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Windows 7 - How to Create DVD Movies

Windows 7 comes with a basic, user-friendly application for creating and authoring your own DVD movies for playing back on any home entertainment system or standalone DVD player. Windows DVD Maker lets you make DVDs quickly and easily without requiring any additional software. Follow the tips below to learn how to create and author your first DVD using Windows DVD Maker.

Open the start menu and click "Windows DVD Maker" to launch the application. If you can't find it, type "windows dvd maker" into the start menu search box and press Enter. The first time you start the program, you'll be presented with an introductory screen. By default, this page will not be displayed in the future.

Click "Add items" and browse to the location of any pictures or videos that you want to burn to your new DVD. You can also drag items in from Windows Explorer into Windows DVD Maker. Be aware that only more common formats of videos and images are supported. When you drag pictures to Windows DVD Maker, they will be automatically grouped together as a slideshow.

Click the "Options" link in the bottom-right of Windows DVD Maker once you've added all of the files that you want. Here you can specify various playback settings as well as the aspect ratio. If your DVD contains widescreen pictures or videos, you'll want to select "16:9" as the aspect ratio. You can usually leave the other settings as they are, although you may want to try decreasing your DVD burner speed if you have any copying errors. Click "OK" once you're happy with your new settings.

Click "Next" once you've added your files and checked over the options. On the next page, you'll be able to choose from a range of menu style presets. Click on any of the thumbnails to preview the menu. You can also click the "Preview" button near the top of the window to see exactly how the DVD will look when it's finished. Clicking the "Menu text" button will allow you to place your own text and titles on the DVD menu as well as specify the font size and style. If you're happy with the changes, click "Change Text" to continue.

Click "Customize Menu" to change the way the DVD menus look. Here you can choose a background video for your DVD menu or select how the thumbnail previews for different scenes look by choosing the button styles. When you're happy with any changes you made, click "Change Style" to continue.

If your DVD is a photo slideshow, then you can click "Slide show" to customize how the slideshow appears. You can add multiple audio tracks to the slideshow, synchronize the image rotations with the music and choose from a variety of transition effects. When you're happy with the changes, click "Change Slide Show" to continue.

Once you've designed your DVD, click "Burn" and wait for the files to be burned to the DVD. The disk should automatically be ejected once the process is complete. You should now be able to play it on any other computer or standalone DVD player.

Since Windows DVD Maker is a very basic program, more experienced DVD authors will probably want something with a wider range of features. There's a lot of professional video editing and DVD authoring programs out there. Those looking for a free solution which provides a few more features may want to try the Movie Maker application included with Windows Live Essentials.


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