Thanks all. I realized throwing money at the problem was the way to go, so I bought a refurbished G5 with intel Xeon processors and lots of space and a 1 yr warranty, and a used upgrade to DVDSP, with serial numbers (both returnable if nothing works) and I'm only out $350. Fingers crossed. I should have done this at the beginning, instead of spending 6 anxious days while my halfway done project languished, and I went down every funky road. What a week.
DVD as a primary delivery format is dead as far as the big players are concerned. I don't see anyone spending the time or money to develop a fully featured prosumer DVD authoring solution. Apple is typically first in line to abandon technologies that it concludes are on the way out. Remember the outrage when the iMac came out with no floppy drive? Or more relevant to this thread, the first MBP that had no disc drive? For those of us who still need to deliver DVDs, I think DVDSP is still the best option but it does mean keeping old technology running, either physically or virtually.
Agreed. It is weird, though. I wonder how much effort would really go into keeping DVD SP alive. The fact that not as many people use it doesn't mean that there isn't stil an activepopulation that does. It might be a niche market but it IS a market. Not to mention the fact that there is always a dialectical swing backwards at some point, where people will clamor for DVDs. I can tell you that Roxio Toast will not make the cut. What a joke. I have heard that it was more full-bodied a long while back, but the free app DVDstyler was better than the paid Roxio Toast. I can happily report that Corel lived up to their 30 day promise, though, and refunded me immediately after two days of disappointment.
The trick is you have to be smarter than the program.
1 - Toast recognizes chapter markers from FCP and will create accompanying thumbnails. You can also add them MANUALLY if the video wasn't chaptered to start with.
2 - The landing page is entirely customizable. Don't want the image center screen? Choose the two up menu and the video will be placed left registered with the right side vacant for menu composition. (I created different image wells in Photoshop. You'll need to modify the Toast menu pkg. within the app itself.)
3 - The quality of the disc can be doubled by maxing out the encode settings.
(4.5 mbps for DVD to 9.0 mbps for DVD, 16 mbps to 26 mbps for Bluray give incredible results.)
4 - A quality product can be mastered from what at first glance is a decidedly cheesy program if you're creative and know what you're doing. (And that would be me.)
The best thing about Toast is you can create an initial disc image (say it takes 40 minutes to master) and as long as you don't Delete Converted Items you can make changes at will without having to remaster another disc image from scratch if you decide to change something. A new & updated image file will master in maybe 2 minutes since the underlying encoding has already taken place and all Toast has to do is create new graphics. (As long as you don't swap out any underlying already converted video itself.)
Could be Toast 14 or 15. Found a way around its 'professional look' short comings (juvenileish menu graphics ) since version 6 or 7 but don't have the 20. Should be fundamentally the same or similar operation wise. I'll have to look into what the latest version improves upon or, like in most cases, removes.
Hmmm, well the version might make the difference. I typically bang every ounce I can out of a program, finding ways to do things I need to do. But this version...I think "remove" must have been the operating word.
Roxio web site strangely lacking information on what 20 can do and there's no free download to test it.
Go to Library > Application Support > Roxio > Toast Menu Items. Thats where they're stored. That's what you modify as far frame size, frame location, frame border, text position & character count, etc. It's a six layer PSD file easily modified.
One of my many modified menus with custom window size & placement. Backgrounds (in this case of speakers, birds, and general funkiness) are changeable via drop n drag in the main menu window and don't have to mod the underlying PSD file to do that.
Locate one of the stock menus and I'll mod it for you depending how you want the layout changed.
Thanks! Yes, I found these and did a lot of modification in photoshop and even created a background, maintaining all the necessary layers. In Toast, at least in v20, there is an issue of saving these menus. You have to use the names already given (you can't save to a new name-it won't come up). I think that the later versions are just dropping things right and left. I do not believe it will read chapter markers anymore. I tried to search for that in help, nothing came up, then a few online sources said that it woud not do it. They expect you to break it into small movies instead. Of course, then the transitions that were so thoughtfully styled in FCP do not work. No, it's DVDSP for this girl (fingers crossed that the new computer and program will join together is wedded bliss). But it is good to know that, at least, older versions of Roxio still have some spine.
I HAVE to believe that it's in there somewhere. This is for 19. Even if it doesn't recognize FCP chapters automatically (Look for MANUAL instead of every 1, 2 3, 5 10 minutes) it should give you the opportunity to insert them based on timecode of the video so you can get those transitions pinned down. Double click on everything until you find it.