I want to give you an idea of what DVDit! LE's more full-featured siblings have to offer when getting ready to burn a DVD. Figure 24.7 shows the small differences in DVDit! SE and PE's Project Settings dialog box:
Access to the Video tab to set encoder quality settings for AVI and QuickTime files (DVDit! LE does not work with these files).
Access the Audio tab to choose between PCM (standard with DVDit! LE and SE) or Dolby Digital with its user-set bitrate (PE only).
An option is available to add DVD-ROM data files.
If users use DVDit! SE or PE to add DVD-ROM files to their DVDs, then choosing filenaming conventions is critical to compatibility with older PCs.
All DVD discs contain at least two file systems: the Universal Disc Format (UDF) file system and the ISO 9660 file system. Among other things, these file systems define DVD-ROM filenaming conventions.
The UDF file system allows filenames of up to 255 characters. All modern computer operating systems read the UDF file system.
Older operating systems, such as Windows 95, read only the ISO 9660 filenaming convention, which limits filenames to 8+3 characters (like MS-DOS filenames). If you want your DVD-ROM files to be usable on older systems, you must limit the filenames to that 8+3 character set.
Both the Joliet and long filename systems let you get around some limitations of ISO 9660. Joliet works only with Windows 95. The long filename system does not work with DOS.
The simplest solution may be to rename all files to comply with the 8+3 filenaming convention of old and not use the Joliet or long filename system.
DVDit! PE offers a Build Disc feature not found in SE or LE?an option to create a DLT master for mass replication. That option no longer has the kind of cachet it once had because many mass replicators now accept DVD-R discs as masters.
As your DVD-authoring skills deepen, you may consider pursuing authoring as a business. This sidebar offers up some practical advice.
The Business of DVD Authoring
Jim Benz spent 20 years as executive vice president of Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, an internationally known firm specializing in audiophile remasterings of classic albums from the likes of Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, and Louis Armstrong.
In 1999 he saw that DVDs created a new opportunity to re-purpose other archival material?in this case, historic movie footage and older feature films. He formed Whirlwind Media, Inc., began releasing DVD products in May 2000, and within two years had released more than 40 DVD titles. The Timeline Series, illustrated in Figures 24.8 and 24.9, is one of several Whirlwind DVD series.
Figure 24.8. Whirlwind Media's Timeline Series is one of several DVD-only series the company produces.
Figure 24.9. Whirlwind Media's Timeline DVD menu uses a very straight-forward approach, giving viewers direct access to its archival material.
To jumpstart his new company he tapped the expertise of several Mobile Fidelity employees to handle sound mastering, graphics, the sourcing and cataloging of elements, and licensing. Where he lacked expertise was in DVD authoring.
For that Benz turned to commercial DVD-authoring studios.
Benz's experiences with DVD-authoring firms cover the full spectrum of quality. If you are considering turning your newly acquired DVD-authoring expertise into a business, take the following tips to the bank: