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iLife '11: How to Burn and Test a DVD Made in iDVD

Burning a DVD takes a lot of processing power and can tie up your computer for a while. Before you start burning a disc with iDVD, consider closing all other open projects and any open applications that place demands on the system. Then let the computer do its thing with the SuperDrive. If you're burning a disc with iLife on a laptop, be sure that the laptop is plugged into a power outlet and avoid moving it while the drive is burning the disc.

Don't press the Media Eject button on the keyboard while a burn operation is in process or you'll ruin the disc.

To burn your project to DVD, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Burn button underneath the Viewer.

    The Burn button starts pulsating, and its icon is replaced with the Radioactivity symbol. (Apple at least has a sense of humor.) A dialog appears and asks you to either insert a disc or click Cancel. This is your failsafe point.

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  2. Insert a blank DVD-R disc to start the process.

    You may want to take a break now — iDVD burns the new DVD-R while displaying a progress bar indicating the number of minutes required for the preparation, processing, and burning operations.

    At the end of this process, iDVD spits out your newly burned DVD-R disc and displays a message asking whether you want to burn another one just like it.

  3. Insert another blank disc or click Done to finish the operation.

    Although you may be tempted to fire off a dozen more discs for your friends, test the first disc before making duplicates. You can always open iDVD and burn another one later.

The best way to test a newly burned DVD-R disc is to pop it right back into your SuperDrive or a similar DVD-R drive on your Mac. The disc should play just like any commercial DVD.

The DVD Player application, supplied with every Mac that has a DVD drive, provides a simulated remote control for controlling playback. DVD Player also has the ability to play the DVD in a window of (depending on your display) half, normal, or maximum size by choosing options from the Video menu.

You can also double-click the disc's icon in the Finder to see the contents of the DVD-ROM portion of the DVD-R disc. You can copy the folders and files to a hard disk by using the Finder.

After you test the DVD-R disc on a Mac, test the DVD with a commercial DVD player. If the disc works on the Mac but not on the commercial player, the player and DVD-R discs may have a compatibility problem.

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