Edit: Be sure to check out my other posting — How To Backup A DVD With Ubuntu Linux.
So one of the cool things I was asked to do for someone a couple of months ago was show them how to convert an AVI video into a playable DVD that they could give to a friend. I had originally suggested VSO ConvertXtoDVD program, which I had a lot of good luck with in the past. But I wanted to do the same thing in Linux and I found a program that I think does a better job. It’s called DeVeDe, and you Windows users out there will be happy to know that there is a Windows version of this software available for download. But for us Ubuntu Linux users there’s an easier method used to install it on your computer.
To install DeVeDe in Ubuntu Linux, click on the Applications menu at the top, then the Add/Remove Programs at the bottom of the menu. Once the application search tool is loaded, do a simple search for “Devede” and you’ll find it in no time. Simply check it off, click the apply button and you’re in business!
How To Use DeVeDe To Convert Video Into DVD
The first thing that will appear when you load DeVeDe is a little window asking you what kind of conversion you are wanting to do.
For this tutorial we’re going to use the default option of “Video DVD” and click OK.
Next we’re presented with this interface.
The box that says “Titles” already contains one object called “Title 1″ and to the right we see the Files that are currently contained within that Title (none for the moment). The word “Title 1″ is what will currently appear on the DVD menu, so you’ll probably want to change that later by clicking on the properties button below the Titles box. For now, you want to click the Add button below the Files box so you can add an avi (or other video format) to your new DVD Title. When you click add, you’re presented with this:
You’ll want to click on the bar I have highlighted in green above to open a file browser and select the video of your choice. Also, if you live in America you will want to make sure the video format in the above box is set to NTSC. Once you have a video selected, the OK button at the bottom will become clickable and you’ll be taken back to the previous interface with the Titles and Files boxes…
Above you can see that I have one video in the files box, which is essentially a container for “Title 1″ to the right. I could add more videos to the files box for that title if I wanted to create a collection of videos that would play back to back after selecting “Title 1″ from the menu of the DVD after it’s burnt. I could also create new titles to act as containers for other videos, which would present multiple items in the DVD menu. But in this case, we’re just wanting to burn a movie and be done with it.
Notice that the current Disc Usage in the above picture shows that the video I selected is currently estimated to consume about 50% of the DVD, at a video stream bitrate of 2001 Kbits/sec. We’d like this data rate to be increased so better video quality will be retained after the conversion, as well as to make use of the rest of the otherwise unused DVD space. This can be done by clicking on the Adjust Disc Usage button I have highlighted above. This will automatically adjust the data bitrate of all the videos that are about to be converted. It’s also a handy for reducing the bitrate for videos in case you’re trying to force 2 or more videos to fit together onto one disc, so long as you’re willing to compromise video quality in the process.
Also notice the destination media size selected just to the left of the disc usage percentage. Single-layered DVD’s (4.7 GB) are selected as the default destination media size by DeVeDe. If you intend to burn the output iso file to double-layered 8.5 GB disc, click on that box that says 4.7 GB DVD and out will pop a drop menu that will offer “8.5 GB” as a size option.
Take the time to click the “Preview Menu” button so you can see what it will look like. If you click the Menu Option button, you’ll get this window:
This will allow you to customize the menu’s appearance. There aren’t any fancy effects or animated menu options available with DeVeDe, but for most people DeVeDe does more than enough. Remember to rename the “Title 1″ in the Titles/Files window so it will reflect the content you are about to convert.
Once you are satisfied with your video selection and the main menu of your disc, you can click the Forward button. Up will pop this box that simply asks you what you want the output iso file to be named:
Your Home Folder (zeke in the above example) is selected as the default destination for your output. You can change this to whatever you want. In the end, you’ll end up with an movie.iso (or whatever you named it) file that will need to be burnt to a DVD. To do this, all you have to do is right-click on the file and select “Open with CD/DVD Creator” or “Open with Brasero” or even “Open with Gnomebaker”. I’m sure there are others, but all three of these burning utilities will get the job done.
It is recommended that you use DVD-R over any other blank media (such as DVD+R) for maximum compatibility with stand-alone DVD players. Not all DVD players are capable of playing home made DVD’s, but most are. And if yours is one of those that won’t play it… perhaps it’s time to spend some money on yourself and get a new one. There are some nice cheap Philips DVD players that are additionally capable of playing Divx/Xvid avi files, as well as mp3′s and jpeg slide shows for about $40 at wal-mart.
Otherwise, happy burning!