Sunday, May 28, 2006

UN-Authoring DVDs

A friend of mine at work is going to Italy this summer. I have been squirreling away travelogue shows for the last couple of years. I have my SageTV box setup to record anything by Rick Steves, Rudy Maxa, Samantha Brown or several other travel shows.

I wait until I have enough shows in a series to fill up a DVD, generally 6 for a 1/2 hour show or 4 for a 1 hour show, and then burn a DVD for that series. In 2 years, I have more than a dozen DVDs full of travel shows.

As you'd expect, there were a lot of shows on Italy but scattered over 6-7 DVDs. I didn't want to copy all those DVDs so I went looking for a way to consolidate the shows on Italy onto a minimum number of DVDs.

I'd played with Ulead DVD MovieFactory 3.0 SE (DVD MF) and remembered that it has a feature that will allow you to import video from a DVD (unencrypted). I played with this some and found that it puts the video in ...\Ulead DVD MovieFactory\3.0\Import_DVD as plain MPEG2s.

This seemed like just what I wanted but... As you know, for me, nothing is simple. There were more files in this folder than segments I had imported!

It turns out that DVDs have a folder VIDEO_TS that contains the .VOB files. However, .VOB files don't exceed 1GB. When the segment that I had imported crossed into 2 of these .VOB files, DVD MF created 2 MPEG2 files.

How to get them back together? I remembered that VideoReDo has some kind of capability to consolidate files and went looking. It will join multiple video segments into a single file and does it quick! VideoReDo is still one of my favorite programs.

So with this, I combined the files as needed and used DVD MF to author DVDs with just the Italy shows on them.

Bon journo!

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