The LEAD DVD Writer: Menus, Titles, and Chapters

About menus, titles and chapters

The typical DVD includes a menu with one or more titles. Think of a title as being a complete movie. When the DVD player reaches the end of the title, it usually returns to the menu.

Each title has one or more chapters. Think of a chapter as a scene in the movie consisting of a few minutes. When you click the Skip button on the DVD player, you go to the next chapter in the movie. The DVD player plays all of the chapters in a title without any pause between the chapters. When it reaches the end of the last chapter in the title, the DVD player usually returns to the main menu. The titles are broken into chapters so you can quickly skip to the next chapter.

Technical information about DVD images

The DVD menu and the titles are stored in a series of files that make up what we call a "DVD image". The DVD image consists of a series of files (.IFO, .VOB and .BUP):

Some people try to play the VOB files directly (because they look like regular MPEG-2 files), but that is not recommended: there is no guarantee that they will play well. As mentioned earlier, the video data can be in any order in the VOB file and the timestamps might reset to the beginning of each chapter, which will cause unexpected behavior: you might be able to play the VOB file for one DVD but not for another. For more information, refer to VOB Files.

The menu and all the titles and chapters making up the DVD need to be compressed with MPEG-2 video compression and AC3, MPEG-1 or LPCM audio compression. You can do this by using the following codecs:

Video codecs

Audio codecs

LEAD AC3 Encoder

LEAD MPEG Audio Converter

You can get the LEAD MPEG-2 Encoder (3.0) and both audio codecs by purchasing the DVD module .

What type of DVDs can you create with the LEAD DVD Writer?

When you convert a file with the DVD imager, the result can be one of the following three types of data:

  1. Video used as background for the menu ( TitleMenu = VARIANT_TRUE)

  2. Chapter in a title ( TitleMenu = VARIANT_FALSE, TitleBreak = VARIANT_FALSE) .

  3. A new title ( TitleMenu = VARIANT_FALSE, TitleBreak = VARIANT_TRUE)

The menus in a DVD image created by LEAD are a list of strings displayed on a background video. The background video might loop when it reaches the end (this is usually the case). Each menu item should correspond to a title in the DVD. If you have more titles than entries in the menu, you will NOT be able to play that title from a regular DVD player (because you have no way to select it)!

If you do not have a menu, you can create a DVD with multiple titles that are played seamlessly, one after another. To create this DVD, set the value of the newVal parameter of the ILTDvdWriter::put_MenulessTitlePlay function to VARIANT_TRUE.

See Also

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