2mandvd_logo.jpgDVD authoring is an issue that concerns many users. Users who want to convert their video files, tv series, movies etc. into DVDs and watching them in a big TV on a standalone DVD player. For Windows there is a very good DVD authoring tool. You can read more in my ConvertXtoDVD guide . However there also many great applications for Linux users as well. In the past I have written a DeVeDe guide . This time I will present you another software called 2ManDVD .

2ManDVD is the successor of ManDVD, based on Qt4. It uses some command line tools such as ffmpeg, transcode, mencoder, dvdauthor, mjpegtools, dvdautor and others combined in a nice and easy to use graphical interface. I noticed that there isn't a manual for this program and the developer is French so I decided to write this guide. But let's get started. Install the package for your distribution and launch 2ManDVD. For this tutorial I have used 2ManDVD version 1.0RC2.

The first time it will ask you for a working directory. Make sure you have a few free GBs in this folder. It will also check your system for missing dependencies.

This is the first window of 2ManDVD. We will create a new projects. For Europe select a PAL format, while for USA select NTSC. 16/9 is for wide screens while 4/3 for the old ones.

This is the main window of 2ManDVD. Pretty nice, isn't it?!

First let's configure the DVD bitrate. Press Edition -> Preferences and select 5000 Kbps. Now let's choose a background for our DVD. You can either try one of the default themes or choose your own. Right click somewhere and select Bavkground image. png, jpeg images and even avi and mpeg files are supported (I haven't tried it though). To use a default one move your mouse over the Themes and masks tab.

You can also load an Introduction video (mpg, mpeg and avi formats are supported) and even a soundtrack for your DVD menu (mp3, wav and ogg formats are supported).

Next press the Medias button to add your video files. You can either drag and drop them or select the ones you want through the import button.

As you can see there is an indicator of the percentage of the DVD used by the files you have selected. I prefer writting about 2,5 hours of a video in a 4.7GB. The final result is very good. If you select a video file you can split it into chapters by pressing the Chaptering button.

You can create a chapter manually using the preview screen and the Add a chapter button or you can automatically create chapters every 20 minutes for example. When you are ready press the Close button.

As you can see the first video has 2 chapters.

Some extra actions are available if you write click on a video. For example you can change the video thumbnail, or load external subtitles. I noticed the 2ManDVD automatically loads .srt subtitles as long as they are in the same folder with the video and have the same name.

Back to the main screen. Now let's add some buttons in our DVD project. Press the Button withe the green cross. A button with a pencil will appear on screen. You must now assosiate an action to this button. Here I've put the first video file. You can also select an image for this button by clicking the themes and masks tab, or by loading your own image.

The same way add more buttons for your videos. Next let's add some text. This is simply done through the Text button. As you see there are many options for the text color, shadow color, opacity, font etc.

Now we will add some video thumbnails in our DVD menu. Simply click on a button you added previously and press the Video thumbnail button. The thumbnail you have chosen in the beginning for each video will appear.

There are many masks for the buttons and themes available to choose. You can also load your own images or edit the current ones. Play around with it and you will have a result that will satisfy you.

When you are ready select Generation -> Generate the DVD. Depending on how big are the video files you have used it will need a few or more minutes. Of course having a strong dual or quad core CPU and a 64bit Linux distribution helps encoding a lot.

When the encoding is finished you have the options to view the DVD you created, create an ISO image or burn it directly to a DVD. Of course it is always a good idea to view the encoded DVD first to make sure everything is as you expected. xine-ui is needed for preview. It would be nice if it used mplayer, but that's ok.

I really liked this video authoring tool. 2ManDVD has a variaty of options and is very easy to use. You need only a few minutes to get used to it. The final result was also excellent. Enjoy!

Comments (11)

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Great Guide
But how about when I already enconded the videos to DVD resolution, or SVCD resolution, and just want to author the DVD?

In the past, ManDVD used to re-encode an already video complaint file,
e.g: VCD, SVCD or DVD.

Can I skip the encoding part, and just author the DVD?
Tony , September 25, 2009
I haven't used the previous version of ManDVD Tony but as far as I can see there is no such an option in 2ManDVD.
axel , September 26, 2009
See, that's what that software needs.
To be able to choose whether to Author a DVD or create a new one all together.

Programs like DVDLab Pro and such let you author a DVD with no hassle.
It can also run on WINE just fine.

2ManDVD is a great program, but perhaps due to it's niche approach,
it's missing out the point.

Some of us veteran Linux users are used to do things on the command line,
and encoding videos is also one of those things.
We don't need to have our previously encoded video re-encoded, with different bitrates and aspect ratios.
We just want to author our DVD with a nice Menu.
For that we have QDVDAuthor, this one program is great... but only for a few.

Great guide by the way, keep'em coming.
Tony , September 26, 2009
You've got a point Tony. A basic difference between DVDLab Pro and 2ManDVD is that the first one is shareware while the second one freeware and open source.

I am also a fun of command line. However nowadays the number of Linux users is growing and since all of them come from Windows they are looking for quick GUI ways to do stuff.

By the way QDVDAuthor is my list of coming up guides. smilies/wink.gif

One way or the other I am doing my best to help as many people I can. Thanks Tony!
axel , September 26, 2009

is anybody able to use H.264 video on 2ManDVD?
hfish , October 14, 2009
hfish I don't think that H.264 video is supported from 2ManDVD yet. Using 2ManDVD 1.0.1 I can't open any H.264 video file.
axel , October 15, 2009
to Tony
You may try Bombono DVD you dont need for reencoding. See here http://www.bombono.org/
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