I will scan the various dvd authoring applications available on openSUSE 11.4. Dvd authoring is the work needed to make a dvd starting with individual video files, creating menus and changing the file format to the "VOB" one. I will stop using a program as soon as it crashes or malfunction, and try to report to bugzilla.

On this page... (hide)

  1.   1.  Menus consistency
  2.   2.  2mandvd
  3.   3.  Mandvd
  4.   4.  Dvdstyler
    1.   4.1  Patch the templates
  5.   5.  Kmediafactory
  6.   6.  Bombono
  7.   7.  Qdvdauthor
  8.   8.  DeVeDe
  9.   9.  Tovid
    1.   9.1  First test
    2.   9.2  Second test

1.  Menus consistency

Kde menus are not consistent when it's about dvd authoring: you can find such aplication both in "media editing" menu and in "cd/dvd burning" menu. Bugzilla #684730

2.  2mandvd

The application is friendly. I stopped using it when I discovered that I couldn't add more than a small number of films in the media pool (4 or 5), when I had more than 30. I couldn't either access the authors forum. I could register, but not connect (gives "unexpected error"). solved with an other account.

A new version is available, I had to compile myself. No compilation instructions in the archive. Forum said I need to do "qmake" then "make". To find qmake I had to search with yast (look at "files included").

I had then to install QtWebkit, the devel version.

Then compiling 2mandvd was easy. I just have a recurrent problem of mine: my main data partition is not executable, so I have to move each executable I want to run before use. I have to think at this also :-)).

To see the medias in the media pool, one have to use the mouse roller.

new compiled version don't works (neither the old - dvdauthor error) on openSUSE 11.3 https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=686283. I don't have right now a compilation system on 11.4.

3.  Mandvd

Man dvd looks pretty nice, because it takes the workflow simple. However when trying to extract an image from a video (to fill a menu), it segfault and crashes. Bug filled #684749 in Novell bugzilla.

If you create the photos in advance, mandvd works. However, be warned that it don't allow changing what you did first. You can only erase all and do again. Save project only works in the first screen (inserting clips) where you can add then edit the files. But when you begin to create buttons, there is no way back. Specially, you can't remove one button, only all. And you have to choose the action of the button before creating it, no change allowed after that!

4.  Dvdstyler

This application needs libwxsvg0 and you have to install, it yourself fixed (don't forget to add packman repository). Dvdstyler just crashes trying to load a background jpg image... but only the first time. Don't forget to save often :-(. From google, I could find that vmmenus are menus that points to other menus (if I understod well), when simple "menus" are linking to video files. And new segfault when trying to creat a dvd...

https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=684761

Finally I could compile myself the same version so I beg the bug giving the segfault will be fixed soon. Needed stock openSUSE wxsvg, libexif and wmlto (I couldn't compile the dvdstyler own wxsvg library).

Like this, dvd styler is a very friendly application. One can creat a dvd with next to no work or make it exactly as he wants. Specially change the background image. I just have yet to see how I can make default buttons 16x9 (they are now 4x3).

http://sourceforge.net/projects/dvdstyler/
http://www.dvdstyler.de
http://dodin.org/upload/dvd_styler_guide.pdf un manuel en pdf

4.1  Patch the templates

Changing default template:

Go to /usr/share/dvdstyler (in my openSUSE 11.4), then to the template folder.

I didn't want to break my config, so I worked with copy in place of modifying the original one. Did copy blue.xml to blue-16x9.xml (and simply copy blue.png to blue-16x9.png, it scales very well :-) and in this new xml file just changed four times "140" by "104" with search and replace (in gvim).

This is enough to have the new template with 16x9 buttons (and copy paste the menu to have more). Notice that the buttons in the default menus are 80% of the buttons shown in the left list, I didn't modify this.

Change the button menu list.

Go to the buttons folder. copy frame.xml to frame-16x9.xml. In this frame-16x9.xml file, change the height 120 by 90 (only once). Add the frame-16x9.xml in the buttons.lst. That's all. You have a new 16x9 frames button in the menu.

5.  Kmediafactory

Have a small dependency problem (bugzilla #684731) - one have to get the good packman mjpegtools to have kfm work.

Almost works :-). I mean that it works, but sometime gives an error I don't really have yet understood.

The good point is that dropping the videos in the media pool is enough to have a dvd, Kmediafactory get defaults and build a dvd. It's very good to have some beginning result. Yet I have to look to see I can be more precise in what I want.

The log window is a bit surprising, because the work stops without saying so, one wonder if it's the end or if something is wrong or simply working in the background.

Any way you get a dvd with menus with next to none special work. A little problem: Kmediafactory expect clips to have chapter and create sub-menus for any of them, so one more unusefull step for user.

A window in kfm warns you is the video clips are too big for a dvd, but do not gives you the ability to shrink them to the good size, if it's only too big for some Mb.

Most of the work is done in the template. Remain to see how one can translate a template (I don't have any french one).

This is a working fast application.

6.  Bombono

Bombono is a pretty nice looking app, but the way it works is sometime confusing - need a little experience, but then it's fine.

For example, in the file browser, one can select several files, but only by dragging the mouse. Then it needs to press the "+" key in the media list and voilà. But no "copy paste" nor "drag & drop".

Same, in the menu window, the help file (online) says "press the '+'", but there are two of them! In fact there is a menu list on top of the media list and it's this "+" that needs to be pressed.

Also it's often necessary to select a file, then press a green "tick" botton to activate.

There is a minor bug in the Bombono package: Bombono needs "scons " (a make clone) and it's not installed automatically, one have to install it manually (seen from the error logs). https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=684814

Bombono gives in it's logs all the commands used to create the dvd, this is good to track. It writes the dvdanthor files and allows one to edit them, running scons as separate app, very good if one wants to fine tune the dvd.

That said, creating all the menu is very long for it's done file by file and media by media, with no sensible defaults.

The text tool is also pretty simple (no center, all alignment have to be done manually, it's not possible to change text parameters - one have to type it again).

7.  Qdvdauthor

Qdvdauthor seems a pretty complete application. It installs without problem, but can't be used without studying a bit the manual. My first attempt ended by a crash...

At the first start ask to dl some missing libraries.

You are also asked to download templates, but the selction don't works... no template is ever selected!

Crash during thumbnail creation.

8.  DeVeDe

DeVeDe was the last application I used to make a dvd and at this time it worked.

It's layout is a bit special: you have to define "Titles", that is movies to be run, and each Title can use several files. Chapter can be set to a fixed number of minutes. Each title can have a menu entry.

It's very convenient to have a dvd from long unmounted shots.

By now, the "preview" function gives only garbage sound and no video, may be this is due to the virtualized environment I use to test or a lack of some backend, I have to investigate (I write this during tests). Sound on final is also garbage (original sound slowed).

You don't have choice for buttons! they will be large rounded rectangle with text inside, no image!

Just now, it's stuck with no visible activity in top, I just selected a mpg file to load... not really stuck, only scanning the file, but incredibly long (on i5, 4Gb ram computer).

After inserting all the clips, the dvd is created very fast (in my case all the clips where already in dvd format, so no recoding.

If this very long pause can be fixed, this is an easy programm for basic stuff.

9.  Tovid

9.1  First test

Tovid looks pretty much like DeVeDe.

A good point is that I could select all my video files at once (the library don't allow to create folder in the save window), but when trying to create the dvd on the fly the script stopped with a "title name too long error".

I didn't find how to use an other font, so I had to reduce the title size by hand (more than 30 titles...).

On the mean time I scanned the various tabs to make defaults sensibles for me (PAL, 16x9...).

One of my files was seen as zero lenght, when it's not (but it's only 15 seconds long), so an other stop - I removed the file.

No avail... it always find zero lenght files, try to seek 2s and stop. I don't find how to remove seeking. Of course the files are *not* zero lenght. Stop

9.2  Second test

This time I had the idea of running tovid from command line (to see error messages). There I noticed ion fact tovid is a command line utility with an optional gui ("tovid gui"). Seems very simple and powefull.

We just have to see if the gui works... what one have to do is select the video file (possible to select several a a time, no lag before coming back), and go to "run tovid now", then wait. Still wait hours after...