Movie Shrink and Burn v2
Gazette Reader Bill G. writes:
" Dear Dennis,
I just finished reading the latest issue of the Gazette, and have two questions to ask you concerning transferring video files to CD recordable. Similar to reader Samuel C., I own a video recorder and have transferred a number of VHS videos to the computer. The problem is, however, that a number of the files are too large to copy onto a single CD recordable disc. I read somewhere that I can compress my video files into another format, and therefore, make them fit onto a single CD. Can you explain how this works?
And secondly, I have downloaded a number of movie files from others using various file sharing programs. The files are small enough to fit onto CD, but my DVD player won't recognize the disc. Any ideas? "
With respect to the first problem: the camcorder video files can be reformatted (or "re-encoded") in a number of ways: by using a better video compression format (known as "video codec"), by adjusting parameters of the video file and re-encoding (resulting in lower quality video, but the ability to fit on 1 disc), or by splitting the video file across multiple CDs (without any change in video quality).
As for playing downloaded movies in your DVD player: most movie files downloaded from the 'net are compiled using a media format that are only playable on a PC. Therefore, you will need to convert the movie files into another media format before they can be read in your DVD player (using the Video CD [VCD] or Super Video CD [SVCD] format).
In either case, you can use a video re-encoding utility to get the job done.
Video Re-Encoding: Not for newbies ... or is it?
Up until now, video re-encoding used to be a subject that only computer geeks and tech gurus could understand. Many video compression programs of yesteryear and today are very tech-oriented, requiring much trial and error, complex calculations, and a lot of 'tweaking' to produce a desirable outcome. Because video re-compression is a CPU-intensive task, using the 'trial and error' method can result in a lot of wasted time.
As I mentioned in yesterday's article, there is a freeware video encoding utility called VirtualDub that can reformat video streams; however, the program requires quite a bit of technical know-how and may require third-party plug-ins (I.E.: audio and video codecs) in order to complete the task.
An easier way
A few weeks ago I was introduced to a new product from Ashampoo, called Movie Shrink and Burn v2. I put off writing the review because I've been extremely busy with other projects (redesigning the web site, writing a guide to installing Windows XP Service Pack 2, answering emails, writing newsletters) -- but since you've asked the question, I decided to installed Shrink and Burn v2 on my machine.
OK, so what is Ashampoo Movie Shrink and Burn v2?
In the great tradition of Ashampoo software, Movie Shrink and Burn v2 provides a newbie-friendly, all-in-one solution to video re-encoding with built-in CD burning. Features include:
- Support for virtually any video file type: if you can open the movie file with Windows Media Player, you can convert it with Shrink and Burn (also supported are MPEG-2 .VOB and QuickTime .MOV formats).
- Easy to use 'set-it-and-forget-it' technology: With Ashampoo Movie Shrink and Burn v2, simply set the target output size for your video file and tell the program to store it on your hard disk or burn directly to CD or DVD. Perfect for large video files that wouldn't normally fit on a single 650 megabyte CD recordable disc (such as downloaded movie files or camcorder movies)!
- Make movie discs playable on TV: Ashampoo Movie Shrink and Burn can create VCD (Video CD) / SVCD (Super Video CD) / DivX / XviD compliant discs which are compatible with most home DVD players. Movie files can be recompressed into compliant formats or split onto multiple discs.
- Easy to understand help file: Need help along the way? No problem. Ashampoo's integrated help file explains everything you need to know about making re-encoding a video file -- all in simple to understand English.
- Complete solution: Together with the integrated CD burning function, Movie Shrink and Burn makes archiving videos and movies on CD easier than ever before. Just select your files and make two simple clicks, then lean back and relax. Ashampoo Movie Shrink & Burn 2 handles all the complicated settings for you in the background, and can also compress your movie so that it will fit on a single CD!
Ashampoo Movie Shrink and Burn 2: Compatibility
Ashampoo Movie Shrink and Burn v2 runs on Windows 98, Me, 2000 and XP. The integrated CD burning function supports multi-session CDs and over 1,500 CD burners.
Ashampoo Movie Shrink and Burn v2 makes it a breeze to burn movie files to CD and supports virtually any media type. Although Shrink and Burn doesn't offer advanced editing features found in similar encoding utilities, newbie video enthusiasts will certainly appreciate its simplistic and intuitive interface.
Special offer for Gazette Readers
The kind folks at Ashampoo appreciate the support Gazette Readers have shown over the past year and have therefore extended a massive 35% discount off the retail price of Movie Shrink and Burn v2. Normally, this great software retails for $49.99 (as seen here), but if you purchase Movie Shrink and Burn through our web site today, you'll pay only $32.49! This offer is not available anywhere else -- so grab your copy today!
Side note: Ashampoo is also currently offering CD Burning Suite 4 and 5 at a super discount (35% off) -- only available to our subscribers. If you haven't already read the article which features Ashampoo Burning Suite and explains the importance of CD Mastering Software versus run-of-the-mill burning software, you can do so by clicking this link.
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