ULead's DVD Movie Factory for Toshiba
on a Vista Home Basic System... without a DVD Burner
That's one of the software apps that came on my new Toshiba Satellite L35 laptop, a minimal system with
Vista Home Basic.
The laptop has a combo DVD reader/CD burner, but no DVD burner. And it lacks the new Microsoft MPEG-2
codec and DVD Maker app found on the Home Premium and Ultimate versions of Vista.
But this DVD MovieFactory software can make the files for video DVDs. Once made to a hard drive, it's
easy to take the files over to another computer that has a DVD burner and make discs. External hard drives
are bigger, cheaper and handier than ever.
One reason for buying the system was to see how things looked in Vista at the opposite end of the
spectrum from the Ultimate version... and things look surprisingly good.
DVD Movie Factory for Toshiba works exactly like the trial version of ULead's DVD Movie Factory that
I was helping someone with by remote control last week.
My first small test was to make a DVD project and save it to the hard drive. It had all the usual
VOB and other files.
I tried copying the DVD files to a data CD to see what happens when I put the disc in a stand-alone
DVD player. I was surprised to see and navigate the file structure, but I didn't succeed at playing the
For a bigger test I gave it 18 videos... mostly DV-AVI with a couple WMV story and movie files for
good luck... a total playing time of an hour and 25 minutes. I notched the quality setting down to the
SP setting of 3.6 Mbps to pull it from the red (won't fit) to the yellow (might fit), and then from the
yellow to the green (will fit).
It has two more lower quality settings that could pack even more playing time on a disc, and an option
to customize the setting.
The help file says there's also a 'fit-to-disc' feature... which would do a better job of selecting
the appropriate compression option.
It took 4-1/2 hours to 'burn' the project to an ISO file on my external hard drive (the laptop has
a 1.86 GHz Intel Celeron M Processor 440). From there it was easy to unplug the drive and move it to
my XP laptop with its DVD burner. Roxio's MyDVD Studio has a feature to take the ISO file and burn it
to a DVD disc. That was only a 5 to 10 minute process.
it is playing in WinDVD on my XP laptop.
Before getting into details, here are...
... a few notes...
1&1 Website Host
My website was moved to Kansas on July 10th as planned. I uploaded almost a GB of files to it and
the space limit issue has been resolved.
Now that I'm at 1% space usage (3 GB)... what to do with the other 99% (297GB)!!! I'll enjoy the newfound
My first upgrade is to bump the 1/2 GB of RAM up to the max of 2 GB for the system... it's on order.
.... back to the main topic...
DVD Movie Factory
When opening DVD Movie Factory, you get 15 choices in 4 areas....
- Video Disc (New Project, Open existing
project, Burn video to disc, Burn DVD folders to disc, and On-disc editing)
- Slideshow Disc (New project, Open existing project, Burn DVD folders to
- Disc Tools (Copy disc, Fit to disc, Format disc, Erase disc, Finalize disc,
Burn from disc image)
- Print Disc Label
My path was Video Disc > New Project.
That got me to 3 more choices. I knew I wanted a Standard Hollywood type of DVD, but the other choices
made me stop and think a bit... what are the DVD+VR and DVD-VR options?
I'll add links to the Wikipedia pages I browsed...
- make an editable disc in
- create an editable disc in
with no menu
I found myself more deeply into the subject of DVD authoring and making than I expected to get with
a new laptop without a DVD burner.
That selection got me to the main working window, in which there are three steps... or windows. Let's
go through them.
Step 1 - add media...
From a video device, video files on your hard drives, still pix from a hard drive (slide show), or
files from a CD/DVD. I was surprised it doesn't accept jpg files, but takes JPEG2000 ones.
Edit media.... multi-trim video (crop the segments you want to keep), join (happens
really quick)/separate video (undo the join), enhance video (with text overlays, adding audio clip, adding
Add/Edit Chapters for video files.. includes auto-adding, Export selected clip to
7.2 Mbps to 1.6 Mbps.... exports to MPEG-2 DVD compliant videos... option to use the first video clip
as an introductory video, before the menu shows up
A disc can have a mix of videos and slide-shows... and it'll take multiple slide-shows.
Use the 3rd icon in at the top of this step to add a slideshow... then add transitions and effects
to slides... but on my new laptop
the app crashes or hangs forever when adding transitions
Set picture durations from 1 to 254 seconds... applies to all of them. This isn't as fully featured
a slideshow as you can make with Photo Story 3.
Step 2 - select a menu style
... one of 7 styles... the Edit tab has options to add background music, motion menus, a background
image or video, layout settings (pan & zoom, motion filter, menu in, menu out, and navigation buttons
Step 3 - burn the disc
... sometimes it's to a disc in the drive... if you have a DVD burner, which I don't on this system.
If not to disc, then to a set of DVD folders and files, or to a single compressed disk package...
an image (ISO).
Note the options to normalize the audio (nice touch but I didn't test it), and to archive the slide-show
images... which usually means adding copies of the original pictures to the disc in addition to the smaller
sized ones used for the slide-show. That lets you distribute your originals with the videos and slideshow.
... first makes MPEG-2 files for the videos... 18 of them for my test disc. at a total duration of
1-3/4 hours.... that gets you to 50% overall progress
then it builds motion background files for the menu pages... 51 animated background files, each
an MPG.... to about 55%
then builds 150 menu transitions... each an MPEG file....
finished in 4-1/2 hours
The 5 menu icons at the bottom left can be accessed when you're on any of the 3 steps.
from the first you can
- Save the project
- Save as a different project
- Select preferences... lots of choices including an 'anti-flicker'
filter, resample quality of good or best, slideshow image duration, video transition durations, and
audio fade in/out duration
- The setting for the 'TV safe area', as a percentage
- A capture feature for DV... capturing into BMP images
from the second icon (looks like a gear... a film projector sprocket) you can change the
- The MPEG Settings are all about compression... how much fits on your disc.
The High Quality of 7.2 Mbps bitrate gets you an hour on a standard DVD... the lower bitrate choices
get will let you burn more than an hour... I used the SP setting to have my full 1 hr, 25 min video
on the DVD. You can see from the meter in the opening section of this newsletter that my disc was
just a bit more than half filled, so it could have taken more than 2 hours of video.
- if the 5 built built-in profiles for MPEG settings aren't enough, you can
customize a profile... frame size, aspect ratio of 4:3 or 16:9, VBR or CBR, audio format of
- PCM or
- Dolby Digital
· audio bitrate
· an option to skip the conversion of MPEG files that
are already DVD compliant
· auto-repeat when the disc ends... lots of people
ask for this feature
The third icon toggles between a standard 4:3 aspect ration and widescreen 16:9 for the DVD playing
The next is the print icon for a disc label printing... a full-featured authoring one to add images,
icons, text (straight or curved to align with the disc), text shadows, the ability to save the disc label
project file, etc. It's as good or better than stand-alone disc labeling apps.
The last icon at the bottom is for help, from a local help file on your computer.
Conclusion and Closing... and What's Next?
From newsgroup and forum posts, ULead DVD software has a very positive reputation... I can see why.
With the exception of it freezing when I add a transition to a slide show, it worked flawlessly.
I know... freezing when adding a transition or effect is pretty important!!! And on an OEM installed
Have a great week and enjoy your summer fun and video work...
I look forward to comments and discussion about this and other newsletters on the
Windows Movie Makers.net
Have a great week...
Movie Maker, Photo Story 3, DVD Maker, Expression Media -
Photo Story 2 - www.papajohn..org/PhotoStory2/PS.html
Products and Services
I'm involved in anything and everything that supports the users of Movie Maker and Photo Story, and
adding more regularly. Some are free and others reasonably priced.
Radio and Podcasting
TheDVShow is the only weekly
Podcast having more useful information about desktop video editing and production than anywhere else
on the Web. Digital video editing, nonlinear editing, streaming media, software releases, tutorials,
business tips, technical help, download of the day and news on the latest products to make everything
easier. It's where professional and consumer desktop video users go to stay on the cutting edge.
Call the phone mail machine to get your technical question answered on the air... call (206)-203-3516
The radio broadcast is from Boston, and the website has downloadable podcast files. The June 19th
2005 podcast was the first 'bi-weekly' show with a segment about Movie Maker 2. The frequency of radio
Q&A sessions about Movie Maker has fallen off as submitted questions are minimal. Maybe Vista will
perk it up a bit.
Movie Maker 2 - Do Amazing Things (with its online companion on
www.papajohn.org ), published
by Microsoft Press...
Movie Maker 2 - Zero to Hero - with support on the publisher's forum -
Friends of Ed
Learning VirtualDub - published by Packt Publishing in April 2005, is the first book
about VirtualDub software. I wrote the introductory chapter about downloading and setting up the software:
VirtualDub, VDubMod and AVISynth.
A large percentage of book sales are of electronic copies. The
Packt Publishing Website page
for the book provides a full table of contents and chapter summaries... and a link
to a full free online copy of
A six page article Making Movies with Vista was in the Spring 2007 Special Edition
(page 78). It covered the movie making process from camcorder tape to viewing it on a standard video
The 2006 Summer Special edition included a 7 page tutorial Create a Ken Burns-Style Slideshow
with Photo Story 3.
The November 2005 edition had a well done reworked 6 page reprint of the article about Movie Maker,
starting on page 42 after the Happy 20th Birthday article for Windows.
The Winter 2005 quarterly special had a 7 page tutorial Make a Killer Home Movie with Maker
2. The special edition of the video made for it is
on my website
as a file download.
Microsoft Home (online magazine)
I and others you'll recognize were interviewed for an article about Movie Maker for a
Microsoft Home magazine
Movie Maker and Photo Story - www.papajohn.org
- the site's goals are: doing amazing things, providing a detailed tutorial for PhotoStory 3, and helping
you solve Movie Maker problems.
It's been expanded to include the version 6 of Movie Maker in Vista, along with the new Photo Gallery
and DVD Maker apps.
PhotoStory 2 - www.papajohn.org/photostory2/PS2.html
- a detailed tutorial about using the earlier version. It's been a long time since I've updated anything
on it, but it still gets pretty good viewer traffic.
Online Support - Forums and Newsgroups
I'm a regular or moderator on many online forums and newsgroups, the key ones being:
Forums are open to all for viewing, but require registration of those who want to
post. Moderators actively participate to ensure the forum discussions move forward and stay on track.
Movie Maker and Photo Story forums at Windows
Newsgroups are wide open for all to view and post... moderation is collective by
Windows Vista newsgroup -
Windows XP Movie Maker newsgroup -
Photo Story 2 newsgroup -
Photo Story 3 newsgroup -
Movie Maker/Photo Story newsletter. The subscription is $20 for 52 issues, and a link to subscribe
is on the main page of www.papajohn.org
or the Products and Services page.
Topics for upcoming newsletters (always subject to change):
- #159 - July 21 (open)
- #160 - July 28 (open)
- #161 - August 4 (open)
Newsletters issued more than 6 weeks ago are posted by Rob Morris to an
on his Windows Movie Makers' website. Links from my website pages to specific newsletters make it easier
for viewers to see the content of both while browsing a topic.
Drop an email to suggest a newsletter subject...
Add-On Transitions and Effects
Transition Maker 2 (TM2)
is a utility for the ultimate in making your own personal and custom transitions for Movie Maker 2. It's
a joint product from Patrick Leabo, the programmer, and myself.
I've beta tested some of the Pixelan
packages , including the new packages for Vista, and think very highly of their people and
ProDAD's Adorage packages for Movie Maker 2 are additional sources of very professionally
developed transitions and effects. Here are links
Package for Movie Maker - Volume 1
PapaJohn's Transitions - Volume 2
PapaJohn's Video Effects - Volume 3
I use a lot of professional background music for movies and stories that was created by
Randon Myles, and act as his agent
in selling tunes individually.
There are 62 tunes available from 4 of his many albums... at 99 cents per tune (MP3
or WMA format). Here's a Sample - 45 seconds from 'Groove 2'. The 4 albums are: In the Fields
of the on-Feretin , Music for Film Volume III, the Emerald Way, and the Fourth
I don't have a full set of online samples yet, but if you hear something you like
in one of my videos, there's a good chance it was done by Randon. Send an email if you are interested.
With more info to manage, consider additional tools that help.
My personal database has been an ongoing project over many years, and is now available to others.
A tutorial about using it is on the Managing > Personal Database page of my site, and more info is in
the database package itself.
It's free for the asking to regular newsletter subscribers... send an email request and I'll return
it with the zipped file, which is less than 1 MB.
To others it's $10. To order, use the button on the top of the Managing > Personal Database page.
On my list of things to do is a video tutorial about how to use it.
neptune Mediashare is
the preferred file download service for Movie Maker users... there's a
'PapaJohn Expert Zone'
where I keep many of my samples and personal videos.
Check it at N eptune
and the Distributing > Neptune page of the website, where there's a developing tutorial about how to
use the service.
... and mydeo is the preferred
video streaming service. Many of the video samples for newsletter are on it.
Normal sized photo stories stream as well as or better than movies.
In conjunction with the
Portage, Michigan library , I offer free training sessions about Movie Maker and
Photo Story, an intro session and a workshop.
Classes will resume at the end of summer, when schools re-open. We'll be re-inventing the topics offered,
as the subject of Movie Maker doesn't draw very many... maybe topics such as making and uploading videos
to YouTube, and vacation videos to Trip Advisor... using Movie Maker as the tool rather than the primary
Other fee-based services
you can't save a movie because your project has become too complex, e-mail a copy and
I'll divide it into manageable sub-projects, and provide detailed instructions about how to render the
parts and assemble them into your final movie. $49.95 (no cost if it's not the right solution or doesn't
work) - for details, see the sidebar on the Problem Solving > Can't Save a Movie page of
Movie Maker 2/Photo Story training and support services start at $75 per hour - send
an email - PapaJohn@CharterMi.net
and I'll help you determine your needs, and work with you to plan and implement them.
Wedding combo website/video packages - check the Living Projects section of the website
for samples of what you can expect for the online portion of a package.
© 2007 - PapaJohn; Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United
States and/or other countries.
About John 'PapaJohn' Buechler from Microsoft.com
||John "PapaJohn" Buechler, of Kalamazoo, Mich., goes by PapaJohn online.
An avid user of Movie Maker since its first release, and a regular supporter
of the community of Movie Maker users, John received a 2003 MVP award
from Microsoft for that support. In March 2003, he started a comprehensive
website about Movie Maker 2 at
He maintains the website, writes books and articles, teaches, and provides
support services - all for the community of Movie Maker 2 users. An engineer
by formal education, John is a computer database and multimedia expert
by business and personal experience. He co-authored the first book about
Movie Maker 2 and is actively working on a second one. You can find his
advice in the
Windows XP Movie Maker newsgroup and in the Windows
Movie Makers Forums.
newsletter is republished with permission of John "PapaJohn" Buechler.
Please note that this is an archive of newsletters and some information
may become outdated. PapaJohn, and the webmaster of this site, provides this
information "AS IS" with no warranties.
Visit - PapaJohn's Movie Maker 2 and Photo
Story 2 Newsletter Index