This program takes one or more video streams (which are the .m2v or
.vob files that are produced by movie-to-dvd) and exactly one
title sequence (as produced by movie-make-title or
movie-make-title-simple) and combines all of them into a navigational
menu from which a viewer of the DVD can choose which movie he or she wants to
The program will produce a VOB file that can be used as a menu if you want to
do your own DVD authoring, but it will also produce an XML file that can be
used directly as an input file for dvdauthor, the program that you will
most likely be using to create the DVD images that you can burn on a real DVD.
The menu will look as follows: the background that will fill the entire screen
will be the supplied title sequence (as produced by movie-make-title
The sound from the title sequence (if any) will be audible while the viewer is
choosing which movie to watch.
If the animated type of menu was chosen in movie-make-title or
movie-make-title-simple, each movie in the menu will be presented by
having a rectangle in the menu in which a picture-in-picture version of that
movie is display (exactly as long as the title sequence is itself).
If the static type of menu was chosen in movie-make-title or
movie-make-title-simple, each movie in the menu will be presented by
having a rectangle in the menu in which one frame of that movie is
displayed, that will remain unchanged while the menu is being displayed.
If the none type of menu was chosen in movie-make-title or
movie-make-title-simple, none of the movies in the menu will have a
preview image at all.
Below the rectangle (or below the navigation button(s) if there is no preview
image), the name of the movie will be displayed.
If no further information is supplied (see further on), the movie's file name
will be used as the title (which is most likely not what you want), otherwise
the supplied title will be used.
Above the rectangle (or above the title if no preview images are present), a
"play" icon will be displayed, which can be chosen by using the DVD player's
remote to play the movie.
If more information is supplied (more than just a title), an extra
"information" icon will be displayed as well, which can be selected in order
to view the extra supplied information.
If supplied, one can also add information about the movies to the DVD: an
extra information icon will appear with the movie's title, and when chosen,
the information will appear for the viewer to read.
If there is more information than will fit onto the screen, a scrollbar will
be created, and the viewer will be able to scroll by using the up and down
keys on his or her DVD player's remote control.
The way the extra information works is as follows: create a file with the same
name as the video stream's name, except using .info as the extension
instead of .m2v or .vob.
So if you have a video stream called my_home_video.m2v, then you should
create a text file called my_home_video.info.
There is a program called movie-rip-tv.com that can produce such
.info files for TV episodes: the information is ripped from tv.com.
See its manual page for more information about this.
EXTRA INFORMATION FORMAT
The file has a certain format: the first line should be the title of the movie
as it should be displayed in the menu.
You may use the special character ^ (carrot, usually shift-6) to split
up the title into multiple lines.
This is useful when the title is quite long and is too wide to fit in the
The remainder of the file may be used to supply information about the movie.
If the file contains only one line, only the title will be used and no
"information" icon will be displayed for this movie.
Lines should normally not be any wider than about 60 characters to avoid the
lines being wider than the screen can display.
EXTRA INFORMATION COLORS
To introduce some extra clarity, you may specify in which color a line should
Usually, the text is white (and the background is always black).
You may type a hash mark (#) followed by a six-character hexadecimal
color code (the same as those used on the web) followed by a space followed by
the line itself to display a line in a certain color.
EXTRA INFORMATION EXAMPLE
An example of a .info file could be:
My first words
My first words
September 8th, 1975
A home video that captures my first words as a child!
In this case, the title is "My first words", which will be displayed in the
Further more, extra information is supplied, which can be viewed using the
"information" icon on the DVD.
The "Title:" line will be in yellow, the "Date:" line in magenta and the
"Synopsis:" line will be presented in red.
The other text will be in plain white.
The following options are available:
Specifies the name of the menu VOB file that should be produced by this
Not only this file is created, but a whole lot of other files as well.
These files can be automatically cleaned up by using the -C option (see
the information there).
The most notable files are output itself (which is a VOB file that can
be used as a menu, if you want to do your own DVD authoring) and
output-dvdauthor.xml, which is an XML file that can be given to
dvdauthor's -x option to create the DVD image for you.
There is also output-overlay.gif, which will contain the titles and the
rectangles used in the menu.
This file can be viewed to see whether the titles all fit nicely in the menu
before you decide to burn it to a real DVD.
Personally, I usually use the name title.vob (short and to-the-point).
When this option is supplied (and the rest the of arguments remain as they
were when the program is first run), the program will clean up all the
temporary files that were created for producing the DVD image.
When the program is run without this option, it will suggest a command line
to run including this option when it finishes, to clean up.
This option tells the program which title sequence directory to use, which
must have been created my movie-make-title or
Please look in the manual pages for movie-make-title and
movie-make-title-simple for more information on how to use those
Normally, the program will determine by itself what the optimal grid size
is in which to present all the movies at once.
For example, if there are five movies, it will set the grid size to three by
two (leaving one space blank).
Using this option, you may override the program's default grid size and set
it to X by Y (note the letter x in between the two numbers).
If you specify a grid size that has more spaces than there are movies, the
last few spaces will be left blank.
If you specify a grid size that has fewer spaces than there are movies, the
program will tell you so and will refuse to run.
Normally, the program will start capturing frames for the picture-in-picture
versions of the movies to put in the menu from the beginning (first frame) of
This is often just fine, but sometimes you will want to start capturing
frames somewhere beyond the start.
You could want this if all the movies start the same way, for example.
You'll also want to use this if you are displaying static preview images in
your menu: if you don't, you will probably just see a black image because the
first image of a movie is rarely anything useful.
Using this option, you can specify a number seconds, which will be used as
a seek position in the movie before any frames are captured.
Sets how long a chapter lasts in the movies.
Chapters are created every interval minutes in the movies.
This makes the movie easy to navigate with a DVD player's remote control.
The default is 2 minutes.
If you do not want chapters to be created, specify none.
If this program is called with a incorrect set of parameters, it will print a
diagnostic message telling the user what went wrong.
Also, it will then print its usage information, listing all the options and
The program tells you what it is doing while it is running.
The command line that I use most often is:
movie-title -o title.vob -t title input1.m2vinput2.m2v
AFTER RUNNING THE PROGRAM
Once the program has been run, you should run dvdauthor to create a DVD
image that you can burn to a real DVD.
The program will tell you how to run dvdauthor once it has finished.
Also, it will suggest what to run after dvdauthor has done its job to
clean up all the temporary files that are no longer necessary at that point.
BURNING THE IMAGE TO A REAL DVD
Once you have created a DVD image with dvdauthor, you may burn it onto a
How this is done depends on which program you use for that.
Personally, I use growisofs.
The command line that I use for that program is:
The directory_with_image is the directory that you specified in
dvdauthor's -o option.
MOVIES WITH MORE THAN ONE PART
Some movies are split up into more than one part.
That is, you have more than one .m2v or .vob file, which together
make up the entire movie.
For example, you could have a movie that has been split up into separate
sections, each lasting a half hour at the most.
In this case, you don't want all the sections to appear in the menu, just
the section from which you want to rip the picture-in-picture view for use
in the menu.
You should supply just the .m2v or .vob as an argument to this
program from which you want to rip the frames for use in the menu, along with
any other .m2v or .vob files that you want to appear in the menu.
Once the program is done, just before you run dvdauthor, you should edit
the file called output-dvdauthor.xml.
Look for the line that contains the file name of the section of the movie
that you specified on the command line.
Copy this line and paste it below the existing line until you have as many
lines as that there are parts of the movie.
Now, edit the file names in each of the lines so that you end up naming all of
the sections of the movie.
Now, when you run dvdauthor, it will join all of the sections together
into one complete movie.
It will do this for all the movies that had been split up.