DVD as Download
Not sure which forum to post this in, but let's try here...
I created a series of educational DVDs using Final Cut Pro, and now want to be able to sell these DVDs as digital downloads as the hard copies are running out. Not sure what is the neatest format to put them into from DVD Studio Pro so that the retains its functionality (menus, rom material etc.)
Any ideas about this, and also about how best to transfer the files once a sale is made?
Thanks a lot,
Not a digital download expert, but know enough about DVD authoring that I might be able to make a couple of uninformed observations...
If you want to electronically send someone a DVD, and retain all of its functionality, menus, etc., there are two ways to do that...
The first is to author the DVD as an IMAGE file. Then you get a single file that can be sent to the recipient, who can then use it to burn their own DVD. It is highly unlikely though that the recipient could directly play the IMAGE file, as-is, on their computer. It would require them to actually burn a physical DVD, using appropriate software, and then view it in either a set-top DVD player, or in a computer DVD drive (with the proper video DVD software).
The other way is to transfer the recipient ALL the files that make up the DVD. That would be the VIDEO_TS folder, and all of its contents. Since you can't easily/instantly transfer a folder (only files), one way to do that would be to create a compressed file (.zip file, etc.) and drag your VIDEO_TS folder into the .zip file. Then you would have a single file you could transfer to someone, via FTP, or put it on your own server where they could download it, or use a file transfer service such as Hightail. The recipient would receive a file they could unzip and then play directly on their computer, or use to burn an actual physical DVD.
How best to transfer? I dunno... if you're just doing one or two every now and then, you could do it by one of the three methods I mentioned above.
But if you expect a high volume of these and need to do online merchant sales and delivery of digital downloads, no doubt there are third-party companies that do just that.
Or... you could just get more discs replicated. There are companies like DiscBurn that do that (including packaging and face printing) and do a good job at unbelievably cheap prices.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
For what it's worth, VLC media player will play image files (.iso) natively.
I think many of the latest operating systems come with an image burning application, don't they?
If those ideas don't help, and you're only doing a few copies, burn them yourself (I found Nero not that expensive, and my printer will label discs in color, cases are cheap) or you could pick up a modest number with color cardboard sleeves from someplace like WTS Media or any of the many disc duplicators out there.
There is no "way to peace." Peace is the way.
Yeah it is eay enough to burn a few yourself, of course.
I hate labels, though... we buy the white printable blanks and print right on the faces. They look very professional and it is actually cheaper to do it that way than to print and stick on a label... though you do need an inkjet printer that will do discs.
Still, we have found that if we need more than just a handful it is significantly cheaper to outsource replication to DiscBurn.... when you figure in the cost of the blanks, ink, and your time.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
Amazon offers a service (for a percentage) that will handle the digital downloads AND DVD burns for you. Being Amazon, they can also help you market the program better, and it's an on-demand service, so you don't sit with unsold inventory. You make less profit but have to do much less work.
Converting a DVD to a downloadable creates enhanced risks for piracy. One guy buys your product and shares illegal copies on t or rent sites, then you're out of luck. Did you mean streamable content, or truly a download, where you keep a playable copy locally?
Also, conversion of this sort can be pretty complex if you plan to turn it into a runtime module with menu trees, or a web-based site in flash, with interactive links to clips. Programming that is non-trivial.
Certainly cloud-based media servers for content are the future, but for a small entrepreneur, it's a complicated business.
Thanks very much for all those suggestions. Most useful.
I was looking at the digital download (so customers have an actual copy) because it would do away with the expense of P&P, not to mention the annoyance of storing a large quantity of discs. But the piracy issue is a concern. So what about having a password to a cloud storage site where customers could access the content whenever they wanted to, but I could also keep track of multiple use of passwords to either mention to customers as a deterrent or in fact use it as a real method to try and prevent people from giving passwords to others. Or even have my own web site to fulfill that function (store and play content). I imagine the number of people accessing the content would have an impact on the site specifications (it would need to be able to cope with multiple users accessing content with no hitches or glitches.
Any ideas on that?
Thanks a lot,
I've got the solution you are looking for! e-Delivery lets you deliver a digital version of a DVD, complete with all menus, chapters, subtitles, bonus content, etc. The download will play on PC, Mac, iOS devices (iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch), Android smartphone or tablet, or Kindle Fire (you can even deliver to SmartTV if you have an app for it). You can prevent unauthorized copying and distribution, and you can allow users to burn their own copy-protected DVD (available only on PC downloads). You also get an e-commerce web site to sell and manage your distributions (can be run on a subdomain of your site). There are many other advantages and options for this type of electronic delivery. Call me - let's talk about it!
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We can help!
Endeavor Digital, Inc.
Digital Content Management Solutions
Great - thanks for that. Will check out the links and hopefully be in touch.