Recommendation for free Video CD creation tool?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by DaveF, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I'm starting into rudimentary video editing. I"m using my digital camera to take short movies of my Toastmasters club. I'm using Windows Movie Maker (v1.2) to make basic edits, mostly trimming and splitting, and to convert the ~300 MB MPG files to ~50 MB WMV files.

    Now, I'd like to make a Video CD that could play in a typical DVD player, so I can give club members easily-viewed videos of their speeches and evaluations. Perhaps I'm off the deep-end, but are there any free tools that can create VCDs from WMV files (or from MPG files)?

    I can then do some testing and see if people prefer watching the videos via DVD player, or on their computer as WMV clips, or by downloading low-res versions from our website.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    A typical DVD player may not play VCDs, especially if it's an older player.

    VCDs look pretty bad.

    Does your digital camera record directly into MPEG?

    I would recommend making DVDs, which are better supported by set-top players and authoring software, and produce better results. You could probably spend under a hundred dollars and get decent results. (I always figure in the "time is money" and "it costs you money because it saves you money" factors.)

    If you use DVD-RW, and reuse them, you might save on the cost of blanks, if that's an issue.
     
  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    It does. Does that help?

    But I don't have a DVD drive yet for my computer and I want to do this on the cheap -- spend time but not money. I want to dabble with this activity and see if it's worthwhile. If I enjoy it, then I'll budget for a new computer, digital video camera, and software. But for now, I want to keep it cheap (free) and simple.

    If VCDs are not sensible, I think I can cook up an autorun CD that would simply run the movies on a PC. But I hoped to create a disc playable on normal DVD player for the less computer savvy in my club -- and without having to buy a DVD burner [​IMG]
     
  4. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    they usually do, but they dont have to. before dvd+/-r technology was cheap, i made a ton of vcds, and they look excellent. on my 27" tv, even my critical friends couldnt tell between the vcd and dvd with double "blind" tests.

    i agree with ken about making dvds, it's the right way to go. but if you want to stick with vcd for now, go with
    TMPGEnc. it's fast, free, and powerful. and supports dvd when you are ready to make the move.

    CJ
     
  5. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    TMPGEnc looks very promising! But it brings a new conundrum for me: it works with MPGs but not WMV. And Windows Movie Maker only exports WMV. So now I need a method to edit MPGs. My camera can do this, but its awkward doing editing that way.

    Know of any free MPG-capable editors? I just need simple stuff, trimming and slicing clips.

    After a few more minutes, I found that this has very basic trimming capability, which may be adequate for my purpose.
     
  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Thanks for the help.

    I used TMPGEnc to convert trim a raw MPG from my camera and encode it to an NTSC / VCD format. I used Nero 5 to burn the file in the correct VCD format. Unfortunately, I found that my DVD player does not play VCDs. I double checked the nice resource VideoHelp.com and confirmed that my player doesn't do VCD.

    So, as Ken suggested, this didn't work as easily as I hoped.

    Thanks for your suggestions. While VCD didn't work as well as I hoped, I may play some more with them, as they are detected and auto-played by Windows Media Player, which could be convenient.

    Perhaps next year I'll buy a Mac and move forward with iMovie. [​IMG]
     

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