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Missing Menus, chapter limits


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Question

I have the full version of EMC9 and I running into some bizarre problems building DVDs.

 

Background: I'm editing high school football videos and want each play to be a chapter. This way the viewer can skip play-by-play through the game. I spent a couple hours editing a game down this evening and everything looked OK. To keep from having too many chapters in a movie I created 2 movies, one for each half. I edited the video from within MyDVD so that the chapters could be assigned based on the panels. Each half has about 55 chapters. I let the program build the sub-menus. Preview worked, and the project validated.

 

Problem: When I play the DVD there are NO MENUS AT ALL. The DVD just starts playing without a menu. Pressing menu on the DVD player (and my computer) only takes you to the start of the half. Also the second half dropped chapters. The video is there but the last 5 minutes is 1 chapter. The video came from 15 various sized capture files.

 

My computer is a brand new Dell Dimension E521, WinXP Home, Athlon 64 4400 X2, 2GB RAM, 80GB primary + 500GB data HD, nVidia chipset mobo with integrated video. I updated windows with all critical updates except IE7, and updated the video drivers with the latest ones on the nVidia site.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks

 

David

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It's also becoming clear that Sonic has put an artificial limit of 99 chapters in the entire project,
How 'new' is your computer and your copy of EMC 9? If you are running Vista, you really need EMC 9.1 although some users have been running 9.0 just fine on Vista. The NUMBER 1 advice is update the video card driver. We can't stress this enough.

It's also becoming clear that Sonic has put an artificial limit of 99 chapters in the entire project,
I know that there really is a limitation in the DVD standard, but I don't remember if that is 99 chapters or 99 menus.

 

154 chapter marks? Now long were these two movies and how far apart was each mark? Just curious....

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Computer Specs (also listed in 1st post):

Purchased 2 weeks ago -

Dell Dimension E521

Athlon 64 4400+ X2

2 GB RAM

80GB System HD

500GB Data HD

XP Home

integrated nVidia 6150LE (updated drivers)

Download version on EMC9 purchased 1 week ago.

 

I have that many chapter marks because I'm filming football games for coaches to review. Each play is a chapter and each half is a movie (track). The whole game is usually 50-60 minutes.

 

I saved a copy of this project and went back and deleted the sub-menus. After creating another ISO of this project, the menus came back, but the start of the second movie (2nd half) started 30 seconds into the actual video. You can rewind the video to the beginning, but cannot skip chapters to get there. I think the 99 total chapters is to blame here. Plus the last 5 minutes of the DVD is one chapter, where in the edit it is at least 10 chapters.

 

David Suthers

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The standard I've seen listed is 99 titles (aka tracks, movies) with each of them having 99 chapters. That's 9,801 total possible chapters. Pinnacle Studio & DVDlab PRO both state this as the real limit.

 

For most video work, the 99 chapter limit that MyDVD puts in is probably OK. Seeing that this is their limit, I cannot use the product for my purposes. But please note that Roxio did not always have this limitation. DVD Creator 6 did not have this limitation and I've created dozens of unique titles that all had more than 99 total chapters. I've sold these DVDs to many people and NOT ONE person has had trouble reading my discs, and the navigation worked properly.

 

I guess my big gripe was that MyDVD 9 allowed me to create more than 99 total chapters, then validated the project and said everything was fine. But when the disc was created, it arbitrarily mashed chapters together and moved the starting location of my second movie. This is clearly a flaw in their design as IT SHOULD NOT VALIDATE.

 

I've tried to point out a design flaw that can affect some users. The responses here have tried to be helpful, and everyone has been polite, which I appreciate. But it doesn't change the fact that there is a problem. I have moved to another package that will do what I need, so I won't beat this dead horse any longer.

 

Good luck all

 

David Suthers

David: I initially agree that it should not pass Validate, but then it depends on what Roxio's definition of Validate is!!!

 

You are proceeding on the assumption that Validate means what you think it should mean. Never a good idea with software!

 

If you looked it up, Validate it checks that the source files have not been moved, deleted, renamed or modified since your added them to your project. So Validate is doing everything it was intended to do - working as designed.

 

I am curious what software you have that allows more than 99 chapters???

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I write software for a living so I do know a little about what should be in a validation process. If Roxio/Sonic is not checking for things like too many chapters then it is a design flaw. I hear a lot of defense for them for that here on the board and it should not be that way. Part of the reason for these forums is to show what the company can do better. I'm not talking about a witch hunt, but good constructive ideas on how to make their product better. Not validating the menus should have been caught on the drawing board. Because failing to validate chapters allows the user to create an unusable disc, or a disc that does not function the way it should.

 

Everyone keeps getting hung up on 99 chapters. My need is for more than 99 chapters total, not per title (track, movie, whatever). I know that 99 chapters per title is a limit in the DVD specification. For example I'll film a football game and have two titles, one for the first half and another for the second half. I put in chapter breaks at each play so that the coaches can skip ahead or replay easily. Each half has around 70 chapters. This makes a total of 140 chapters, but does not break the 99 chapter per title rule.

 

The software that I am using is Pinnacle Studio Plus version 11 and it allows 99 chapters per title. DVD Creator 6 also allowed this. DVDlab Pro allows this.

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I write software for a living so I do know a little about what should be in a validation process. If Roxio/Sonic is not checking for things like too many chapters then it is a design flaw. I hear a lot of defense for them for that here on the board and it should not be that way. Part of the reason for these forums is to show what the company can do better. I'm not talking about a witch hunt, but good constructive ideas on how to make their product better. Not validating the menus should have been caught on the drawing board.

 

Everyone keeps getting hung up on 99 chapters. The software that I am using is Pinnacle Studio 11 and it allows 99 chapters per title (track, movie, whatever).

No these forums are a peer-to-peer basis for problem solving. Roxio does not actively monitor them.

 

Many of us "defend" Roxio from misguided critics. Validate means what they say it means and it is defined in the Help file, if you had bothered to look. It does not mean what you think you want it to mean. - If you write programs, you would understand that.

 

I will see to it that your request/observations do get passed along. I cannot predict what version they may show up in, if any… I can tell you they will never be in V9/10!

 

I am curious. If you had V6 (DVD Builder) and claim it can split into more than 99 chapters, what duration did these have?

 

V6 Builder was limited to a project output of 65 or 95 minutes. That would mean 100 chapters would be 39 to 57 seconds long!!!

 

I still have a PC with V6 and I would like to make a DVD just to see if any of my players can access more than 99 chapters!

 

Just like putting mp3 files into the root of a DVD. You can put as many as you want in there but NO DVD Player will recognize more than the first 99 of them!

 

Likewise there would be no point in putting more than 99 chapters into a DVD if Players cannot access them…

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I would be very surprised if Roxio did not monitor forums that are hosted on their domain. Not doing this could be a very dangerous situation. If there were major problems with a program that gets a flood of complaints, or if a group of (for lack of a better term) web bullies started posting hate propaganda, this could make Roxio look bad as the final liability rests on them. I know the forum monitors would try to stop things like this from happening but it's still Roxio's website.

 

I am not trying to be a "misguided critic". I originally posted to see if there was a solution to what is a problem for me, and what I was trying to do. I actually like the product, but it just won't do what I (add emphasis) needed it to do. I pointed this out on here and everyone keeps coming back with "99 chapters is the limit" which is only partially correct. If I were doing other types of video work then I would not have this problem and I'd be a pretty happy EMC9 user.

 

The main job of ANY validation routine is to prevent a "garbage-in garbage-out" situation. Roxio does half of this by checking for the existence of the files, but falls short by not checking the menu/chapter structure. Regardless of what the manual states, this is a design shortcoming and should have been caught in beta testing at least. One of the first things I do when testing software is to see how it handles maximums. Things like very complicated movie layouts with lots of chapters would stress test the program and point out areas that need improvement. If the program breaks then a decision needs to be made. Either 1 - fix the problem if it is a bug, 2 - prevent the situation from occurring, or 3 - ignore the problem (especially if it only affects a very small percentage of the users). If the decision is made to prevent the situation, then the validation routine should check for the this specific condition and tell the user. This is software design 101.

 

Yes, my chapters are very short... around 20-25 seconds each (one chapter per play). But if you are reviewing football games, it is very convenient to have the game divided in this manner. Because each half is a separate title, you do not violate the 99 chapter rule, so DVD players do not have any trouble accessing the chapters. I've tried this on many different players, from an old Toshiba (pre progressive scan era), to portable units, to the cheapest models Walmart sells. All of them work just fine.

 

As a matter of fact, I created a movie in Pinnacle with more than 99 chapters in one movie. Pinnacle split the movie into 2 titles and the only way I knew it did this was because changing titles causes a pause on the DVD.

 

I really feel like I've beaten this dead horse long enough so this will be my last post on this topic. I probably came across very rude and this was not my intent at all. I apologize if I came across that way.

 

David Suthers

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start of the second movie (2nd half) started 30 seconds into the actual video.
I bet that is where the first chapter is marked for the movie, too. Fairly sure this is a bug and has been reported. It can be consistently reproduced. My own testing has shown that chapter marks seem to work fine as long as you don't edit them a second time.

 

I don't know why it would be a problem, but not only do you have a lot of chapter marks, they are really close together. If you really have that many chapter marks in 60min, they would have to be less than 30sec apart.

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The documented limitation that I've found for DVD creation is 99 tracks with 99 chapters each. Yes, my chapters are very short, but this is what I need to be able to do. As I said before, this was not a problem with Roxio Creator 6. But I know Sonic killed that product after the merger and kept MyDVD.

 

Since starting this thread I have evaluated several other DVD builders.... Sony, Ulead, and Pinnacle. Here are my comments on each.

  • Sonic MyDVD - Crashes a lot. 99 Chapter limitation. Preview window is low resolution. Other than that, I like this product. Too bad the chapter limitation is a deal breaker for me. Grade B-
  • Ulead - Not very good at all. Terrible menus. Low resolution preview. Only tried the demo but if the real version is this bad Ulead won't be around much longer. Grade D
  • Sony Vegas - Dated but very slick edit interface. Very stable and didn't crash once during testing. Biggest drawback is the lack of integration between editing and DVD creation. Grade C
  • Pinnacle Studio 11 - User interface is as good as (or better than) MyDVD. Still crashes sometimes but not nearly as bad as Sonic (about 1/5th as often). Very slick editing & chapter creation. Menus are a little strange at first, but very powerful. Full resolution preview. Small selection of menus, music. Extra transitions, titles, and menus available at additional cost (cheap bastids). Lacks all of the extra tools available in EMC9... no disc labeler, audio tools, etc. Grade B+

I guess I'll be keeping EMC9 just for the other tools and using Pinnacle Studio for making my DVDs.

 

David

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True...

 

Pinnacle Studio Plus is $99 USD and EMC is $49 USD. But if it won't do what you need then $1 is hard to justify. And if it were only MyDVD, then that's where I would unfortunately be. Like I said in my original post I WANT TO LIKE MyDVD. It is sooooo close to being a really great product. But for me the 99 chapter limit ruins it.

 

MyDVD is sold separately for $49 as well... go figure.

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Yes, I have created 3 projects already in Pinnacle that have more than 99 chapters. You are at least partially correct when you say there is a limitation of 99 chapters on a DVD. This limitation is 99 chapters PER TRACK. The limitation I found in MyDVD is ONE track with 99 chapters. MyDVD, from what I can tell, limits you to only 1 track, and thus, only 99 chapters TOTAL.

 

Pinnacle creates multiple tracks when the movie exceeds 99 chapters. This will cause a pause on the disc as it changes tracks if you just run it along with anything over 100 chapters. But it also allows you to create multiple tracks, each with their own menu. In my case, this allowed me to create a track for each half of the game, and each play got its own chapter.

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Yes, I have created 3 projects already in Pinnacle that have more than 99 chapters. You are at least partially correct when you say there is a limitation of 99 chapters on a DVD. This limitation is 99 chapters PER TRACK. The limitation I found in MyDVD is ONE track with 99 chapters. MyDVD, from what I can tell, limits you to only 1 track, and thus, only 99 chapters TOTAL.

 

Pinnacle creates multiple tracks when the movie exceeds 99 chapters. This will cause a pause on the disc as it changes tracks if you just run it as a long run of say 130 chapters. But it also allows you to create multiple tracks, each with their own menu. In my case, this allowed me to create a track for each half of the game, and each play got its own chapter.

MyDVD allows you to add multiple movies (what you are calling tracks) each being able to have 99 chapters. I make DVD's all the time with 3 or 4 movies, so if I wanted, I could have up to 297 or 396 chapters for those.
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This is probably a RTFM question.... and believe me I DID RTFM.... But how do you create multiple movies? I know you can have the menu jump in at different points, which would simulate different movies, but the way I did it it still just created 1 track on the DVD.

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This is probably a RTFM question.... and believe me I DID RTFM.... But how do you create multiple movies? I know you can have the menu jump in at different points, which would simulate different movies, but the way I did it it still just created 1 track on the DVD.
Open MyDVD

Select Add Movie

Select a file and add it

Select add Movie

Select a file and add it

repeat as needed

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Nope, that doesn't do it. I know because my footage is broken up into different files already. I create a new clip after each touchdown, timeout, quarter.

 

You can tell by playing your DVD in a regular set-top player and pressing "display". From here you can randomly access the chapters. You will only have 2 tracks. One for the menu and one for the movie.

 

Pinnacle created a new track for each half

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Nope, that doesn't do it. I know because my footage is broken up into different files already. I create a new clip after each touchdown, timeout, quarter.

 

You can tell by playing your DVD in a regular set-top player and pressing "display". From here you can randomly access the chapters. You will only have 2 tracks. One for the menu and one for the movie.

 

Pinnacle created a new track for each half

I do just what I've posted and it works fine. Maybe what you are calling a "track" is not a movie or title on the menu. Maybe you need to try and explain better what it is you are trying to get across.
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Are you getting multiple tracks on the DVD? You press the "Display" button on the DVD player's remote to see this. Start the first movie and hit display... You should see track 2, chapter 1. Go back to the menu and select the next movie. Hit display again and check the track/chapter. What I saw was the second half was still track 2, but started on chapter 65. It should be track 3, chapter 1. (I'm guessing on the actual chapter number as I'm not at home with the disc in hand. I can verify this in a few minutes though.)

 

Part of the confusion is that unless you try to create more than 99 chapters, you'll never run into the problem I'm having.

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Correction - MyDVD does create the additional tracks on the DVD, but it still limits you to 99 chapters total. I just verified this with a DVD I created earlier. So Larry, when you look at the display on the DVD, it will look correct, 1st movie - track 2/chapter 1; 2nd movie - track 3/chapter 1. But if you have 2 movies with over 50 chapters each (or 3 with 33, or 4 with 25, etc) you will run into trouble.

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Hopefully someone has seen this problem and will give a better answer... In the meantime my only guess would be to save a new copy of your project to work with -> render to your hard drive instead of DVD -> test. If you still have problems, start simplifying your DVD by removing some of the content, re-render to hdd, & test again.

 

Media problems could explain at least some of your problems, there's quite a bit of info on that sort of thing at this site and elsewhere. and playing directly from hdd would eliminate any media role. There are also limits to the amount of chapters allowed on a DVD, and MyDVD might introduce further limitations. If you find that eliminating some of the content &/or chapters got the DVD playing properly from hdd, then either something's different about the content you removed, or you're running up against those limits.

 

Since preview looked OK, you might also be experiencing a problem rendering it. To help with testing and cut down the time of renders you could put your 15 captures into two video files -- 1 for each half -- then use those in MyDVD. If you let MyDVD do the mpg2 encoding, you know the needed final bit rate from the DVD you already made. You could render the 2 files to mpg2 in VideoWave, and just import those two into MyDVD. It would tend to eliminate any problems from encoding the 15 files, and make life simpler if you have to do a few test renders to hdd.

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Correction - MyDVD does create the additional tracks on the DVD, but it still limits you to 99 chapters total. I just verified this with a DVD I created earlier. So Larry, when you look at the display on the DVD, it will look correct, 1st movie - track 2/chapter 1; 2nd movie - track 3/chapter 1. But if you have 2 movies with over 50 chapters each (or 3 with 33, or 4 with 25, etc) you will run into trouble.

It appears that 99 is an DVD Movie Standard limit.

 

Actually 99 chapters in a 2 hour (120 minute) movie is totally unrealistic! That equates to 1.2 minutes for each chapter!

 

Set them at 10 minute intervals (12 chapters) or 5 minute intervals (24 chapters) and use your fast forward key.

 

But you continue your quest to find some software that can do what you want…

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The standard I've seen listed is 99 titles (aka tracks, movies) with each of them having 99 chapters. That's 9,801 total possible chapters. Pinnacle Studio & DVDlab PRO both state this as the real limit.

 

For most video work, the 99 chapter limit that MyDVD puts in is probably OK. Seeing that this is their limit, I cannot use the product for my purposes. But please note that Roxio did not always have this limitation. DVD Creator 6 did not have this limitation and I've created dozens of unique titles that all had more than 99 total chapters. I've sold these DVDs to many people and NOT ONE person has had trouble reading my discs, and the navigation worked properly.

 

I guess my big gripe was that MyDVD 9 allowed me to create more than 99 total chapters, then validated the project and said everything was fine. But when the disc was created, it arbitrarily mashed chapters together and moved the starting location of my second movie. This is clearly a flaw in their design as IT SHOULD NOT VALIDATE.

 

I've tried to point out a design flaw that can affect some users. The responses here have tried to be helpful, and everyone has been polite, which I appreciate. But it doesn't change the fact that there is a problem. I have moved to another package that will do what I need, so I won't beat this dead horse any longer.

 

Good luck all

 

David Suthers

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I went back and followed the instructions to do a full uninstall/clean install and reloaded this particular project. To keep from creating another coaster, I only created an iso image. Same results.

 

I'm not new to creating DVD's as I've authored over 100 original filmed sporting events. I used Roxio DVD Creator 6 for most of those projects and had nowhere near the problems this version has given me. But with my new computer I wanted to use new software. I have to say there are some real improvements in MyDVD 9, especially the editor, transitions, and customizable menus. But if it won't output a proper DVD then all of these features are for nothing.

 

It's also becoming clear that Sonic has put an artificial limit of 99 chapters in the entire project, regardless of the number of movies (tracks). I'm disappointed that you can create a project that you can't burn, and it validates. Validation should really check for a project that is "too complicated", especially if it is a programmed limitation. This was not the case in DVD Creator 6 as I just checked one of my old projects and it had 2 movies and 154 chapters total. This is a deal breaker for me.

 

Unless I am mistaken with my findings I'll be returning EMC9, which is a shame because I actually like the product. If I am mistaken please post here and I'll gladly eat crow.

 

David Suthers

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