How To Make a DVD

There are a multitude of ways that I make DVD’s. I have two ways that I will share with you:


Getting Started

iDVD makes it easy to create your own video DVDs, complete with animated menus and special features. DVDs created in iDVD can be played in a DVD player, so the viewer doesn’t have to worry about having the right software or codecs.

Apple provides iDVD video tutorials. They also provide an iDVD Getting Started Guide in PDF format.

When working on a cluster machine, always save your project to the Temporary Storage instead of the Documents folder. If you opened iDVD directly from iMovie, resave the project to the Temporary Storage using File > Save As before working on the project.

Importing Content

To insert the main feature movie, use File > Import > Video. You can also select an iMovie project as your feature movie.

To add interest to your DVD menus, drag and drop content into the Drop Zones. These can include related movies or photos or audio files. Drop Zone content is only affects your DVD menus. They have no correspondence to the actual “feature” movie of your DVD.

Another way to add a picture as your background on the Main Menu or Scene Selection background is to click File > Import > Image. Another way to add background music for a menu page is to click File > Import > Audio.

DVD Extras

You can make simple photo slideshows in iDVD. Here is a screenshot of the slideshow editing mode in iDVD when you select Project Menu > Add Slideshow and then double-click the resulting slideshow menu item:

You can also the same Project Menu to add more DVD submenus, perhaps for containing “Extras” such as interviews with the cast, blooper reels, deleted scenes, etc.

Project Management

Under ”Project Menu > Project Info”, we find that selecting “Professional Quality” regardless of movie length consistently works the best.

You can fit approximately 120 minutes of video onto one (single-layer) DVD through iDVD.

You can also include data files in your DVD by selecting Advanced Menu > Edit DVD-ROM Contents. Files you add here will be accessible from a computer when you insert your DVD into a computer, but not on most DVD players. Remember that adding files here will reduce the length of video you can fit on the same DVD.

To get an overview of details for your project, select Project Menu > Project Info to get a report. From here, you can edit the volume name of the DVD (only visible from a computer), and change the Encoding setting. We recommend the Professional Quality setting.

To see a visual layout of your DVD and the ways the various menu elements are connected, select View Menu > Show Map. The Map view is also where you can instruct iDVD to make sure your video plays when you first load your DVD, instead of the menu (which can still be accessed by pushing the Menu button on your remote control).

Use the Play/Preview button to double-check your work in a DVD simulator.

Burning DVDs and Disc Images

To burn a “virtual” DVD (good for rough drafts so you don’t waste a blank DVD), click File > Save As Disc Image. This will create a IMG file on your computer.

If you are working on a cluster computer and you encounter an error in the Encoding process, please use File > Save As to the Temporary Storage and then burn the DVD again. Also check your AFS quota to make sure you have not filled it up beyond 90%, as this will spoil the encoding attempt as well.

If you wish to play video DVDs stored as IMG files in Apple DVD Player, first double-click on the IMG file and make sure it loads as a virtual drive on your computer (shown below), then launch Apple DVD Player. It should automatically find your DVD.

To commit your IMG file to a physical DVD, launch Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility. Click Images Menu > Burn. Select your IMG file and click OK. At this point, the computer should request for a blank DVD to be inserted if you haven’t done so already.

Once Disk Utility has launched, click Images Menu > Burn. It will prompt you to insert a blank DVD if you haven’t already done so. Confirm to burn. Once it gets started, you can probably take a coffee break and come back when it’s finished.


For more project-based learning about this software application, the Apple Training Series for iLife 11 paperback with companion DVD is highly recommended.

DVD Publishing with Sorenson Squeeze

DVD Publishing

Squeeze makes it easy to burn a DVD by following these steps:1. Import your video by clicking the “Import File” button in the Input Options window.
2. In the Presets window go to the Discs tab then the DVD folder and expand the Elementary Streams folder. Choose one of the presets with “Burn” in the title such as “DVD Disc Burn (NTSC, ES)”
3. Add your DVD burn preset to your job
4. Add Chapter markers if desired by choosing the Chapter marker type from the drop down menu, moving the red play head to the frame you want your chapter to start on (you can move back and forth using the arrow keys) then hit the “M” key on your keyboard or click the marker button to add a Chapter marker.

5. Put a blank DVD in your DVD burner.

6. Press the “Squeeze It!” button

Your file will then be compressed and burned to a DVD.

ISO Disc Image for use with Third-Party Disc Burning Software

You can also use a preset with an “ISO” name such as “DVD ISO Image (NTSC, ES)” to make an .ISO file. An .ISO file can be burned to a blank DVD from most DVD burning programs such as these free programs:

Image Burn (for PC)

Burn (for Mac)

DVD Authoring Program

You can also create DVD compatible MPEG-2 video files for use with a third-party DVD authoring program such as DVD Studio Pro or Adobe Encore. DVD authoring programs allow you to create menus and add extra features to your DVD that are not available inside of Squeeze.

Here are some presets made for use with a DVD authoring program. They will create a .m2v (MPEG-2 video) and a .ac3 (A52 audio – also known as Dolby Digital) files. 

Note: You can re-name the .m2v file with a .mpg file extension if your authoring program will not import the .m2v file.

DVD Authoring (NTSC, ES) 4×3
DVD Authoring (NTSC, ES) 16×9

Additional Presets

You can download more DVD burn Squeeze preset .spfx files at the Preset Exchange here:

NTSC 16:9 aspect ratio DVD
NTSC 4:3 aspect ratio DVD

To import a preset go to the Presets menu near the top of the screen and choose “Import…” and import the .spfx file. Place it in the Discs > DVD > Elementary streams folder.

Note: If your browser re-names the file an .xml file delete this file extension so it is a .spfx file.
Click here for Tutorial

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