I never claimed to be a rocket scientist...yet I do consider myself to be reasonably intelligent, sensible and resourceful. And I never shy away from the challenge of learning something new.
...But, I've got to admit: this whole "video processing" thing (i.e. editing/converting/authoring/etc.) is kicking my &%$! I can't remember ever feeling this damned stupid.
Obviously, there is a ton of useful information at our disposal...and I've been availing myself of it frequently. However, I'm finding that for every question I have answered, another two or three spring up to take its place. I'm so friggin' lost.
So many different formats...processes...options...variables, in general.
Well, for the purposes of this post, let me try to express my confusion and frustration strictly limited to the realm of my experience with burning disks in Toast.
(I should preface this by stating that none of my problems have to do with the performance of Toast, itself. It has done everything it is supposed to, in my dealings with it.)
My needs are varied...and can range from simply backing up files to composing presentations which would include photos and miscellaneous (often dissimilar) video clips.
From the onset, I jumped in with both feet - and made sure I had all my bases covered. In addition to the 7.1.2 Titanium, I've got a Lacie dual-layer DVD burner (which, believe it or not, will actually burn dual-layer DVD's...ever since I began feeding it properly). Additionally, I armed myself with MPEG Streamclip, QuickTime Pro, DivX Pro, VLC, VisualHub, Flip4Mac, ffmpegX...and other apps which I've since ended up trashing.
I read the full Toast manual, prior to my first attempt at burning. It basically said "Drop your various sources on the content area, hit the jolly, candy-like button, and - voila! - you get a DVD!"
I thought "...Hell, I can handle that!"
Now, there's nothing inherently inaccurate in the information they'd provided - however, I wasn't prepared for the sobering eventuality that video encoding is an extremely taxing process, necessarily resulting in the frequent hijacking of one's CPU - and requiring an ungodly length of time to accomplish, in addition.
What I gather is that, due to those last facts, the experienced users of Toast are in the habit of breaking their media down and editing it in its most basic components, and then providing it to the Toast app in such a way as to limit the functions Toast will have to subsequently perform (ideally reducing its role to simply burning only).
Am I right, so far?
Well, that all seems like a great idea, and makes perfect sense to me.
My problems arise when I look down at the twenty video clips I'd like to burn to a DVD - and their properties are so mixed...having different formats, physical dimensions, frame rates, Height-Width proportions, data rates, resolutions, etc...
Where would I turn, to find out the best way to prepare each of those sources for its ultimate place on the DVD? I'm sure each kind of video format must be prepared differently. How does one go about learning all that?
While I'm at it: how close do we need to get the properties of all of these clips to one another, before we can present them collectively to Toast and have it accept that it doesn't need to perform any re-encoding? Do we need to get the frame rate of every clip to 29.97 fps before burning it to a disk that's going to be used here, in any case? What about the physical dimensions of the many video windows...do they need to be identical? ...Within a certain percentage of one another? How about all this I hear, regarding the need to fall with certain acceptable DVD standard parameters? (e.g. only certain, specific display sizes are permissable?) How would I learn more about those compliance issues?
If it is determined that some of the aforementioned steps must be taken prior to the final procedure of burning to a disk...what do you try to take care of beforehand, and what else (if anything) are you comfortable having Toast involved in?
If you do have Toast perform additional roles in the operation, are there ways to streamline and simplify its tasks - thereby reducing the chance of it needlessly stagnating - or getting "hung up" in an application?
That was a sampling of the numerous questions I've been carrying around. I think they're all pretty viable - yet I wouldn't have much chance of getting them answered in a theoretical environment. The Elders here have gained all the practical knowledge from working with the app in the real world, over time. Short of picking their brains...how else would I figure this stuff out? (The old "Trial and Error" system hasn't been particularly productive, as yet.)
Thank you, if you're still reading way down here.
...And thank you even more, if you'll be able to provide me with any of the information I'm seeking!