First, thank you for the reply. Where to start? My question about "software structure" was directed at by knowing how the software was written (order) I could avoid some of my errors.
first the issue of building a menu: Right now I am making DVDs (mostly to be played on TVs) by assembling several "productions" built using Roxio 2009 software. The majority of a production is made from still photos and an increasing number of video clips. When building the production I add transitions and audio. Roxio suggests adding the audio first before any transitions, but I have found that the real key is the "time". I also add blank colored slides to be used for title text, but the text is not tied to the slide (thus the software question) and will "slip out of" the slide if the overall time of the production is changed, so the first order of business after loading the first set of photos and clips is to go back to the first slide and assign it a time. I have found that to get the text to stay put, a time of at least 10 sec. is required. After making the Production title, the next step is to add a slide with text for the title of the first sequence. Finally any slides that have text (fixed into the photo) and may need more time to read, are timed. Normally in excess of the pre-selected (software again) 5 sec.
Now with the first timed, I add the transitions (again for overall timing) even though Roxio suggests the audio be done next). Now the first subject of the new production is built. This process is repeated for a total of 3 to 7 subjects until a Production of about 75 to 100 slides is built. At an average of 7 sec. a slide and possibly 120 sec of video, a production of around 820 sec. is produced. It is at this point that the audio is added to the production. I add the audio in segments(by time) so that the background will not overlap into any audio on a video clip. It has taken a lot of time to figure out this sequence, since Roxio does not explain any of this. One question I still have is when a video is "clipped" by setting a later start or earlier stop, what actually goes into the production? Just the clipped portion, or the entire clip with the ends in the background(again the software structure issue)? Any way, I am getting off of the subject. Finally the Production is reviewed and output to produce a Production File. When viewed as a production the quality is excellent. Much better than when compiled into a DVD! Why? Red text appear to be the worst problem with a lot of smearing in the DVD that does not appear when viewed as a production.
OK, so now it is time to assemble a DVD from and number of Productions. You have given me one grate clue by mentioning the 60 min. limit. As I understand it if the total time of the assembled productions exceed 60 min. (again the software question) then the Roxio program lowers the overall quality of the total file to make it fit. This would answer my "quality reduction" question. This really should be explained in the operating instructions!
Assembly - What I hear you saying is that before I use a production, the title must be short. How does this relate to the buttons? Are the buttons added by the software(another software question)? As the productions are added, the menu builds. How many can be put on a page? This appears to vary.
Sorry baout being so windy, but I think you can understand my frustration. I will get there with help from people like you. Thanks, BoB