iMac & Software for Blu-ray editing?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by DisMac, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. DisMac, Apr 18, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016

    DisMac macrumors newbie


    Sep 24, 2008
    Hey everyone,

    Sorry if this comes off as a bit newbish, but that's what it kind of is. My iMac is from 2008 and it has become kind of a dinosaur and is pretty much no good for anything more than managing iTunes and surfing the web. Editing and creating video projects, etc. has become a big no-no on my system and severely lags it out and sometimes even causes my system to crash. First of all, I am wondering what one would recommend me to purchase for a new iMac, primarily with the need to process and handle lots of video editing projects and such. I'd imagine I'd need something with a considerable amount of storage space. Just wondering what would be recommended.

    Secondly, I am looking into how I may get into editing Blu-ray projects on Mac. I've done some work with the old iMovie HD software and iDVD back in the day (like 2008) but I found the newer versions of iMovie to be a bit frustrating and I also bought Final Cut Express and found that too confusing for me to operate. I loved the simplicity of the old iMovie HD. I am wondering what people would recommend as a good video editing program (Apple created or otherwise) that is both powerful, yet simple to operate. As far as I can imagine, there is probably no Blu-ray burners in an iMac yet, so are there any external Blu-ray burners that I could purchase to burn projects to Blu-ray discs? I am also looking for an application similar to iDVD where you could create menus with music and buttons, etc. that had the simplicity that iDVD had, but for Blu-ray. I'm hoping that these all could be applications that are compatible with one another and work hand-in-hand the way iMovie HD and iDVD did. I'm just really at a loss for where to begin with this!

    Thanks for any information anybody can provide! :)
  2. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    Let me try and click off some answers:
    - Apple will never include a Blu-Ray burner or player. There are many 3rd-party devices (like LG) that are affordable, Make sure it's USB 3. But no-media is really the wave of the future.
    - If you don't like the newest version of iMovie, you won't like any of Apple's video apps. There are all have a similar UX. iMovie is quite powerful, and free. FCP and compressor are 1-time charge, and way more powerful. I would encourage you to take a class or sign up for
    - Adobe has 1-time and subscription products - Premiere.
    - Davinci Resolve is also free.
    - Virtually any new Mac you buy will have the compute resources to handle BD, certainly any MBP or iMac.. You may need to add a little memory. You projects can get to 100+ GB, so lots of disk (internal or external) is good. But BD is yesterday's news. People are now trying to figure out what they need for 4K.

  3. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Yeah, you may want to think of why you want to use BR disks as the way to distribute or store media. How will those disks be used? The only time I burn DVDs currently is to send videos to elderly parents that live in a bandwidth limited location. They know how to play DVDs but haven't figured out how to plug a USB stick into the TV and watch the video file stored there. All others get the video either by downloading/streaming or sometimes by USB stick.
  4. DisMac thread starter macrumors newbie


    Sep 24, 2008
    Thanks for the info!

    The "why" is because I enjoyed making DVD projects back when I used to do it in my Communications Technology class in High School (complete with iDVD menus, etc.) The project goal I have in mind is to have everything appear as close to if it were an official Blu-ray release would be. Complete with menus, chapter selection, maybe a bonus feature or two, etc. Then after the video side of the project is complete, I then want to take it to the physical media level where I would create custom labels for the discs, cover art for the inner-sleeve artwork inside the Blu-ray jewel case and then also a custom slipcover to wrap it all up nicely. When I edit a big video project (short of small-time videos, YouTube videos, etc.) I want it to make as close to an official release would appear, like I am producing a movie release, opposed to just sticking it on a flash drive and playing it (that kind of stuff is fine for TV shows, pre-exisiting movies that I don't physically own, or content I just want to play anytime on a whim). This is more of a "project" mindset, rather than just watching the digital file back.

    I am looking for something similar to how iMovie and iDVD operated. Something I can do some video editing and then export it to a DVD (or in this case, Blu-ray) wizard and set up my main title menu, chapter selection, etc.
  5. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    This is a perfectly reasonable and logical question. However technology and industry direction has moved away from optical drives. Neither Apple nor Adobe have updated their DVD/Blu-Ray authoring software in five years. No iMac has had an optical drive in five years.

    Blu Ray, once planned as the successor to DVD has flat-lined with a low penetration % and it will never approach DVD. Increasingly viewers want to play the material on a mobile device or thin laptop which have no optical drive. If you want to reach customers, it increasingly must be done via streaming.

    Handing a customer a shrink-wrapped optical disk with custom printed disc label and custom artwork on the jewel case had great perceived aesthetic value, but that distribution method is dying out.

    Unfortunately there is no widespread, standardized streaming replacement for optical disc authoring systems which included hierarchical menus, splash page, background music, etc. Even places like CNN often just have a simple thumbnail on a web page.

    You can design a custom web page and host your videos there or elsewhere. That leads to what design tools, where to host it, etc.

    Other options are putting it on a custom-printed USB stick, and/or designing an artistic laminated card with a QR code pointing to your video URL. That retains some of the "in hand" aesthetic of an optical drive case yet points them to the streaming location. You can make a custom QR code using Google:

    If you subscribe to Vimeo Pro you can build simple framing "portfolios" for your videos without any programming. It is pretty basic but it's better than Youtube. However it's $200 year year:

    If your viewers have Roku you can develop a private channel for them, which I think is free. There is some info here, but at this moment the Roku developer site is apparently down:
  6. ColdCase, Apr 19, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    I don't think there is a satisfactory answer to your dilemma. You are trying to do a vintage type project, and will probably need vintage type tools to accomplish it, IMHO. Certainly nothing simple to use for more than flat menus. iDVD was easy to use because it didn't have much capability/features.

    Most of my favorite DVD production software won't run on the newest OS, software that have the capabilities I need. When I want to produce a DVD, HD or BR that has a number of production values I save my edited ProRes source video clips onto a portable drive and plug it into my 2008 2x2.8 GHx quad core Mac Pro running OS 10.6.8 that has DVD Studio Pro installed, as well as a number of other tools that are less useful. I use Compressor to transcode the video to something suitable for the disk. Then I import the files into DVD SP to author the optical media, and then either burn the DVD or HD DVD directly or use Toast for Blu-Ray (rare don't recall off hand the tricks and steps). Transcoding takes some time on an older machine, but that can run overnight.

    Otherwise you may want to look into used video production/authoring hardware and software as I don't think anyone is making what you want anymore, or intend to. There just is no customer base.

    So you may want to think about upgrading your iMac to a more powerful vintage MacPro (there are several supply houses specializing in refurbing these), install an OS (or multiple OSs) that your favorite programs run on and pull all your software you like over to it. You may want to install older versions of FCP or iMovie. They may work perfectly fine for your application.

    I believe pro production houses may do something similar, just keep using their vintage tools.

    There are probably 10 other ways to skin that cat. Unfortunately non are simple or easy for everyone.

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