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Old 12-27-2007, 03:58 PM
Karlheinz Noise
 
Default DVD authoring

Hello, all. Thought I'd shed some light onto the DVD-authoring quagmire.

The DVD standard requires that video be compressed in MPEG format, and that the audio is _usually_ AC3 format. It then has to be "containerized" into VOB files that contain information such as chapters, subtitles, etc.

Although the MPEG standard is open, the actual algorithms used to encode to MPEG are not, so any video compression algorithm under a GNU license has to start from the ground up. AC3, on the other hand, is not open at all (it's copyright Dolby Digital). The licenses for these things are usually included in the cost of the software and/or hardware.

In other words, any GNU software that deals with DVD authoring is an uphill battle, since it requires working around non-free encoders and whatnot. That's why it's pretty far behind on Linux.

(In fact, most OEM versions of Nero won't even do it... you have to get the full version, or pay for an encoder. At least that's the way it is with my version.)

Be prepared to wait a long while before all this gets resolved... and by then, of course, consumers will have moved on to Blu-Ray or HD-DVD, both of which are proprietary I believe.

Having said all that, it seems like QDVD is the best Linux option... Does Ubuntu Studio come with the Qt library already installed? I'm obviously a novice at peeking under the hood, so to speak. If it does, I see no reason that it shouldn't be included in the distribution. (It's out of beta now, isn't it?)

-Karlheinz
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