10.13. Burning DVDs
Although Microsoft finally let Windows XP write to CDs, it missed the boat on DVDs: Windows XP can't write to DVDs by itself; it needs third-party software. Many new PCs come with DVD burners, but since Windows XP can't do anything with them, the manufacturers usually slip in a DVD-burning program.
Like CD-burning programs, DVD-burning programs write to DVDs in different ways, depending on where you intend to play back the DVD.
Data . Intended for DVDs that never leave a PC, data-burning programs give your DVD that familiar look and feel of your CD burner . To copy information onto the DVD, stick a blank DVD into the drive, then drag your files onto the drive's icon or into its open window. These programs work well for people who enjoy DVDs for their large storage capabilities, letting them make large backups for safekeeping.
To burn CDs on a DVD burner, slip a blank CD in the drive. The drive examines every newly inserted disc; once it identifies it, it knows whether to behave like a CD burner or a DVD burner.
Video . Much more complicated (and expensive) than data-burning programs, these programs walk you through the process of creating a video DVD intended for the DVD player next to your TV (see Figure 10-9). Some programs include minor editing features for trimming the beginning or ending of a video, which is great for adjusting the starting and ending times of recorded TV shows or movies. If you're doing more serious video editingsplicing together pieces of footage into a movie complete with stereo soundtrack, for instancetry Windows XP's bundled Movie Maker (Section 5.9). When you outgrow that, you'll want to buy a separate video editing program, as well.
Figure 10-9. Video DVD creation programs like Roxio's MyDVD walk you through the process of copying your camcorder movies from your hard drive to a DVD so that you can watch them on a regular DVD player. You can create the opening menu that appears when you insert the DVD into a DVD player. You can also add background music, submenus, and buttons to the menu for jumping quickly to different sections of your video.
When shopping, make sure the software can handle your needs, be it data or video. If you find a program just for data, consider picking one up that handles video, as well. The data-only writers may be cheaper, but they won't help when your friend inevitably walks over with his camcorder and says, "Hey, I hear you have a new DVD burner "