How to correctly burn a DVD


Disclaimer: the advice given in the following is not (or only in part) my own wisdom, they are merely a collection of very good advice given by many experienced members of this board. Thanks to Sue, Beverly, Karl, Karsten, Fred, Len, Bengt, Matti, and many others who have been helping to keep things working - keep it up.

Before you start (from iMovie)

• Do not use the "Share to iDVD" option in iMovie, but save and quit iMovie then open iDVD and drag in your movie from the media pane or choose File > Import > Video. This has two advantages:
a. Only one app is open
b. It avoids a bug present in iMovie concerning photos/slides described by Karl Petersen in this thread:

• iDVD likes to have the project(s) on your startup disc with min. 20 GB of available disc space

• iDVD doesn't get along well with 12-bit audio from camcorders (16-bit is required)

• iDVD 6 only: There have been several issues concerning hangs/crashes when using mp3 files. Convert all mp3 audio files into AIFF before importing/burning.
Related thread:

The Rules of Chapter Markers:

*Make sure no chapter markers are within two seconds of the start or end of the timeline.
*Make sure no chapter markers are within a transition.
*Make sure no chapter markers are within two seconds of the end of a transition.
*Make sure you do not have the "Share selected Clips" option checked when preparing to share to iDVD

violating theses rules can create burn problems in iDVD


1. iDVD is NOT a disc burning app, so leave that work to software designed for it. Instead use iDVD's "Save as Disc Image" option (File > Save as Disk image). This creates an .img file on your HDD, that can be stored for future use and gives you the option to preview your DVD on your Mac before burning to disc.

2. Use Disc Utility or Toast to burn your DVD at slow speed. 4x is acceptable, 2x (... or even 1x) is better.

3. Use high quality DVD-R (not DVD+R) media (e.g. Verbatim) to minimize burn errors and compatibility issues. Make sure the DVD is compatible with slow burn speed (e.g. 1x-4x)

• iDVD 4 disc image burning can be enabled through the patch HPfurz
• if your Mac has no double-layered enabled Superdrive, but you like to create a DL-media disk-image, launch Terminal, and type (or copy/paste form here):
defaults write SupportDualLayerProjects -bool true

Additional Reading:

John Beatty: Troubleshooting iDVD
iDVD appears to be unresponsive when encoding Audio
Burning a disk image file on a CD or DVD in Mac OS X
How to copy previously-burned DVD-R video discs
About optical disc drive burning and write speeds
Factors that affect writing to or reading from optical media
Jim Taylor's DVD FAQ
Which DVD media to buy and why
Ken Stone on iDVD
Fred 'Prof. Pixel' Shippey's website:



Have Fun With iMovie!