DVD Playback weirdness on the Mac

Well, I burned my second DVD today. I used the same parameters as my first disc, and the burn process was smooth (one thing I forgot.. in iMovie, when you go to auto-create an iDVD project, there’s no way to export only a subset of the actual content in iMovie. You have to physically delete the stuff you don’t want, then export. Bit of a pain, but shouldn’t be an issue for me any more beyond these first two discs — I’ll just do one iMovie per disc from now on).

After the burn, I popped the disc in the Mac and played some of it back. In one spot, it locked up. The app locked up and the drive seemed to be stuck seeking back and forth. I ended up powering down and rebooting. Tried again, froze up in the same spot. Bad media, maybe? Then, I took the disc home and tried it in my standalone DVD player. The same passage that froze the Mac, played fine in the standalone player. I haven’t viewed the rest of the disc yet, but I’ll do that tonight and see how it fares.

Seems a little odd that the Mac SuperDrive would have problems playing back media burned on the same drive.. Will have to check this out further.

Update 1/5/06: The entire disc played fine on my standalone Sony DVD Player. Not quite sure why the SuperDrive is having problems with it.

Followup: I just burned the exact same movie to another DVD. Playing it back in the Mac now. So far, no lockups (in particular, it did not lock up at the same spot it did with the other disc). I guess the SuperDrive must just not like the other disc. Odd, because the discs are the same brand (Fujifilm) and came from the same pack-of-50. Who knows?

I did learn something about iDVD today… when you go to burn a project for a second time, it re-encodes the menus and audio, but reuses the encoded video from the first run. This is nice, because it makes subsequent burns go much faster. I was wondering about this at first, because after the initial encoding it leaves the encoded MPEGs (4+ gigs worth) in the project directory. When I initially went to re-burn, and it started re-encoding the menus, I was wondering if it was going to go through the whole 2+ hour encoding process again, and if so, why did it bother saving all that encoded data from the previous run? Well, now I understand.

This also means that if I want to re-burn the discs at a later date, I should be able to safely delete the (huge) captured video data and just save the iDVD project.

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