I don’t know about anyone else, but over the years, Ive collected numerous video files, from trailers to tutorials, from “jokes” my friends have created to family events, which are dull to everyone but family members.
With this mish-mash of video’s comes the problem that just like making dinner, nobody does it the same way and Ive got a variety of codecs coming out of my ears.
I am lucky, I discovered a DVD player which handles almost everything I throw at it, including (most importantly) the xvid codec which for me is the mp3 of video files. My friends and family are not so lucky, with most of them having a fussy DVD player which was bought years ago and merely says “Yeah right” if you put anything into it other than off the shelf titles. Whilst I could find out what each of their players WILL play and hand them a disk full of video files, some of my family are rather IT baffled and prefer the more “traditional” route of DVD menu’s, selections and simplicity. Thats where DeVeDe comes in.
The package is written by Sergio Costas with Python and is probably the simplest piece of software Ive ever used. Simple not in its features, but simple in that you can run it and almost instantly be familiar with its basic features and well on your way to creating a DVD in seconds. Now I know that to be considered “l33t” you have to find the most difficult, complicated way of doing things which looks as bland as possible visually  but its very nice when a package such as DeVeDe drops into your lap and makes your life simple.
Upon loading DeVeDe you are presented with a screen which asks you what type of disk you are creating. In my instance it was DVD video, although there are offers of VideoCD, Super VideoCD, China VideoDisc and DivX/Mpeg-4 too. Next up you select the titles for your buttons on your menu screen and with a quick click to the adjacent box to select the files that are going to be played when this title is selected. This is where DeVeDe 3.16.8 really impresses and taking the worry of all those command line options away, it will automatically convert your files into DVD compliant format. After that its rinse and repeat for any other titles you want on your disk. NTSC and PAL are both catered for and there is a status bar to show you how much room you have left on the disk.
Other options include changing the fonts of the text on your menu (and colour/opacity), changing the background image and also having an MP3 playing on your menu screen. All the options are presented to you which you can change and there’s no navigating your way through submenu’s or complicated keypresses to get access to them.
Once you are finished fine tuning (and testing the menus if you wish) its time to create. Due to DeVeDe bringing together Mplayer, Mencoder, DVDAuthor, VCDImager, MKisofs, Python, PyGTK and PyGlade, encoding time (even on limited hardware) is rather impressive and when its all finished, you have a .ISO file to burn, archive or do whatever you want with.
I really can’t say how simple and easy this package is. If you are wanting to bore your friends by making a DVD of clips/film from a variety on sources in a way that doesn’t have you messing in the command line or using numerous packages individually to encode and then create the DVD, DeVeDe is the package for you.
If I was to give any criticism it would be that I would like to see the menu creation options expanded on the future. Whilst you can produce a very respectable looking disk from this package, I think that more advanced options/features for your menu’s would change an excellent package into a one that would give some of the commercial offerings considerable competition. That being said, this is a great download and one which can only get even better in the future, it does what so many other FOSS packages do – “Exactly what it says on the tin”
You can visit the DeVeDe homepage here.
 Said in jest and its rather hypocritical of me, since I insist on IRSSI instead of X-chat when I don’t even use the features of it.
Goblin – email@example.com
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