Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Burning VIDEO_TS folders from Disk Utility

I haven't had a problem that I recall using this method but "Dewshi" over at Macosxhints.com commented that sometimes the files are in the wrong order which explains why burning a VIDEO_TS folder in Disk Utility will result in a DVD that will play on a computer but not on a standard stand-alone DVD player.

I'm curious to test it out though and see if this does happen depending on thy way a VIDEO_TS folder is burned.

The reason a DVD player is unable to recognise the disk is that it requires the files in the VIDEO_TS to be physically in the correct order, in particular the VIDEO_TS.IFO file should come first. When you insert a disk into a DVD player it scans the first few sectors looking for this file which contains a list of sector offsets to find the title sets on the DVD. If the DVD player can’t find the IFO file or finds another file first it generally gives up.

Unfortunately, alphabetically the file “VIDEO_TS.BUP” comes first and the mac writes this file first when burning a plain data disk. A computer DVD player, on the other hand, understands the file system on the disk and can therefore find any file it wants with out having to know the offset values. That’s why the mac can play the disk OK, but not a DVD player.

It is also important that the VOB files are in the correct order as a DVD player just plays the data it finds, ignoring file boundaries, until it reaches the end. In fact a DVD player doesn’t even understand files and only uses sector offsets to find data.



So the problem is to structure the files in the required order on the written disk, and not just alphabetically. I’ve experimented with various disc images & software tools (e.g Burn), with no success. How do you burn a disk with files in a certain order?


ross said...

Hi Walker, I don't think the burn order is the problem, it's the disk formatting. A data dvd can be hfs or hfs+ or a variety of different formats, while a proper playable dvd has to be UDF formatted.
To make things more complex, I also think some dvd players can play non-standard discs.
Using toast is the easiest way to do it, but I just posted how to burn a pre-existing video_TS folder with dvd studio pro over on my blog. You can check it out here.

Walker Ferox said...

I've discovered that that indeed is likely the issue. I've done more tests about this than I probably should have and found that the only sure way to know if something works is to test.

I'll make a post on how to burn UDF on a Mac without DVDSP.

Thanks for the info!