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This chapter is from the book

Burning Tips

For many projects, one click of the Burn button is all it takes to commit your work to plastic. But sometimes it’s better to take the roundabout route: creating a disc image and then using it as the basis for your burns.

If you’ve downloaded software from the Internet, you’re probably already familiar with the concept of disc images. But if you haven’t heard the term before, it can seem confusing.

And for good reason: a disc image isn’t a disc or an image. It’s a file on your hard drive. The bits and bytes in this file are organized in the same way that they would be on a disc. If you double-click a disc image file, the Mac’s Finder reads the disc image and creates an icon on your desktop—as if you’d inserted a disc.

iDVD lets you create a disc image for a DVD project. You can then test your DVD on your Mac, or use other software to burn it.

In a bigger hurry? Save the project as a VIDEO_TS folder. You can test your project by opening this folder with the DVD Player program.

Creating a Disc Image

Step 1

Choose Save as Disc Image from the File menu (Shift-1-R).

Step 2

Give your disc image a name and click Save.

iDVD compresses your video, encodes your menus, and then saves the resulting data in the disc image file. The file’s name ends in .img.

Testing a Disc Image

To test your DVD using Mac OS X’s DVD Player program, begin by double-clicking the disc image file to create an icon on your desktop.

If you double-click this icon to examine its contents, you’ll see two folders: AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS. (If you added DVD-ROM content to the DVD, you’ll see a third folder.) Those awkward names are required by the DVD standard, as are the even more awkward names of the files inside the VIDEO_TS folder.

(The AUDIO_TS folder will always be empty, but don’t try to create a DVD that lacks one; the DVD may not play in some players. And if it ever comes up in a trivia contest, TS stands for transport stream.)

To test your disc image, start DVD Player and choose File > Open DVD Media. Navigate to your disc image, select its VIDEO_TS folder, and click Choose or press Return. Now press the spacebar or click DVD Player’s Play button, and your faux DVD will begin playing back.

Burning a Disc Image

If you found a problem when testing your disc image—a typo, for example, or a missing piece of content—you haven’t wasted a blank DVD. Simply trash the disc image, make your revisions in iDVD, then create and test another disc image.

And if you’re ready to burn? If you’re burning a single-layer DVD, don’t bother with iDVD’s Burn button—use the disc image instead.

First, start up Mac OS X’s Disk Utility program. (It’s located in the Utilities folder within your Applications folder.) Next, click the Burn button in the upper-left corner of Disk Utility’s window. In the dialog box that appears, locate and double-click the disc image file. Disk Utility displays another dialog box. Before you click its Burn button, click the little down-pointing arrow to expand the dialog box.

Other Ways to Burn

If you have Roxio’s Toast Titanium software, you can drag your disc image’s AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS folders into Toast and burn your disc there. If you’ve installed Toast’s Toast It shortcut menu, the job is even easier: Control-click on your disc image icon and choose Toast It from the shortcut menu. (Use Toast’s Preferences command to install the Toast It shortcut menu plug-in.)

You can also use Toast to fine-tune any DVD-ROM content you’ve added—for example, removing the raw versions of the photos that you’ve included in a slide show (see page 274).

Toast also gives you a choice of burning speeds. For critical projects where you need the broadest compatibility, burn at 1x speed.

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