When you say "DVD," you need to be clear on the format the TL uses. It's DVD-Audio, which is a particular high-rez/high-capacity media codec. It is not the same as, nor directly compatible with, the better-known DVD-Video. The DVD players that most people have at home will not play DVD-A discs.
DVD-Audio can play high-rez multichannel sound OR it can store a very large amount of CD-quality audio. Most of us who burn DVD-A discs for our TLs use them for the latter purpose. It's a great way to be able to carry a ton of music in your TL without having to carry a ton of CDs. The example I've given the most often is that I burned the mono versions of the Beatles' first ten albums (Please Please Me through the White Album, meaning 11 CDs' worth of music because the White Album is a double-set) onto a single DVD-Audio disc. Carrying one disc with all that music sure beats carrying 11 CDs.
Anyway, I've burned quite a few DVD-As with varying degrees of success. You need to be prepared to do a couple of things:
(1) Put all the music in a convenient location in .WAV format. Convert it from other formats if needed. Adobeman's software will convert .MP3 to .WAV for you, but he recommends using other software to do it first.
(2) Use a dedicated application to create the DVD-A structure on your PC as an .ISO file. Adobeman's software is good for this.
(3) Use burning software to burn the .ISO file to a DVD. The software MUST finalize the disc as well (sometimes called "closing" the disc) or the TL won't play it. Adobeman's software does not do this.
Most people on this forum have reported the best success with DVD-R discs; while some have reported success with DVD+R, results have been mixed.
I use CDex when I want to rip a CD to .WAV. If I want to convert Apple Lossless to .WAV, or if I have an .MP3 recording of a concert that I want to convert, I use dbpoweramp. My PC runs Windows Vista Home Premium and I have found that Vista does NOT work well for ripping the CDs—for some reason the .WAVs it creates never work properly.
I put all the files I want to burn into their own directory, usually on an external 1 TB drive, and I make sure they're all named so that they get sorted in the correct order. Usually this means prefacing the filenames with "01," "02," etc. Example: "01 Incident on 57th Street"; "02 Mountain of Love"; "03 Born to Run"; etc. (This from a February 1975 Springsteen concert.) The leading zero is important to make sure that tracks 1 through 9 sort prior to track 10.
I then use Adobeman's GUI to create the DVD-A structure. This is pretty straightforward, just drag the tracks you want into whatever groups you want to use. I am big on groups for two reasons. First, you can only have up to 99 tracks in any one group. It's easy to fit more than 99 tracks on a DVD-A depending on what you're burning. That Beatles DVD I mentioned has around 155 tracks, so I created five groups (one has the first four albums, the next has the second three, the third has Sgt. Pepper and [/i]Magical Mystery Tour[/i], the fourth has the White Album, and the fifth has the "Hey Jude" single since that's all the space that was left). As I mentioned in another post somewhere, in theory you can have up to 891 tracks on a DVD-Audio disc (99 tracks in each of 9 groups), but you'd surely run out of space on the disc before you could fit in that many tracks. Second reason I use groups is that it's an easy way to keep things organized. I have another DVD-A containing all of the Gaslight Anthem's music and I used one group per album because that way it's easy to keep it straight. I do the same thing when I burn concerts to DVD-A: One concert per group. With Springsteen concerts, I can usually fit two to a DVD-A in two groups (each concert is usually about 3 CDs).
When you play a DVD-A on the TL, to change between groups you hold down "SCAN" and "RPT" on the radio until it beeps. The owner's manual fails to mention this.
One note on groups: When the TL reaches the end of a group, it doesn't go to the next one. By default, it changes to the next disc. It's easy to forget that you're at the end of a group and then have to change back to the previous disc and go through to the right group. Some folks on this forum have suggested using a short recording at the end of a group to remind you that it's time to change the group. Examples might be "Her Majesty," the 23-second track at the end of Abbey Road, or one of those fake commercials the Who recorded on The Who Sell Out.
Once you create the DVD-A structure, you have to burn it to the disc. I've found that Vista's built-in capability is extremely UNRELIABLE for this. I don't know why, but no DVD-A I've burned with Vista's burning software has ever worked properly in either the TL or my Marantz universal player in my main home stereo. As a result, I use Roxio. It came free with my PC and it's been perfectly reliable for burning discs. Note that all you're doing is burning a file to disc—albeit a very very big file!—but as I said above you have to make sure you finalize the disc. This should be an option in your burning software.
Note that depending on your operating system you may have trouble finding the .ISO file you need to burn to the disc. Adobeman's software will tell you where it is, but when you navigate to that directory in Windows' file manager you may not see the file. If that happens, find the button that says "View Compatibility Files" and click that. You should then see the file you created.
Tips for burning: Turn off your screen saver and do not use any application that may cause your hard disk to start churning, such as a Web browser. Use a slower burning speed if you have problems with bad burns.
Finally, I've found that some tracks simply WILL NOT PLAY when I burn them to DVD-Audio, no matter what I've done. A couple of singles I downloaded from the iTunes store inevitably cut off about 10 seconds into the song when I burn them, regardless of whether I use dbpoweramp to create the .WAVs or whether I have iTunes do it or whatever. I ought to try burning those tracks to a CD-RW, then re-ripping them, but I haven't been motivated enough to do it.
All this no doubt makes it sound like a complicated process. It's not. It just takes some time, especially if you want to make a mixed DVD the way most of us used to make mixed tapes. You have to put in some time to get all the files organized and in the right format, and then the process of creating the disc takes a while (though you can go do something else while this goes on....it's an ideal time to go take a crap if you have to do that). Burning the .ISO file to the disc can take a while if you have a full DVD's worth of stuff, too, since as I said before you're really just burning a file that can exceed 4 GB in size.
Last edited by 1995hoo; 03-10-2011 at 03:13 PM.
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It's no longer, and no shorter, than I felt it needed to be. The DVD-Audio format is probably somewhat esoteric these days and the process of creating one, while not difficult, is somewhat more involved than creating a CD and requires a little more work. I've created my share of shiny drink coasters over the years and I've found that there are some things that seem like they should have been obvious once you've thought of them but that are easy to miss. Then there are things, like how to change groups using the TL's stereo, that you simply won't know unless someone tells you or you get lucky with a search.
Every once in a while I've thought about taking the mixed tapes I made in the 1980s and 1990s, recording them to CDs (it would require two CDs per tape), and then converting those to DVD-Audio. But I've never bothered. It's more convenient just to play the tapes if I want to do so, although I guess I ought to figure out which ones have tracks that I do not have copies of except on those tapes and then copy those in case the tapes break someday.
Yes I know I am bumping an old thread, months not years atleast lol, is there anyway around the SCAN+RPT to have the DVD-A play end to end, besides putting everything in one group? I assume not, but just figured I would ask. Thanks.
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