And I barely download anything extra onto the computer hardly ever (no games, hardly an extra apps, only some music and movie downloads) so I know I'm not jamming up the space.

    Also, I don't know if Safari pages loading a little slower would be the same problem as iDVD going from 3 hrs burn time to 16 hrs.
     
  5. RELOAD911 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    #5
    I would leave iDVD overnight - the only good options I can think of are Adobe Encore and Final Cut DVD Studio, but neither is free.
     
  6. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    I have no idea what you mean by "terrible quality data disc DVDs." Of course, iDVD does not do data DVDs. Its purpose is to edit and burn DVDs that will be played in regular DVD players. But I digress. If you are having problems with your data DVDs, then you the first thing that you should suspect is your medium. Burnable DVDs are fragile and unreliable media. There is no guarantee that a blank DVD that works in one DVD drive will also work in another. The general strategy is to test a manufacturer's most expensive blanks first. If they work, then go cheaper. Continue this process with successively cheaper lines until you find a line that does not work.

    With a spindle of blank DVDs that you have tested to work in your burner and player, then you must remember to protect the DVDs after they have been burned. Burnable DVDs are highly susceptible to optical bleaching. Exposure to light will convert that pirated Avatar DVD into a worthless coaster faster than you can say "Jackie Robinson."
     
  7. sun surfer thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    #7
    What I mean by "terrible quality data disc DVDs" is that if you burn a DVD through the Finder, it will apparently create a data disc that doesn't work on the regular DVD player I tried it on, and works on my PS3 but the file size becomes very small and the quality is very low (it's full of "byte"-like little square fuzzies all through) even though the original downloaded movie is good quality.

    I don't know so much about all this, but I'm thinking I don't want "data" discs, I want "DVD" discs, which is why I then tried iDVD....
     
  8. DenisK macrumors member

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    Nov 6, 2008
    #8
    It all depends on your needs, example, are you aware that PS3 actually plays lots of types of files, even off a USB flash drive? (Just dont forget to click "show all" to see the files on USB). SO, could it be that there is no need to "downconvert", create a dvd and all that, if you only want to play it on PS3?
     
  9. sun surfer thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 6, 2010
    #9
    Hm, now that might be possible. Don't laugh when I tell you I've never used a USB flash drive, but I guess I could learn how, it can't be too hard. Will a flash drive transfer it over in the same good quality it was downloaded in? I just wouldn't want any lesser quality (like it became on the data disc). Like, I've figured out that iDVD "encodes" the files to DVD-quality format, so isn't it improving the quality of what it would otherwise be? Oh, and can a flash drive transfer an HD/Blu-ray quality file too?

    But also, I will still need to burn some DVDs. I can watch them on my PS3, but I already have some to burn for others who need to watch them on a regular DVD player (but if I can use a flash drive for the stuff only I want to watch then yes, it will cut down on my burns that I plan to do dramatically).

    On a separate note, one that I haven't tried burning yet is an .mkv file. It's giving me problems even playing on my computer (no audio). Would that transfer on a flash drive and work on the PS3?

    ETA - Also, my new HDTV has a USB port thing. Could I just plug the flash drive directly into my tv instead of the PS3?
     
  10. DenisK, Jan 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011

    DenisK macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    #10
    Hey, we all live and learn:) PS3 is a full fledged computer, TV is not (at least not yet:) ), although my panasonic HDTV can play stills off an SD card (it has a slot) but wont play movies. Cant recall exactly if PS3 will play MKV, but when in doubt I just try, and see. If it wont, get Handbrake (free) for your Mac (I use 64-bit version) and re-code the mkv into a mp4 (there are even presets in Handbrake for everything from iPhones to God knows what, including PS3). If I had to recode, sometimes I use "high profile" and the resultant file is a bit perked up, but a bit larger, naturally. But in general, HD movies play very nicely even off a USB stick on PS3 (as long as its large enough, some movies are larger than 2Gigs). Movies i like I just copy onto the HD of PS3 (which can be upgraded too, to accommodate a growing collection, it takes a laptop drive).
    Cheers and glad to help!
    PS: forgot to say: the USB flash drive has to be formatted in FAT (disk doctor on your mac will do that for you).

    For simple DVD burning to give stuff to other people to play on regular DVD players I personally think that Toast is the best, at least I never had problems with it. Dont think that its worth of your time to bother with the downsized MKV on dvd...
     
  11. SHADO macrumors 6502a

    SHADO

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    #11
    HandBrake is a good choice and it's easy to use. It also has a huge library of codecs thanks to VLC.
     
  12. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

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    #12
  13. KeNJii macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #13
    I'm confused about something with iDVD...

    How am I expected to burn a movie to a blank DVD, when I load up the movie into iDVD which is 700mb, but it ends up making the total size of the DVD 5.3gb!?

    How can I free up space?
     
  14. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #14
    Not so fast. My two-year-old Sony included a GPL license. It is now common to HDTVs to have at least the computing power of smartphones. Downloadable applications and firmware are now fairly standard in the industry. Goggle is pushing hard on the industry with its Goggle TV. Logitech makes an add-on version. Certain Sony models, however, have Goggle TV built-in.
     
  15. simsaladimbamba

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    #15
    Help: Why does an 89MB, 20 Minute Flash video Take up 1.19GB on a DVD? + MRoogle, which is often referred to as being some kind of lazy search engine, though I don't think it is lazy, as it finds answers fast.
     
  16. MacDawg macrumors Core

    MacDawg

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    #16
  17. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

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    #17
    I've tried it. It works OK, and you can edit your movie clip(s) as you add them. The menus are a bit questionable though.

    In the iDVD Project menu choose Project Info, and you can change the quality to reduce the size, or choose to use a dual layer disc to fit it all on.
     
  18. DenisK macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    #18
    Ok, but for the purposes of this discussion, what difference does that make? Even some Vizio TVs from Costco can run Netflix apps and tell you the local weather, have other widgets, but we are yet to see a TV that has enough of brains onboard to run codecs and display movies, right? Its probably around the corner, but for the OP's purposes, he should just unleash the processing power that PS3 provides.
     
  19. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #19
    Wrong.
     
  20. simsaladimbamba

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    #20
    Nope, as decoding movies takes much more brain (CPU) power than simply displaying apps or widgets.
    My G4 iBook with 1GHz can display widgets, but when it comes to YouTube or H264 encoded video, especially HD, it has to give up.
     
  21. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

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    #21
    It's only a free trial.
     

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