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Eureka: CD/FLAC/MP3 to DVD-Audio

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amitkeerti

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This is going to be a lengthy post. The objective of the post is to help you in converting your CD/FLAC/MP3 to DVD-Audio.

Caveat:
1. Converting MP3/FLAC/CD will not improve the audio quality to DVD-A. The reason for this conversion is as below:
a. CD ==> DVD-A lets you store many CDs onto a single DVD
b. FLAC ==> DVD-A lets you again store many CD grade songs onto a single DVD
c. MP3 ==> DVD-A : Because the tool lets you do this as well. So you can mix some of your CD grade songs with MP3 and convert to a single DVD. I have not tried this, but it should work.


2. In order to play this DVD you will need a DVD player that recognizes DVD-Audio. You will not be able to play this on your normal DVD players. More on this at the end of this tutorial.

3. There might be other tools which let you do this. But when I tried the below logic, I could convert my data to DVD-Audio.

4. If you are creating a 4.2 GB worth DVD then you will need atleast 13GB of free hard disk space on your system (I tried with just one CD ==> DVD-A conversion so it took about 2GB of space).

Steps For Conversion
===============

There are 3 Steps in this whole process.
1. Step 1: Convert all your data into .WAV
a. CD: RIP your CD to .wav file. I believe you can use EAC (Exact Audio Copy) for this.
b. FLAC: There are various flac to wav tools. Use any of the tools to convert your flac to .wav files. VLC player has an option to convert it. I tried it and it showed the progress. But towards the end it seemed to goof up. Not sure why. Will try again and update here if it works.
c. MP3files: You dont need to convert them to wav. The tool does it for you. (again as I said you are not gaining in audio quality as mp3 has already lost the quality.)

2. Step 2: Make a DVD-Audio .iso file.
a. There is a command line option for the tool at:
DVD-A Creation
b. There is a GUI based tool from the same autor at:
Adobemans DVDA GUI
(The GUI tool will specifically require .NET 1.1 to be installed. I have not tired the GUI tool. A half page description on its usage is already present at the same link.)
c. Lets look at the command line too.

Step 2.1
~~~~~~~

Download the tool from: http://home.comcast.net/~adobeman/DVDA/DVDA.zip.

Step 2.2
~~~~~~~

Unzip the tool into C directory on windows.
(All the required sub-tools are already present in the zip file. You dont have to install anything more for this).
(Note you can unzip in any other directory as well. I tried to do it in D directory. But for some reason I had issues.)

Step 2.3
~~~~~~~

After unzipping, if you go into the DVDA folder you will notice many directories and batch files .bat.
Open SetEnv.bat file and change the 2 lines as below:
(a)
set BD=C: change this to ==>
set BD=C:\DVDA

(b)
set TD=C: change this to ==>
set TD=C:\DVDA
(DVD-A Creation has more information on this)

Step 2.4
~~~~~~~

You will notice a folder called WAVs. This folder has 9 subfolders named from CD_GRP1 to CD_GRP9. Copy all your wav files into this folder. If you have ripped 4 CDs then you can put wav files of each CD in each folder. You can put your mp3s into one of the folders.

Step 2.5
~~~~~~~

Open the command prompt (start button on windows xp ==> run ==> type command OR cmd) .
Then Cd to the directory where the bat files are present.
Then, C:\DVDA\DVDA> MakeDVDA.bat (press enter)
The conversion process starts.
It may ask you some questions like:
Do you want all songs from all directories in one big group (Y)
or each directory to be a separate group (N):

Press y. Apparently Some DVD-A players dont recognize group-2 or more. So the tool will write all your songs into one group on the DVD.

Next it may ask you one more question:
Do you have MP3s that need converting?
Enter Y or N :
If you had copies any mp3s into one of the folders then type Y.

Now wait for some time (based on the amount of data, the conversion process will take time). After about a minute it starts showing the conversion progress. It will go through 2 cycles of conversion. Pass 1 it creates the folder structure and conversion. In Pass 2 it converts the folder structure of the DVD-Audio into a .iso file. So it keep watching the screen. You will be asked to press any key to continue.
After all this, your DVD-Audio .iso file is ready inside the folder: Image. In may case, "image" folder is in C:\DVDA\DVDA

3. Step 3: Burn your iso files to a DVD.
You can use any of your favorite tools to burn this .iso file. The author recommends DeepBurner.
http://www.deepburner.com/download/DeepBurner1.exe
(this tool works on 64 bit Windows 7 as well).

I used the DeepBurner and it burnt the DVD successfully.
Put the DVD-A in your player and enjoy.


For Bangalore Folks:
Pioneer DV 610AV S (silver) is available in National Market and Sukh Sagar Bazar (next to national market). Last few pieces are available. I bought from Sukh Sagar Market (After you enter the market, you will see an escalator, Just next to escalator take a right and at the dead end take a left and the 2nd or 3rd shop should have the player). I paid Rs 6,000 for this player.

It works fine on the pioneer 610 player. The display shows DVD-A for a second and the Joshua Bells voice of violin started playing.

Just for kicks I tried the DVD on my Phillips DVD player and voila it works on my cheepo Phillips DVDP-5150 player also. This got me excited and confused. So I thought, probably it works on all DVD players. So I put it in my other DVD player (Phillips DVDP-3336). But DVDP-3336 did not recognize this Disc.
So the tool actually creates a proper DVD-A disc (and NOT a DVD-Video which also has a AUDIO folder). I didnt know DVDP-5150 could play DVD-A disc. No where have they mentioned it on the player (it should have the logo for DVD-A).

Hope this helps

(For more information on step 2 i.e. conversion you can refer to authors site: DVD-A Creation. He has taken pains to write detailed steps).
 
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