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Found this through Google, originally posted by MrCarlos.

Hello everybody,

I'm after some feedback/opinions from those of you with greater technical knowledge than myself. I've been trading DVD's for 7 months now, with a fair degree of success, but the one issue that's really bugged me is the "The discs you've just sent me won't play" e-mail. This is despite my personally 100% checking every single DVD that I send out on my standalone player, to make sure there are no big problems (like not playing at all, no sound after track 2, freezes 1min from the end etc)

So over the holidays, using the FAQ's here and at DVD-R Help, I've tried to upgrade my system / put together a process whereby I absolutely maximise the compatibility of the discs that I output. This is what I've come up with:

Enhancing ripping and burning

1. Upgrade the drive firmware. Flash upgrade the firmware on my DVD writer (Pioneer DVR - 106D) , I went up to the 1.07 patch. This had a few other nice side effects, like I can now burn onto Ritek G03 media at 2x, and rip silver discs at 10x or more. [See the discussion and cautions in the Firmware Upgrade thread.]

2. Try using another drive or software program to rip. I installed an old DVD-ROM (LG 8080B) drive that was orphaned from a previous system upgrade. This to give me an alternative to the Pioneer for reading/ripping DVD's on the PC, since I was having trouble reading some discs (particularly but not exclusively cheap +R discs). It's slower, but it works. That alone put another 10 DVD's onto my list as tradeable These were all discs that played perfectly on my standalone, but just refused to read at all/rip cleanly in the Pioneer.

May 04 update: I've refined my ripping strategy to cover 4 drives in two machines, and 4 different software packages (DVD Decrypter, Smartripper, DVD Shrink 3.1 and Nero 6 in that order). Different modes within the software (ISO vs FILE vs COPYDISC) can also make a big difference. Plus don't forget physically cleaning the disc can improve matters too. Also in really difficult cases I've found slowing the drive down by putting it into PIO mode as opposed to DMA can help.

From BlindedByTheLite: "I'd also emphasize the use of different drives and different programs (DVDdecrypter or Smartripper) if a disc won't rip. I have 3 drives and both programs, so I try all combos before declaring the disc dead."

3. Use good media. For example, if you're using -R blanks, use Ritek G03/G04 blanks for trading. You can feel the quality of the things, and witness the compatibility improvement.

May 04 update: Just has to be good quality. Ritek or Fuji/TDK. Watch out for "graded" Ritek media - it's cropping up more and more in the UK (I think as distributors get to the bottom of their stock, with 8X appearing). It's cheaper (30-40%) but tends to have dye imperfections, and overprinted labels. Caused me quite a few problems recently with errors and compatibility.

From BlindedByTheLite: "Ritek also makes very good (I'm told) +R's (not called G03/G04) and Ricoh seems to be another very good one. I've seen Ricoh and Ritek +R's on each others blanks so I think one makes both 'brands'. Probably Ritek - but I'm not sure."

Correcting errors in the discs

4. Rip in File Mode. Previously I had used DVD-Decrypter in ISO read/write mode to copy all of my bootleg DVD's. I've now changed to DVD-Decrypter in File Mode for all of my boot ripping. (Or, if the DVD will not rip, first, Smartripper; then, next, I try DVD-Shrink in uncompressed mode; then Nero 6.)

5. Check the IFO files. Having extracted the contents of the VIDEO_TS folder, I run the files through IFOEdit, and the "Get VTS" utility. I'm discovering and repairing errors on about 40% of my discs. There is a massive correlation between errors found here and discs I've had problems with burning for trades in the past.

I'm improving/correcting the quality of my output, not editing as such. The structual nature of the DVD stays the same (such as the way it looks on screen), it's just the way that the player reads the data that is changed - for the better.

Also, the Get VTS utility gives great info about the DVD (PAL or NTSC, type of sound).

Note from BlindedByTheLite:

Download IFO Edit here or here.

To run the files through IFOEdit:
- I usually first make a backup of the small IFO and BUP files because it WILL overwrite them. I want to be able to go back to the original if something screws up. If IFO Edit finishes successfully, either because there are no errors or because the errors are all corrected, you can delete the copies.
- Open IFOEdit and hit the Open button in the corner. Navigate to the VIDEO_TS folder of the files you ripped, and open an IFO file. It shouldn't matter which one, IFOEdit is supposed to check them all automatically, but I usually do both if there are just two, or a few if there are more - one at a time.
- Then hit the 'Get VTS Sectors' button.

If nothing happens, it means they were OK and you can use the Open button to go to the next one. Otherwise, it will have some dialog boxes with errors it is correcting, and then will save new corrected copies.

See the bottom of this post for a couple links with more info.

Note from ShabbyDog:

A little trick that is especially helpful and time saving on discs with multiple VTS'es: Open the VIDEO_TS.IFO in IFOEdit and do Get VTS Sectors on that file. That automatically processes all other VTS'es on the DVD so you only need to do it once. A great timesaver on discs with maybe 50+ VTS's..

6. Burn in UDF 1.02 Mode. Now I've got my files all nice and clean, I burn them with Nero6 Ultra Edition in UDF1.02 Mode, having set myself up a template as per DVDR-Help.

The point of burning in UDF 1.02 is to increase compatibility with older DVD players. (See the posts in the thread, below, for more discussion on UDF format.)

Here's a link for the Nero UDF 1.02 Template. As a further refinement I have the blank template set up as a shortcut on my desktop, so I can just click, label the disc and burn. Simple - honest.

May 04 update: General update from my original post - which seems like 100 years ago. I'm still getting errors on over half the DVD's I get in trade (and download), so its use isn't as widespread as it should be. I've burned over 500 DVD's since then, and not had ONE SINGLE "the DVD you just burned for me won't play" e-mail, or report from family/friend etc. I'd call that the ultimate proof of the pudding, since a lot of these people are not technical at all, so I'd soon hear about problems.

So, with all that in place, I can now produce discs which play without a problem on my Panasonic player (3 years old), where I couldn't before. I was using my £40 supermarket player for boots before.

I'm still 100% checking though until I'm REALLY confident all this has done the trick.

I have a couple of specific questions for you all.

1. Can I do any more?

2. Why does DVD-Shrink sometimes "Re-map VOB's" at the end of the rip process, but not all the time? Has it found what it perceives to be an error, and is putting it right automatically? Is this software a valid ripping tool? It certainly works when the other two have given up sometimes. I only tried it because I was already familiar with it, and had it installed, from compressing DVD-9 discs to fit onto DVD-5's. I don't want to find that I'm putting out copies that aren't lossless or something, 6 months down the line

3. What does Nero6 Express default to , is it UDF1.05? Even if I have Ultra on the same machine set to UDF 1.02?

4. Can anybody see anything intrinsically wrong with my methods? I just want to produce the best output possible, to save myself and those I trade with any possible heartache.

Thanks in advance for all the feedback (if I've not sent you to sleep yet )


Comments by BlindedByTheLite:

Here's some links:

Correcting start sector addresses

Doom9 Forum Thread on GET_VTS_SECTORS

Tiscali are the spawn of the DEVIL!!!

Note new e-mail address , [][/]

Edited by buzzy (Tue May 18 2004 05:48 PM)
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