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From the author of Tip 5: Mark Chapters and Send to iDVD

Tip 5: Mark Chapters and Send to iDVD

Among its list of omissions, one longtime iMovie feature that didn't make it into iMovie '08 was support for sending a project to iDVD. Turning your movie into a DVD involved a lengthy trip through GarageBand (or iMovie HD 6) before arriving at iDVD. iMovie '09 now includes this long-awaited feature, with a simpler way to create the markers for DVD chapters. The iDVD application barely changed at all; its version number has been incremented from 7.0.2 to 7.0.4, and Apple removed the year from the title, so now it's just iDVD.

But there's a significant change that will catch longtime iDVD users by surprise. Let's take a look.

In iMovie, make sure that you have the program's advanced tools enabled (choose iMovie > Preferences and click the Show Advanced Tools option in the General section of the window). After you close the window, two small buttons appear at the upper-right corner of the Project browser, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5 Turn on Show Advanced Tools in iMovie, and you'll see a couple of extra small buttons in the Project browser.

Drag the icon on the right, identified with a white arrow, to a location in your project where you want a chapter to begin. Then type a name in the marker that appears, which is the chapter name that appears in iDVD (see Figure 6). That's it. You can move the marker to a new location as needed, simply by dragging it.

Figure 6 When you send your movie to iDVD, this marker location appears as a chapter in the DVD's menu.

To send the project to iDVD, choose Share > iDVD. iMovie generates a full version of the movie, launches iDVD, and creates a new project.

Now here's the unusual part. When you preview the project in iDVD, the movie begins playing from the beginning automatically, before you even see the main menu. To make the DVD creation process as easy as possible for inexperienced users, Apple decided to load a full version of the movie in iDVD's Auto Play well. Click the Show the DVD Map button and look at the icon in the upper-left corner; that's the Auto Play well (see Figure 7).

Figure 7 Any content in the iDVD Auto Play well begins playing as soon as the DVD is loaded.

Anything put into that icon automatically plays as soon as a disc is loaded. Normally that's a nice way to start the DVD, with a quick slideshow or introduction, but in this case it's the whole movie.

To prevent the movie playing first thing, simply drag the contents out of the Auto Play well. When you preview the project in iDVD or burn it to disc, the main menu will be the first thing to appear.

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