Last updated: February 18, 2011
|DVD2Browse - User's Guide|
1. Installing and uninstalling DVD2Browse
Please read the README file that comes with the application.
2. Using DVD2Browse
If you open Preferences, you will find several tabs. Let's take a look at the settings under the first tab.
By enabling Auto shot, you can allow DVD2Browse to automatically take a snapshot of a DVD. Unless it's encrypted, DVD2Browse will grab the first VOB file (VTS_01_1.VOB or equivalent) and take a snapshot at the frame specified by the user. In order words, by the way, DVD2Browse is not able to read encrypted DVDs in order to take a movie snapshot, which doesn't mean DVD2Browse cannot read encrypted DVD data to get movie information. In fact, it can.
Caution must be taken here. Enter the number of total seconds from the beginning where you want DVD2Browse to take a snapshot. DVD2Browse utilizes ffmpeg, which must read a lot of frames until it reaches the one you've specified. The larger the number is, the longer it will take DVD2Browse to take a DVD snapshot. For example, if you set the number of seconds to 120, then DVD2Browse will automatically take a DVD snapshot at the frame 2 minutes from the beginning. During the course, ffmpeg must generate 20 lines of file information. You will definitely not want to set it to 144,000 (40 minutes from the beginning).
Next, let's see a box labeled Screenshot. This setting has to do with a tool button named QCapture. Anyway, set a path to the location where you want DVD2Browse to automatically send screenshots.
Switching to the Media Players tab, set a path to each media player like VLC Media Player and DVD Player, if you like. And DVD2Browse will try to open a selected DVD with a media player of your choice. DVD2Browse is not compatible with some media players in this regard. A couple of incompatible media players are MplayerOSX and MPlayer OSX Extended. These media players both utilize a command-line tool called mplayer, to which DVD2Browse cannot send DVDs.
Finally, let's switch to the tab labeled SiteURLs. By providing URLs, DVD2Browse will give you quick access to websites. Name a website and desirably enter a URL of a movie website like Yahoo! Movies (http://movies.yahoo.com).
Note that DVD2Browse must and will quit itself every time you click on the Close button. In order to maintain stability, this is a necessary procedure. DVD2Browse will automatically relaunch itself in a matter of a few seconds.
Change with Version 1.1.0
With version 1.1.0 upgrade, DVD2Browse can dramatically increase the accuracy of detecting the duration of an imported DVD. Let's switch back to the Settings tab. Find a box labeled Min VOB size. In order to distinguish a group of VOBs responsible for a featured title from others (for instance, menu), DVD2Browse reads the data size of each file. Commercial DVDs contain a group of VOBs. The first file (VTS_01_1.VOB, VTS_02_1.VOB, ... or VTS_10_1.VOB) must have a size of 1,024 MB unless a featured title on the DVD lasts for 20 minutes or so. If you intend to catalog only commercial movie DVDs, then you can simply raise the bar to 1,000 MB. Or set it to around 600 MB to include short DVDs. Some commercial DVDs contain a menu whose file size can be larger than 300 MB. If you set the bar too low, then DVD2Browse will detect a wrong group of VOBs, resulting in a wrong duration.
B. Importing DVDs
The main application window largely consists of 2 parts - Playlist window and Catalog window on top of DVD List. The playlist window lists DVD albums you have created. The catalog window shows a thumbnail of every DVD you have imported.
Before actually importing a DVD, the first step you should take is add a DVD playlist. A DVD playlist is a category under which you store DVDs. You can of course store all DVDs under one playlist. Or create multiple playlists and give a unique name to each to categorize your DVDs.
In order to add a new DVD playlist, simply right-button click anywhere on the playlist window. And you will get a contextual menu. Choose Add. You can also click on the Add button at the bottom to create a new playlist.
When you create a playlist, DVD2Browse will automatically name it DVD playlist. In order to rename it, choose Edit in the contextual menu or click on the Customize button at the bottom. In the next screen, you will get not just to change the playlist name but also to change the playlist icon.
Now, let's import a DVD with Auto shot on. Importing a DVD means creating a DVD profile with DVD2Browse. By saying 'DVD,' it can be available in the form of a disc, a Video_TS folder, disc image or just a folder with any name. And DVD2Browse can deal with all those forms of DVDs as long as they contain a Video_TS folder. You must drag and drop a folderitem that contains a Video_TS folder directly one level down or a VideoTS folder itself. Let's suppose that you have a disc or disc image that contains a folder named, say, 'My DVD.' If this folder contains a Video_TS folder directly one level down, then you need to drag and drop My DVD, not the disc or disc image itself, onto the drop box. The location of a DVD is not important. Whether you have a DVD stored on a USB drive or an external FireWire-connected hard disk drive, you can import it as long as the media is readable.
Okay. All you have to do is select a playlist and then drag and drop a DVD, whether it's in the form of a disc or a folder, onto the drop box to the left. Unless it's encrypted or DVD2Browse cannot read it for some reason, the next window will prompt you to name a DVD. By this time, DVD2Browse has already automatically taken a DVD snapshot. Click on the Catalog button to finish making a DVD profile. If everything goes well, a snapshot of the DVD you have dragged and dropped onto the drop box will be added to the catalog window. Also, its DVD information containing a DVD duration, screen dimensions, aspect ratio, frame rate and system (NTSC, PAL...) will be automatically recorded and shown on the DVD List Window.
C. Editing DVD profiles
You can edit the DVD profile you have ended up with after importing a DVD easily. Perhaps, you may not be happy with a DVD snapshot that DVD2Browse has taken for you. So let's swap DVD snapshots.
The DVD list window has several tabs. Let's click on the Screenshot tab. It should show a resized version of what's shown on the Catalog window. If a DVD snapshot cannot be located for some reason, then the Show button should be grayed out. The green check mark also confirms that it can be located.
Before swapping DVD snapshots, let's visit a movie website to get information on the imported DVD. If you have added websiite URLs in Preferences window, you may want to click and hold down the URLs button on the Toolbar menu of the main screen. And choose a movie website to visit. You can visit a website to get a better DVD snapshot. Or you can use a media player like VLC Media Player to directly take a movie snapshot. Another tool is QCapture. Anyway, the source is not important.
Going back to the Screenshot tab, all you have to do is drag and drop an alternative image file (BMP, JP2, JPG, PDF, PNG, TIF) onto the drop box right above the Change button. The imported image will be instantly resized to fit the drop box for your eyes only. Now, click on the Change button. And? That's it.
Next, let's click on the Edit button. In this window, you can edit a DVD profile, adding movie information like the release date, genre, cast, the URL of a website to visit and more.
If you take a good look at the movie duration, you may notice that minutes and seconds look invalid or greater than 60. When DVD2Browse reads a DVD, it wil access every VOB file that contains a feature movie and adds up all durations. Eventually, the final duration will be calculated based on these raw numbers. Of course, you can change the movie duration in any way you want. Or you can leave these raw numbers as they are.
If you are done editing a DVD profile, click on the Done button at the bottom. And changes will be made instantly. Switch tabs to DVD info, Movie info and Notes to see changes. If you have provided a URL, you can click on the URL access button under the Notes tab to access the website.
Finally, let's take a brief look at what we have under the Disc tab. If the Show button is not grayed out, that will confirm to you that the selected DVD can be currently accessible. And a path to the DVD should be shown right above. Or you can change the DVD location by going back to the edit screen. (See the label 'Location.')