May 2006

Duplicating and Combining DVDs

Friends and relatives have home DVDs they wanted to copy for other friends and relatives. Turns out this is rather easy. Use k3b:

On the menu, choose Tools/Copy DVD. Don’t forget there are three tabs worth of data to check.

Recently I got a request to combine movies on two discs. Now it’s getting interesting. This is a lot like the camcorder to DVD project I did except it involves starting with DVDs as a source instead of miniDV tapes. A little research turned up ripping instructions. Between these two references, I had enough to do the job.

The first step was to use k3b to rip the discs into two ISO files, movie1.iso and movie2.iso. Assuming movie1.iso was in /mnt/bigfiles, you could check it with xine dvd:///mnt/bigfiles/movie1.iso.

If they’re OK, mount them on the loopback device:

mkdir /mnt/iso
mount movie1.iso /mnt/iso -t udf -o loop=/dev/loop3

Then copy the files from /mnt/iso/VIDEO_TS that are named VTS*.VOB. These are the actual movie parts. Rename them from VTS_01_1.VOB to movie1.vob so you can tell them apart from the second movie.

Unmount the ISO with umount /mnt/iso and repeat with the second movie.

Next, get convert them to mpeg2 files (from here):

tcextract -i movie1.vob -t vob -x mpeg2 > movie1.m2v
tcextract -i movie1.vob -a 0 -x ac3 -t vob > movie1.ac3
tcextract -i movie2.vob -t vob -x mpeg2 > movie2.m2v
tcextract -i movie2.vob -a 0 -x ac3 -t vob > movie2.ac3

mplex -f 8 -o movie1.mpg movie1.m2v movie1.ac3
mplex -f 8 -o movie2.mpg movie2.m2v movie2.ac3

Next, create the XML file both_movies.xml:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<vmgm />
<audio lang="en"/>
<vob file="movie1.vob" />
<vob file="movie2.vob" />

mkdir both_movies-dir
dvdauthor -o both_movies-dir/ -x both_movies.xml

Test with xine: xine dvd:///`pwd`/both_movies-dir

You can also create menus with dvdwizard (German site) or dvdwizard dvdwizard 0.4.2c (English site). It’s all scripts, so extract it in /usr/local/src and run it with a script like this:
export PATH=${PATH}:/usr/local/src/dvdwizard-0.4.2c
dvdwizard -l dvdwizard.log -T "Big Combined Movie" -N NTSC -A en -t "First Movie" movie1.mpg -t "Second Movie" movie2.mpg

This will author a DVD in the directory ./dvd. Test it with xine dvd:///`pwd`/dvd.

If it looks OK, create an ISO: mkisofs -dvd-video -udf -o both_movies.iso dvd/. Then burn the ISO with k3b. Use the Tools/Burn DVD ISO Image menu option.


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HP Deskjet 970Cxi

Since installing the HP Photosmart drivers, I’ve noticed that duplexed printing no longer works on the HP Deskjet 970Cxi.

In my old installation notes, I wrote that the printer was installed in March 2001 with the DeskJet 880 driver for Linux PrintTool.

Linux shows the driver to use with this printer as the hpijs and has instructions for CUPS.

I went to the hpijs page and generated a PPD file for the printer. I saved the file in /usr/share/cups/model. Then restarting the services with service cups restart and service cups-config-daemon restart allowed the driver “HP DeskJet 970C Foomatic/hpijs (recommended)” to show up when modifying the printer in the CUPS Manage Printers page.


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