Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Burning My Videos DVDs

So you want to take some of those video files with the easy Flip camera and turn them into a DVD for your family? Sounds pretty simple, but when I first began to look into options for burning my home videos to DVD, I was disappointed at the lack of relevant information on the web for simple steps to do this. I found a lot of suggestions for different apps, but nothing I found took me step-by-step. And often the information seemed to be about a product to purchase. I wasn't looking for editing software for helping me create a work of art-I simply wanted to take what I had recorded on the Flip and put it on a DVD that I could give to family to play.

I had two "musts" for this project:
  • All the software used must all be free and relatively easy to use. Bonus points for using software already on my machine.
  • The process must yield a DVD that can be played in a standard DVD player.
So the following are the steps I've used to burn home video files to a DVD that can be played in DVD players. I've found this to be very useful when sharing family videos that are too large to send in email attachments.
  • I recorded my video with an older model Flip video camera. The raw video is in avi format, and I imported those files into Windows Moviemaker which is included on my machine running XP. My version of the Flip uses avi as the video format, but it should be noted newer versions of the Flip camera do not use avi. Windows MovieMaker needs to be in a format like avi that can be imported in the program.
  • After editing I saved the file in MovieMaker. I learned the key step is to save as "DV-AVI (NTSC)". My first attempts failed because I didn't select this format.
  • Next I downloaded and installed DVDstyler(for free). It is simple and may lack frills, but the I found it very easy to use and create a menu with buttons that point to the imported video files. When done select the "Burn" option and check to make sure the file ends in .iso (for example "Save to C:\dvd.iso")
  • It will take a few minutes depending on the size of your project to generate a DVD image. When you are done you'll need to be able to locate the iso file.
  • Last step is to burn the iso file as an image. It is important to create an image to burn to a DVD which will allow you to play it on most DVD players. I use Infrarecorder , which is another very useful free app, but any software that allows you to "burn image" ( in infrarecorder it is under actions). Now navigate to the iso file , make sure you have a blank DVD and select burn.

  • When the burn is complete you should have a finalized DVD capable of being played in any standard DVD player.
So far my experience has been a very good one with all these programs and this process. I've been able to share a lot of family videos without the emails or home video viewings.