DVD Burning with Structure

Note that if you’re still looking for an application, make sure to search for “DVD Authoring” software. That’s really what this is. A quick search brought several apps, plus various reviews. I would not necessarily be leery of free or cheap apps, sometimes they’re great! Something that has an open-source pedigree is more likely to be good and not malware.

Thanks for the tip…I think I found another one to try, but most of them seem to be what I have been looking at.

The powers that be decided at least 10 years ago that DVDs were dead. Adobe abandoned their never-finished Encore (it could create menus but had no ability to write scripts to say what to do when those buttons were clicked), and Apple abandoned DVD Studio Pro (which should have upgraded along with Final Cut Pro X, but did not). Those are the two applications which can create menus, buttons, subtitle tracks, etc. for a true DVD. I know this because it’s what I do for a living.
I run DVD Studio Pro in a VMware Fusion virtual machine which runs Snow Leopard. That way, all the buttons and functions of DVDSP work; later macOS versions cause color pickers and other things to disappear.
Unfortunately, no one has ever created 64-bit DVD authoring software for macOS, either on Intel or Apple Silicon. (The situation is just as bad on Windows, BTW. The $20,000 software for Windows has also been abandoned.) All of us who build DVDs professionally just pray that our hardware doesn’t break down before our last client receives their disc master!

I will certainly watch this thread for any software that runs on Sonoma—wow, that would be miraculous—the industry would party like it’s 1999!


What do the big studios do? New movies are shipping on disc (DVD, BD and 4K-BD) all the time. Are they all using antiquated software on vintage computers?

Or are they using expensive high-end software that you and I can’t afford to purchase?


Probably WINDOWS software. I believe that is out there.

You know Chris, I just might have DVD Studio Pro down in my basement somewhere. I need to go hunting down there.
Would that run on a Mac running El Cap?

The majority of film studios wait and see how a film does at the box office first. That’s how they can determine pricing for DVDs and streamers. The home entertainment market is usually secondary; streaming services are usually next.

Here’s how “Barbie” is playing the field:

PS: I really miss Netflix’s DVD home mail delivery service.

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Yes, they are carefully keeping legacy hardware and software functioning.

Well, there was one major five-figure program for Windows, but I’m not sure whether even that is still being updated. We bought one copy at work about 5 years ago, and then could get no support!

Apple was blessed to have the chance to buy Spruce and turn it into DVDSP, which really simplified the complexity under the hood of the DVD specification.

As for Blu-ray discs, they are even more complex. No one to my knowledge has made an easy-to-use program to create “true” (fully functional) Blu-rays. Blu-ray programming must be done in Java; Blu-ray discs are, in effect, hand programmed.


Me, too! Especially when they had a truly extensive catalog of disks.


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I don’t know if DVDSP will run on El Capitan. On Sierra, it is missing the color choices for button overlays: the pull-down menu of choices with color swatches is an empty list, and you have to count downward and guesstimate which to select based on the order of swatches in the section of the software where you define those colors.

On El Capitan, it might not run at all, or it might be fine. According to my notes on the different macOS versions, El Capitan was long before the 64-bit restriction. DVDSP is a 32-bit application, but is dual-architecture PowerPC and Intel. It’s certainly worth a try!

Thanks Chris…I was doing some research on this today. It seems DVDSP 2 ran on G4 PPC Mac OS 10.2.6, while DVDSP 4 min requirements was Intel and 10.5.6.

So the earlier versions appear to be PPC only, while the later versions were Intel only.

If you have Windows, there is a program called multiAVCHD which can make a blu-ray disc from various files. It’s not the easiest to use but it does the job. I run it under emulation with VMWare Fusion Player which is free for personal use.

Ah yes, but I think you’re losing track of the original question.

The ability make a video disk with a simple menu structure is no big deal. The ability to author a disc, to make a robust and interesting menu system is more complicated. And as has been pointed out, the apps that used to be available for this task seem to longer exist or are not compatible with modern Macs.

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There are many useful programs out there which can accomplish various tasks and I listed one that may be useful to some depending on their level of skill and what they have in mind. Mac or Windows, it doesn’t really matter unless you have a program to use and the program I mentioned has no counterpart in the Mac world since Toast is a joke and doesn’t have the same features.

The Mac programs mentioned in this thread can be run under emulation for free using VMWare Fusion Player so for those who still have the software without the correct hardware, then emulation is the cheapest way to go.

EDIT: Here is a quick guide I bookmarked for multiAVCHD for those who are interested:

It has many features and is more than a “simple” program.

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I remember the buzz my students had when they first burned a DVD with a menu they had come up with in DVD Studio Pro.

Authoring systems still haven’t had their day, either defunct or languishing.

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I still have a legacy Mac on hand with the last version of Final Cut Studio installed just for this purpose. DVD Studio Pro could do almost anything with the included scripts. I could make a full screen video a button. Or a smaller video a button. You could make amazing menus with interesting functions, like linking to different parts of a video, or going to another video instead of a menu. Holy shit, what a great program it was!


Hi Anthony:

Why the industry seems intent on destroying DVDs in general is beyond me, it is truly a shame no one else was able to create a program that picked up where DVD studio Pro Ended?
Based on the answers I am seeing here, there sure seems to be a desire to use such an application.

I remember it was Steve Jobs himself who put out the hit on DVD creation. He seemed to think streaming was the future, which was pretty darn prescient! Nonetheless, when I think of the extremely broad feature set Apple just threw away, it’s incredibly wasteful. They tanked a tiny industry of mom-and-pop DVD creators in the process.

Yes. All Apple had to do was create DVD Studio X to join Final Cut Pro X. Steve might have even achieved greater acceptance for FCPX with a “Final Cut Studio X” package, as FCS users would have had more reason to adapt to “X”. Instead, we jumped ship to Adobe, and then a few years later, Adobe dumped AC3 encoding support. I not only have had to freeze hardware and OS to keep DVDSP running; I’ve had to freeze macOS to keep Adobe Media Encoder 2017 running as the last version which can encode AC3 audio tracks for DVD.

Wow. So we are talking about YEARS keeping this stuff alive.
What happens if the hardware goes south?