Subject: Re: What to do with all those Digital photos
Hi all. This deals with the question of making DVDs on a PC.

I have been making DVDs my trips to Europe for the past several years. I have never worked with a Mac, so I can't compare the two, but I can say that making them on a PC is a fairly simple, but somewhat time consuming, task at present. One thing about PCs is that you usually have many programs to choose from, but this is obviously a mixed blessing. I have one computer that uses Ulead's Visual Studio, which I have used in the past. My new computer has other programs which I have not yet used. Virtually all of these programs take a video tape, preferably digital (e.g., miniDV), and automatically convert it into clips which can be edited. You can also overlay text and provide transitions. Although there are very expensive programs available, even a highly motivated amateur can obtain what is needed for less than $100 US. Yahoo has a very useful group called amateurvideoediting

The more serious problem, which is not limited to PCs, is in finding a DVD player that will read the resulting disk. You can easily generate a DVD that will play on your computer but not on your DVD player, especially if it is an older model (which can include last year's). I burned one that would not play on my home machine but would on one in stock at Best Buy. In many cases, this involves the brand of DVD blank, which you may have to experiment with.

A somewhat lesser problem is that the processes of compiling and burning a DVD can be very time consuming, even on an up-to-date computer. Here, the difference between a 1x and 2x burner can be very significant. The burn will also often fail without an explanation, which was a problem with early consumer model CD burners.

In any event, they are fun to look at, though a true test of friendship is whether that friend would want to sit through what are typically non-Spielbergian productions.

On a related note, thanks to Jim in Redmond for suggesting the iPod as a device to upload from digital camera cards. The additional device he mentioned made by Belkin is called a media reader. Apple has a number of interesting accessories listed at Going up a level will give you information about the iPod itself.

Ira H. Bernstein 5809 Brookstown Dallas, TX 75230