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Old 6 Apr 2005, 11:21 PM   #1
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Question Audio sync/skip problems; also, authoring suggestions invited

Greets to all from a newbie to both DVD authoring and to this forum. I'd like to ask for some guidance with a project and a problem.

First, let me give you an idea of what I'm trying to do, because you may have a better way of going about it.

I'm in a group that has monthly "music nights." Each member gets 30 or 45 minutes (depending on the group size) to share whatever music they wish with the others. This can be "just music," music videos, concert footage, commentary about musicians, news reports on novel instruments... whatever.

Let me be clear that this is a way to broaden musical horizons; it's NOT a file-swapping party. Everyone leaves with what they brought and nothing else. Most typically bring the original CDs or DVDs so others can look at cover art and liner notes. (I put my music on a CD so I can just load it and not have to worry with the remote, and I pass around a "program sheet" that has info on the artists and the songs... but I own all the CDs from which the music is pulled.)

This month, I want to do a 30 minute video program on a particular artist, based on some cuts from two concert DVDs. This will be my first video program -- I've only done audio up 'til now. Last month, I watched another member struggle with the DVD remote and juggle discs trying to do his program "live," and I decided I'd rather have my struggles ahead of time and just show up with a "plug and play" DVD.

So far the "struggles ahead of time" part is working out great: I'm definitely struggling!

Here's what I've done so far (I'll leave out all the dead ends and blind alleys and just share the steps that have actually been useful). I used DVD Decrypter to rip the chapters I wanted to hard disk. I then used a trial version of Ulead's DVD MovieFactory 4 to manipulate the .vobs, which I had renamed as .mpgs.

(As an aside, I appreciate the limits-free 30 day free trial, but it probably cost Ulead a sale. Maybe my standards are too high, but this program seems more "newly hatched shareware quality" than a commercial package worth $50. I'm going to email them with all the bugs and problems I found and explain why I'm not buying -- maybe it will help them improve it. Is this typical of today's commercial DVD authoring software?)

I loaded the renamed .vobs in order, and used cut points to get rid of some overly-long solos that weren't related to the artist in question. I then merged all the segments down to one so I could apply transition effects between songs. I don't need a menu since we'll just throw this into the player and turn it loose, but I did set one almost full-screen "button" for the video with the textual title, so it would sit on the screen until everyone quiets down and we're ready to start playback. I also used the text tool to add song title and concert information, but these were the only changes I made.

So: DVD-ready mpegs (ripped FROM two DVDs, so I'm pretty sure they're the right format!), laid down in sequence, with minimal menu stuff... seems like it should be pretty straightforward. But when I cut a disc in DVD-Video format, the problems began.

The disc won't even play in our el-cheapo DVD player -- it spins for 30 seconds and then the player declares "NO DISC." In our Playstation 2 with DVD extensions, the disc at least plays, BUT the audio skips noticeably with obvious "clicks" -- and of course this throws the sync off. On one of the cuts the audio gets as much as 10 seconds ahead of the video. The video all LOOKS okay (except for seek latency between .vobs of course), but it seems like it almost catches up with the audio near the end of the worst cut, so either the video's skipping too, or the audio is dragging also (I could detect neither of these).

On two PCs, the same thing happened, though without the clicks -- the audio just skipped. So I'm pretty sure the disc is a virtual coaster... but I don't know why or what to do to correct the situation.

I would be perfectly happy with one 30 minute monolithic file, no menu or main title, just throw the disc in the player and it goes -- that's all I really need. I thought about using an mpeg editor to just build one huge .mpg file with the cuts and splices I want and then convert that and burn it to disc -- that would avoid seek-time glitches -- but I don't know if I'd still have the same audio problems. That depends on whether they're thanks to the Ulead software or to something else. (For the record, I burn audio CDs on the same combo drive for my program every month, and those work flawlessly. Does that say the drive's not the problem? I dunno.)

I'm so new to the video side I don't even know what information to share with you so you can offer suggestions. But if you'll let me know what info you need, I'll dig it up for you.

Basically, I'm just hoping for some wisdom as to either A) what problem I might have or what I might be doing wrong or tips on troubleshooting, or B) a better or the best way to go about getting what I want. I will probably do a video program for music night occasionally, but I doubt I'll do much other video work, so the suggestions can be specific to this application.

Thanks terribly for any insight you can offer, and thanks in general for this great forum and resource!

Cheers,
Rick
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Old 6 Apr 2005, 11:36 PM   #2
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Hello and welcome to the forums. For the purpose of "Cutting" out specific "Chapters" (or sections of chapters) from a DVD, I would use "DVD Shrink" (freeware) to accomplish the task. Use the "Start/End" feature in "Re-author" mode to do this. Use the previously "Ripped" DVD(s) from DVD Decrypter by clicking on the "Open Files" (NOT "Open Disc") button in DVD Shrink. Also, regarding "Media Compatibility" with regards to your standalone player(s) visit:

http://www.videohelp.com/dvdplayers

For DVD Burners, visit:

http://www.videohelp.com/dvdwriters

Last edited by ormonde; 6 Apr 2005 at 11:39 PM
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