Burning Questions

Posted on by Larry

[This article was first published in the September, 2010, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe.]


Gen Ritter asks:

Is there a special way to burn a DVD, or can you just copy the Video_TS and Audio_TS folders onto a DVD and then it will play in a DVD player? If you can do that, where is the place where you determine burn speed?


On this particular DVD I used *.aif for all the audio. It was only 2MB worth of stuff, so I figured why not? However, if I used AAC instead would it have played smoother? I notice when watching TV the first thing that goes bad is the audio, then the video, so I’m thinking maybe if I use the AAC audio it might run smoother.


I know Toast would be a lot simpler, but I’m afraid if I install it at this late date that my “ancient G5” might not run again. (I have a Windows background, always a fear of that.)

Larry replies: Gen, it is always good to hear from you!

First, a quick correction. DVDs use Dolby Digital AC3 audio, not AAC. Typing the wrong letters is an easy mistake to make.

I don’t burn DVDs from the Finder or Disk Utility, so I can’t speak to whether that will work or not.

AIF audio works, but often causes stuttery playback due to large file size. AC3 creates smaller files and plays more efficiently. I recommend you use AC3 for all your DVDs, even though AIF is a supported format.

Running Roxio Toast should not cause any problems in your system – I’ve used it on G-4s, G-5s and Intel systems for years. However, as with all software be sure your computer is supported in the latest version of the software.

I use Toast to burn all my DVDs.

UPDATE – Oct. 19, 2010

Kyle Gilman adds:

Burning a VIDEO_TS folder using Finder is not a reliable way to burn a DVD-VIDEO disc. The files have to be in a particular order on the disc or they may not play back in all players. See this article for more info http://superuser.com/questions/55982/what-is-the-necessary-file-structure-for-a-dvd-to-be-playable.

Larry replies: Thanks, Kyle, for the update.

Ben Balser adds:

I duplicate DVD’s in the Finder all the time, have done so for years, and it’s never failed. I make a folder, I have DVDSP “Build” the DVD into that folder. I have a VIDEO_TS and an AUDIO_TS folder. I insert a DVD, have it mount (open) in the Finder, drag my VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS folders to it, burn. Never had one fail on me, they’ve all worked just fine, and I’ve been doing this for several years now.


For multiple copies I use Toast, as long as you’re burning the two …_TS folders to a UDF format data DVD.


Not sure why folks make a big deal about data structures on the DVD, I’ve never, since DVDSP was first released, found it to be anything to ever worry about. Lots of techno babble over nothing, from my many years of professional experience.


What will make the most difference, as you know, can be the brand of DVD media you purchase, and never use +R media. Every system, pretty much, that I’ve had to trouble shoot for bad DVD burns, I found they were using known inferior brands. With a switch to a known reliable brand, problems went away.


I think I also have to say that [it is] becoming extremely rare that I even have a need to burn a video DVD anymore. When we do burn DVD’s with video on them, it’s just a data DVD with the QT full rez (and/or several versions for mobile devices, web, etc) on it. Most of the media work I produce now is being uploaded to a client or TV station’s FTP server as a QT file, placed on a web site, formatted for mobile devices, or for digital signage systems. I can’t even remember the last time I actually saw a Beta tape deck anywhere (aside from gathering dust on a corner shelf at the local cable station). Pretty much all the TV/Cable stations I’ve had to turn in work for the past year or two have accepted a full rez QT file.

Larry replies: Ben, thanks for taking the time to write. I find your last paragraph the most interesting – it is amazing to me how quickly the entire industry is moving away from physical media….


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