Monday, 28 March 2005

Pass the Popcorn

iLife '05 is, arguably, the definitive prosumer video authoring suite for Mac Users. However, I recently discovered a variety of useful applications that can augment and compliment your iLife video tool box.

MPEG2 Works 4. This is a powerful MPEG1/MPEG2 and VCD/SVCD/DVD encoding application. As an experiment, I transferred several episodes of a popular franchise from AVI format to PAL 16:9 DVD to see how it handles compression and the results were superlative. Well worth the inexpensive $25 admission charge. I'm promoting it here and please tell the author who sent you. Thanks in advance.

BitrateCalc is a handy free utility, which works in tandem with MPEG2 Works 4, and gives you the optimum bitrate for encoding video and audio for making DVD and DivX video discs.

Want to backup your DVD collection in the event that the originals are lost, destroyed or stolen? Then you'll need Roxio's Popcorn! Popcorn is a DVD duplication application that “helps you easily make high quality copies of your DVD movies.” Not only that, but Popcorn’s “powerful compression technology gives you the flexibility to copy even the largest movies to a single DVD disc” - meaning you can compress an entire 9GB dual-layer DVD to a standard 4.7GB DVD disc and maintain high video quality and full audio fidelity. Popcorn cannot extract data directly from a DVD, so you will need a ripper to transfer the data to a VIDEO_TS folder. I'm loathe to discuss the implications of copy protection and intellectual property as I always buy movies from established retail outlets.

Once the disc has been burned. Don't forget to launch Photoshop and create a beautiful amaray/jewel case cover.