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MyDVD from Sonic Solutions has been a great tool for transferring video quickly and painlessly to DVD, making your clips much more accessible and easier to share with others. Whether from original videotapes or video files on hard disk, MyDVD can automatically create great-looking DVDs, complete with chapters, titles, and even motion menus with video background and buttons. Even better, with Sonic's OpenDVD technology, you can come back later and re-edit your DVDs to tweak the titles, add additional clips, of even add whole new menus.
The new MyDVD version 5 ($99) extends MyDVD in several directions. As a DVD-editing tool, MyDVD 5 adds full-integrated video editing and control over customizing chapter points, including extensive support for detecting scene changes. It also now supports Dolby Digital stereo encoding, which significantly compresses the audio and provides room for up to 50 percent more video per disc. As part of a video suite, MyDVD Studio Deluxe 5 adds the RecordNow! disc-burning tool, with support for disc copying, data archiving and backup, and creating music and photo CDs.
CUSTOMIZING YOUR DVD
Beyond broadening the MyDVD suite, Sonic has worked to enhance the base MyDVD application to provide more ability to customize your video onto a disc. This in a tricky balance for any software developer, maintaining simplicity and ease of use to automatically build a DVD design, while also providing at least some ability to edit and customize the design.
Previous versions of MyDVD let users automatically lay out a collection of video clips or chapters in a series of linked menus, organize additional collections in sub-menus, and add slide shows of still photos. They focused on customizing the visual appearance of the disc, with pre-designed menu templates plus the ability to import custom menu backgrounds (images or video), to add background audio, and select text fonts and attributes.
But, to prepare the video clips to import, you needed to go outside MyDVD, to a third-party video editor, or to the ArcSoft ShowBiz editor included in the previous suite product. In MyDVD 5, Sonic has begun the process of integrating video editing into MyDVD, …