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  1. Hello everyone. I hope you are well. Three years ago I converted all my older 'videos' from multi formats to digital except my mini DVD-R's from my Hitachi DZ-MV730A. I could not find a service that converts this media type. I am newly settled in a new place and want to convert a bunch of these discs. Haven't used the camcorder in years. Two questions - how can I tell, using the Camcorder, if a disc has already been finalized? And does anyone know how I can turn them into digital files that I can share with the family? I am working on a 2015 MacBook Pro (with Retina) that has Parallels and Windows 10. I do have the Hitachi user manual but it might as well be in Japanese for the extremes - too little info or too complicated. Thank you so much for your input.
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  2. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    It doesn't hurt it if you try to finalize a disc that has already been finalized. So try them all.

    And don't digitize them, they are already digital. Just copy the contents to your harddrive and use the files (VOB or similar media files, depending on how your cam structures things). These can, if necessary, be converted (probably to avc/h264 in mp4 file) for other uses such as mobile playback, uploading/sharing, etc.

    Scott
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  3. Thank you for clarifying that Scott I wasnít aware of that. So that makes the finalization part a non-issue. Iím a little confused about your other response though. I misspoke. I shouldnít have said digitized. When I originally was converting everything I was converting VHS tapes and 8 mm as well. I know itís digital, but itís in a format thatís not readable by my Mac or my TV. So somehow I need to convert it. The camcorder is old and very limited in what it can and canít do.
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  4. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Ok, I'm gonna back up a bit and tell you that it is possible to create 2 vastly different (internally, structure) dvd types using that cam.
    Dvd-Ram and Dvd-R.

    The kind that is most compatible with standard dvd-video players is dvd-r. It has the standard, expected *.VOB, *.IFO, & *.BUP in the VIDEO_TS folder.
    The other kind, while it has potential to do some useful tricks with the material - after it has been recorded - and allows for a more dynamic presentation more like authored Hollywood titles, is the LEAST STANDARD of the dvd standards. It has a *.VRO file instead of the *VO, which resides in a DVD_RTAV folder.

    One benefit of the Ram format is that it doesn't need finalizing to be readable.

    Which format is yours? You might simply be able to tell on the face/surface of the discs, based on the logo.
    If not you should open the disc in a computer and look at which file structure matches the above.

    If you have dvd-r, your job is much easier. You should be able to just copy the whole VIDEO_TS folder over to your drive and the convert it using one of the popular tools: DVDFab, Handbreak, MakeMKV (there are others). Or you could even just rewrap the vobs into mpgs using vob2mpg (doubt that is available on a Mac though).

    If you have a dvd-ram, you still need to copy the files/folder over, but you will need different tools. I don't know of an mac tools that work w ram. On pc side, dvdvob2mpg, and tmpeg authoring works (but you will have to compile to std dvd-video folder first, and then treat is as a dvd-r like above) can read vro files. Not sure what else.

    Hope that helps,

    Scott
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  5. Hello everyone - I am back. I was able to use the trial version of CDRoller to determine that all but 1 disc has data (video) on track 4. However, they want $49 for the fun version. If I bu that, it will put a file on my computer, that I can save to a different disc to finalize on my Camcorder. The customer service person there told me not to finalize it outside of the Camcorder. I really cannot afford $49. And I cannot seem to find affordable min DVD-R discs anywhere. If I find a box for less than $20 the shipping is astronomical. I have about 20 discs that need to be finalized. Is there any other free or reasonably priced software that can do th trick? Honestly, I don't care if the discs are finalized, I just want playable digital files that I can plan on my computer (and to the TV when I connect it). CDRoller won't work on my MAC, which means I have to install it on my husband's slow Windows computer (not sure it if is even compatible). My MAC does have Parallels with windows 10, but I am not sure if I can use it on there since it is still a MAC. TIA
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  6. Member DB83's Avatar
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    As Scott originally suggested, did you actually try finalizing these disks in the camcorder ?


    I do not exactly know what you mean by 'Track 4' unless it simply means that you do have an un-finalized disk that was used 4 times to film scenes. But that might also confirm that the disk is un-finalized.


    But maybe I over-simplify the issue and they are dvd-ram disks. But, again, as Scott pointed out there should be a label or something on the disk (or the case) so determine whether it is a dvd-video disk or a dvd-ram disk.


    I am not familiar with the Mac system but in Windows you have Windows Explorer and you can view the contents of a finalized dvd-video disk and simply copy the contents to the HDD for further work. Again, not sure how that works with dvd-ram disks.


    So you must walk before your can run. Determine what you have and what you need to do with it finalizing-wise before the next step of converting to a file for playback on your Mac.
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  7. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    You can also do an end run around the whole finalizing issue by using something like ISOBuster, which can work with discs whether they are finalized or not.

    And since these are camcorder-based discs, it is very unlikely they have and copy protection/encryption to worry about. You may have to pay for it to get all the features you want, or maybe not, but either way it is worth it. You can just do an extraction of your desired clips from whichever track(s) you wish. Much better than CDRoller IMO.
    Disclaimer: I am a paying, happy customer/user of isobuster for more than a decade, and am proud that some of my feature suggestions seemed to have made it to release. But I have no other affiliation with them.

    I don't think it is available on Mac, but you shouldn't have any trouble with Parallels, BootCamp, or your spouse's Windows PC. The app doesn't have strenuous speed, memory, or bandwidth requirements. Just might take a little longer for certain operations.


    Scott
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  8. Thank you for your replies.
    DB83: The reason I originally posted was because my Camcorder would not recognize these discs. Others, that were already finalized on it, it did. CDRoller IT told me that 4 tracks will show up on each disc and I should only concern myself with the 4th track because that is the actual video.They are all mini DVD-Rs, definitely not DVD-Rams. Also, the MAC is a moot point, I now realize (didn't think about it when I was posting earlier), because the external DVD drive is a feed drive and you cannot feed mini discs.
    Scott:I noticed ISOBuster on a site when I was researching alternatives to the expensive CDRoller. I don't know what it costs or specifically if it does the same thing as CDRoller. The CDR IT people told me (in writing) that I should not ty to finalize the disc anywhere but int he original camcorder. But as I mentioned here, and told them, the camcorder will not recognize them. One of their IT guys said to check the discs with the trial version - if it finds videos, then save them (using their paid version) to the computer and then to a disc to finalize on my camcorder. That means purchasing 20+ min DVS-Rs (a pretty big expense, and they are very hard to find). So I was reading your post as I went along - I now see your disclaimer (lol, I trust you!), and your experience with them. Is it user friendly? And affordable? I am somewhat savvy, but not when it comes to these type of software.
    Thank you both! This has been dragging on for years with me not being able to finalize these discs and my daughter has not seen any of the videos from that era (before her father assed away), so I really want to get this done as soon as I can.
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    I have posted instructions similar to this a few times. If you can use a Windows PC, the recovery method below using the free/trial version of ISOBuster, plus Mpg2Cut2 (free). I've had to change my recommendations for editors a couple of times as some older software has become incompatible with newer versions of Windows or is no longer available. There may be other editors that can be used if you want to experiment. ISOBuster and Mpg2Cut2 may be downloaded from VideoHelp's software pages at the links for them above.

    1. Open ISOBuster free
    2. Select DVD drive (If you can see "Track 01" or other tracks in the left-hand pane, it can recover at least some of your data)
    3. Open Options menu
    4. Select "Image File"
    5. Select "ISO/BIN/TAO" Tab
    6. Uncheck both boxes
    7. Close dialog window
    8. Right-click on "Track 01" (or another track if there are others) in the left-hand pane
    9. Select "Extract Track xx"
    10. Select "Extract User Data (*.tao, *.iso, *.wav)"
    11. Choose where you want to save the data. (It will copy everything it can find as one big .tao file, which is a type of disc image)
    12. Rename the .tao file to .VOB.
    13. Open Mpg2Cut2 and drag the VOB file to it. Click through any error messages.
    14. Edit the VOB file to separate into individual videos as clips and export as .mpg files.
    15. You can re-author the clips into a new DVD using DVD authoring software. AVStoDVD is easy to use if you only need a basic menu or no menu.
    Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord, Snoopy329
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  10. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    From what I know of both (last time I checked): CDroller is good, and covers a number of disc types. ISOBuster is much better, more advanced and covers many more disc types, as well as burn types, file systems, states of finalization, etc.
    Iirc, the payware portion of ISOB is $40, so not much different.

    Yes, it is ALWAYS recommended that one finalize in the device that did the burning in the 1st place. In lieu of that when that is no longer possible, ISOB can attempt (and often succeeds) at finalizing - mainly because it fully reads all the previous session burn info, so has a very good (if imperfect) understanding of the burn requirements to complete the finalize in a seamless, contiguous fashion.
    Regardless, ISOB can read unfinalized discs. My question to you is: do you need these discs themselves to be replayed elsewhere, or are you merely trying to do a one-off transfer of that disc's info so that it can be copied and/or converted to shareable filetypes? If the latter, you need never finalize, just read the unfinalized disc in ISOB.

    Also, the way most of these cam/recorders work is they use either a track/session-at-once method which waits until you close the last session and then finalize, or they use a packet-writing method (which acts very similar to a hard drive) which keeps appending packets in pre-allotted sectors, until you finalize. For yours, my guess is the former. And if so, the way the tracks/sessions work is that (usually) the read in the index of what's in the previous track/session and then add/appened/duplicate it in the index (also called a table of contents or TOC) to the new track/session, in a sense repointing the link so that the newest track/session's TOC should look like it has everything on that session. It appears like it's cumulative.
    Except they really aren't - especially if they were recorded at different times. And some apps might have difficulty reading corrupted TOCs and won't give you much, whereas ISOB can read (well) each and every TOC from each and every track/session, thus providing redundancy in case of a corrupted TOC. So, if the 4th track has a bad scratch - other apps might not give you anything. ISOB can look at and give you everything from tracks 1 - 3 and then usually does a great job at recovering or reconstructing the bad track 4 stuff (either wholely or partly).


    Scott
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  11. Member DB83's Avatar
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    I worry about the advice given by the CDR guys. If their program or Isobuster, which is, as stated, probably better for you, can get the video off the 'unrecognisabke' disks you certainly DO NOT need to get more mini dvd-R disks since


    a. You state that your external drive will not accept them and more essentially


    b. You create a finalised disk in the PC in a full-size dvd using, again, free tools.


    Now you can use your Mac to copy the contents from that and then proceed with the creation of the video that your daughter can see.


    But you may still want to use Windows (even on the Mac) since there is much more, and free, software available to do the final step than that exists for Mac systems.
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  12. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Btw, 80mm->120mm spacer rings - to allow for the use of mini discs in slot or tray drives - used to be available at one time.
    Always a caveat using them though.

    Scott
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