Creating a video DVD with DVDStyler

  10 years ago

Have you ever wondered what is the Linux way of composing a video DVD that consists
of video clips which we have shot with our personal camera, or even how to make
a compilation of our favorite artist's video clips that we have downloaded from YouTube?
(Indeed, YouTube Downloader and Ant Downloader are two very good Firefox add-ons, by the way).
Well, in the Linux world there is DVDStyler, an application which is easy to use,
pretty straightforward and to the point, covering all the aspects of the average user.

Following is a simple guide which can lead a novice user in taking their first steps
towards compiling a DVD containing various video clips which have either been shot
by us or  have been collected through the internet.
Things described below have successfully been tested on Mint 10 Julia - Gnome.

First of all, DVDStyler can be found and downloaded for free through Software Manager
(Menu-->Software Manager-->Sound & Video, type dvdstyler in the Search Box ).
This will install two packages, dvdstyler and dvdstyler-data.
The installed application can then be found in the Sound & Video submenu.

When we first launch the application, we get this window:

The option New Project is selected.
Right below that, in the Disc Label area we can give a name to our project.
Below that (Disc Capacity), we have default settings for regular DVDs (DVD5 - the DVDs
that have a capacity of 4.7 GB). These are the DVDs used most of the times for backing-up
purposes, whether it be movies, music or data.
The 8.5 GB option refers to Dual Layer DVDs (DVD9) which have double the capacity of ordinary DVDs, thus being able to store about double tha data of standard DVDs.
It should be noted here that standard DVDs (4.7 GB) can accommodate a compilation
which has a duration of about 2 hours.

In Video Format I checked PAL as it is the default system in my country of residence (Greece).

You can select the appropriate system for your country.
In Aspect Ratio we select 4:3 for square screens  and 16:9 for widescreen ones. I chose the latter to test it out.
In Audio Format I went with the default selection, i.e. AC 48 KHz.
Click OK to go to the next window:

In Title we can name our DVD, i.e. we type in the name that will appear on the
menu of the disc we are going to create.
Below that, we have the templates available for the menu that appear when
we insert the disc in our DVD player. I left the default choice (blue).
Next, we go this window:

Here we have a preview of our menu-to-be-created.
If we forgot to name our DVD in the previous screen, we can still do it now by
double-clicking on Disc Title and typing in the name of our choice.
On the left (on the window border), we have three tabs:

File Browser, Background και Buttons.

Background --> Here we can select the background of our menu (using drag 'n' drop).
Buttons --> Here we choose the kind of buttons to place in our menu (drag 'n' drop).
File Browser -->  Through this we locate the files that will be added to our project.

Having chosen the background and the buttons for the menu, we move on to the File Browser tab, where we will loate the video clips we will add to our project.

NOTE: For argument's sake, let's suppose that we have our files in the Downloads folder.

So, we move on to the next window:

At the bottom we can see the items added to the project.
In the left pane, we have a tree view of our filesystem and personal folders.
The clips we are going to add are in the middle pane, the ones that have the phrase
"YouTube" within their name.
To add a video clip, we just drag 'n' drop it from the middle pane to the one on the right,
which shows our menu.
Once there, we can arrange our clips' thumbnails any way we want.

By right-clicking, we have the following options:

Arrange --> It arranges the video clip thumbnails.
Align --> It aligns the video clip thumbnails.
Add --> It adds text, frames and shapes.
View --> Safe TV Area --> The viewable area in which the clip thumbnails are placed.
Grid --> exactly that...

There are also various options including Cut, Copy and Delete video clips.

It must be pointed out here that by double-clicking on each thumbnail there are lots
of options concerning the manipulation of the clip, as well as its Properties.
Regarding the clips' thumbnails, we can define the action that will be executed when we
select each one of them during playback (i.e. which clip will be selected for playing).

NOTE: It is recommended that we leave the defaults as they are.
              Once more experience is gained,  users can delve into that.

Last but not least, Play All and Select Title can be renamed (named) by double-clicking on them and typing the name in Label.

Having arranged our clips' thumbnails and having a preview of the added files and the project's total time at the bottom window border, we are ready to "export" our project,
that is, burn it onto a DVD directly, or save it as an .iso file.
Both methods are described below.

We go to the top of the window and click on the icon with the red disc (Burn).

This window pops up:

As we can see, the project will be temporarily stored in the /temp folder.

1st Method:

We tick create .iso image. Below that, we see the folder in which the final .iso
will be stored. In addition, by ticking Preview we will be able to have a preview
of the outcome, when the transcoding is completed and before burning it onto a DVD.
If all is well and we don't want to change anything, we click on Start.
Our project is being processed.

After some time (depending on the files added to the project and the total duration
of our DVD), the .iso will be ready. We will get an automated preview of the DVD
through Xine. If everything is OK, we close that window.
We navigate to the folder where the .iso is stored and right-click on it.
The Brasero burn .iso dialogue pops up.
We insert a blank DVD and in a few minutes we have our DVD.
Alternatively, we can burn the .iso using the application of our choice (e.g. k3b).

2nd Method:

The second option is to burn the project directly onto a DVD, so we tick the Burn box
instead of create .iso image
. In this case we have to define the burning device (if there
are more than one), and we click on Start.
After some time (depending on the files added to the project and the total duration
of our DVD), the .iso will be ready. We will get an automated preview of the DVD
through Xine. If everything is OK, we close that window.
Next, we have a window asking us whether we want to burn the project on a DVD,
so we click on YES.

After a few minutes, our DVD has been created.


* DVDStyler worked flawlessly during the whole test. No crashes or errors.
* Auto bitrate equals to about 8 MBit/sec.
* All known file types are supported by DVDStyler.

For more information on that, visit

RamziDymond 5 years ago

Every time I try to burn DVD or make iso DVD Styler just closes and dissapears. I have tried a bunch of different settings but always the same result.

oslinuxfreak 10 years ago

Great tutorial, look forward to trying this out.

remoulder 10 years ago

Nice, if a bit wordy.