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Challenge of the Decade?: Automated DVD Authoring

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Helge Løken
Challenge of the Decade?: Automated DVD Authoring
on Jan 14, 2010 at 9:00:47 am

My apologise for the ambiguous title - I wanted to attract those of you brilliant people most eager for a proper challenge!

I work for a Norwegian broadcaster and is part of a tiny project looking to automate the process of DVD authoring and DVD burning directly from our MAM system. It does not matter if we have to use a mac, windows or linux for the process. Let's also say that money / resources is not important.

At the core of our MAM is a system called Omnibus G3 Desktop. In this context however, this might be irrelevant as this tool can output a Final Cut Pro style XML that I'm thinking we ideally could use to create the DVD. Here is a breakdown of the process.

User part:
- The user selects which clips he/she wants to put on the DVD, including in and out points if required. All the files are located on a central server that can be access via osx, linux or windows.
- User exports an XML (Final Cut Style) which contains a "sequence" of their clips.

Automated part
- XML-parser: If necessary we will create an XML parser that will translate the exported XML into a format that the next step in the process can read. This should be fairly easy.

- Encoding step: Either the separate files will be merged into one file (with chapter markers between each file) OR they will be encoded as separate files. The encoder have to pan track one to LEFT and track two to RIGHT and ignore track three and four.

- DVD authoring step: Simple menu (Play button, possibly chapter/track menu) with the sequence name from the original XML. Authored into a DVD.

- Burn step: Automatic DVD replicator that will burn a copy - ideally with a label stating todays date, our company logo and the sequence name from the XML.

Any ideas as to the mechanisms we could use at the different steps in this workflow?

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eric pautsch
Re: Challenge of the Decade?: Automated DVD Authoring
on Jan 14, 2010 at 9:48:51 am

you might check out this product:

I know its really expensive and Sonic support is God awful

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Matt Townley
Re: Challenge of the Decade?: Automated DVD Authoring
on Jan 14, 2010 at 5:04:19 pm

I'm not sure about the authoring side of the equation, but from the disc publishing and printing side, a Rimage Producer 7100/8100 could handle everything you need. Their software, Production Server, has a set of developer APIs that you could use to integrate the output of whatever you come up with to author the disc. Once authored, it could autput a disc image and trigger an automated response from the Rimage software to burn the disc/s, and print whatever variable information it was told to print. You can even design artwork that has variable data fields that get merged with the info from the XML file for title, and sequence names and numbers.

I know Rimage has been making a push into the pro-video world trying to market automated P2 archive solutions, so if you contact them, they may be able to direct you to a VAR that has experience with this sort of configuration.

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