During the time the Doo Wop Society was in existence, we recorded our musical shows using a VHS camera recorder. Some years back I converted the tapes to DVDs; this was a straight dubbing without adding any chapters. I probably have close to 50 DVDs with each one about the usual two hours in duration. Additionally there was a similar organization in New Jersey that produced similar shows so I have a dozen or so DVDs (also converted from VHS) for this club too.
The DVDs have a combination of musical performances along with the introduction of each performer. I would like to copy these DVDs to a hard drive and edit them so I have chapter marks for each song; there may be about 30 songs on each disc so we could be talking about 1500 songs that would need to be separated by chapter.
My plan is to have all the DVD performances copied to an external hard-drive that I would plug into my Xbox. With an Excel spreadsheet I could see the chapter number for a particular song or performer, and immediately go to that performance just like we do with store bought movie videos. If I canít so this with the Xbox then Iíd just have the videos on a laptop that I could connect to the TV.
I imagine I would have to copy the DVD to my computer first, and then add the chapter marks. Iíve done this before on a disc but have not tried this with a video file.
Is what Iím suggesting possible and is there a software that can handle this?
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I would think it would be easier to just rip the contents of your DVDs to HDD and re-author the DVDs, just adding chapter marks to the existing content. No re-encoding (with accompanying quality loss or lengthy time) involved.
Whether you actually change the menu system (if there is one) is up to you, but that sounds like a lot of extra work, above and beyond just adding chapters to all those titles.
Software that may be what you're looking for (though not what you proposed):
Of course, you could always "go disc-less" as many are doing, and convert to AVC MP4s or similar. While doing so, you could have the software chop the clips up at the "chapter mark" points.
I don't recommend this for 2 reasons:
Time (lots of it by the sound of it)
Quality loss. VHS-sourced and DVD-recorder-transferred material is NOT going to recompress well.
Cornucopia has good software suggestions for adding chapters to DVDs. AVStoDVD allows custom chaptering too. Re-authoring the DVDs will be the easiest way to create custom chapters based on songs.
Very few media files support chaptering. MKV and M4V or MP4 can. The XBox 360 won't play MKV files, but will play H.264/AVC M4V or MP4 files with the following restrictions.
Video profiles: Baseline, main, and high (up to level 4.1) profiles
Video bitrate: 10 Mbps with resolutions of 1920 x 1080 at 30 fps
Audio profiles: two-channel AAC low complexity (LC)
Audio max bitrate: No restrictions
Not all media players can use chapters in m4v or mp4 files. I'm not sure about what the XBox 360 does with them. ...and as already mentioned, you will loose quality by converting to H264/AVC.
I don't use mp4 or m4v much myself. I have used Handbrake on a DVD and I know it can use chapters from a DVD when converting to m4v, but I don't believe it provides a way to add them otherwise. I have read that mp4box (a commandline tool) can do chapters, but I have never used it. Perhaps others will chime in with more complete information.
Adding chapters to an existing DVD without re-authoring and re-encoding is a simple task with VobBlanker (but the precision of the cut point is only approximately 0.5 second). Adding a chapter menu is more complex, although that can probably be made relatively simply given the fact that the DVDs are extremely simple (no menus, no extras, only a single movie). You will have to create the chapter menu with an external program, and that's time consuming, but they can probably be added to the existing DVD without too much difficulty. You'll have to provide more information about the format of your DVDs, but I'm sure we can help you.r0lZ
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