Making autostart DVD using Tovid

I made a description how I produce DVD’s that play in any DVD player. (PC, Linux, Ubuntu 6.06) The resulting DVD will start the (first) film automatically. The files will play one after the other, seamlessly, and you can jump from one to the other by skipping to the next (or previous) chapter. I use this for making preview DVD’s usually containing two or three short films.

We use Tovid: a kind of wizard soft / conversion script that relies on ffmpeg to do the encoding. It executes scripts to automatise parts of the coding process necessary to go from whatever filetype to a proper MPEG2, containing correct audio and videostreams. It allows you to see if your videofiles are suitable for burning on a video dvd with Idvid, and can write xml files which are necessary for the VOB file structure via built in program makexml.

For options and help see the man pages of the softwares.


    1. install:


tovid (, or installation packages and instructions:


make sure to install all dependencies

    2. make a compatible mpeg2 of your film:

change working directory to your folder


$ tovid -in (input filename) -dvd -full -pal -out (output filename(no suffix!))

I tried mov and mpeg files, both worked fine.

or make several compatible MPEG2 files from a list of files:


$ tovid-batch -dvd -full -pal -infiles (list of filenames)

* note:

the tovid script will produce and delete a series of temporary files. Make sure to keep an eye on the filesize of the audiodump. I saw that the process of converting a mov file to an MPEG2 stuck, and the audiodump.wav file that should have been deleted kept growing up to 10 G, and would have grown bigger if i would not have quit the program.

    3. check the dvd compatibility of your files:


$ idvid (filename)

The output will give you an analysis of your file(s), including the conclusion whether or not the file is suitable for producing a video dvd

    4. make xml file necessary for dvd file structure:


$ makexml -dvd filename.mpg -out filename(no suffix)

or for a list of files:


$ makexml -dvd -group filename1.mpg filename2.mpg filename3.mpg -endgroup filename(zonder suffix) The result will be an XML: filename.xml.

    5. make the filestructure for the dvd:

$ makedvd filename.xml

Makedvd is a script to create a DVD-Video file structure and burn it to DVD it is part of the Tovid suite with: core dvd transcode It creates a disc structure with the following command: dvdauthor -x “/home/user/filename.xml” You should end up with a disc structure created in directory: Filename.

    6. burn to dvd:

You can burn the disc with a command like this:

$ makedvd -burn Filename

It will burn with growisofs 5.21 using the following command: growisofs -use-the-force-luke=dao -dvd-compat -Z /dev/dvdrw -dvd-video -V “FILENAME” pathtoyourfile
Ofcourse you can use a burner software such as k3b, where you can make a new dvd project, in which you drag and drop the folders you just made.

    7: ready !(?)

Posted on: Saturday, September 9, 2006 by: in category: Manuals, Software