Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Struggling with Sonic Software

At last... I kind of hope... the DVD project will come to an end... maybe...

Having solved the jittery problem with Sonic DVDit Pro [no thanks to tech support who were hopeless!] The next thing that happened was I got some wierd problem when I get half way through the project re-rendering etc [ie a week for full time work later] is that it crashes with a 'error in source code WaveDump.cpp line 244, -1' code. Eventually be reverse engineering finding where they store temporary files and finding out which file was being accessed at the time it brings up this error I found that one of the video files had a corrupt audio file with it and that was crashing the system... why can't it say something useful like 'Problem with audio file cp2.mp2, cannot continue' - at least then I would know which file was faulty!

Then... find that there is a specification limit to how much of a DVD can be used for menus, and because there are so many animated menus we are over the limit. Of course... the program only tells you this too late. If you duplicate and edit a menu it allows you to go over the limit, then on one change it suddenly says ''Ooops you are way over the limit, no changes..." or rather the 'way over' part is missing so you have no idea how many changes you need to make to allow it to work.

I hate computers at times like this. I mean if this was a cheap domestic package we were using then what would you expect, but this is the second to top software for making DVDs on Windows machines... wish we had money to go MAC totally... next video machine will certainly be a MAC! Each time I need to make a test DVD it takes between 2-4 hours for the machine to make it.

I got the new dual layer DVD blanks on Monday - we need double layer ones for this project to fit it on and they are not so easily accessible and about about 6 times the cost [approx 3.50 GBP each out here]. Overnight Monday night I rendered a DVD image, was going to check it then add the final audio tracks today and make DVD overnight.

But... this yesterday morning when I came in I found the RAID controller showing an error [the RAID controller makes two hard disks into one very large and very very fast hard disk which you need for video editing]. Yuk... But the disks were bought on 3rd Sept so they are just within warranty... contacted the supplying company who said 'Yes, we will test them, then return to manufacturer, then when they return new disks to us, we will send them to you'. [Approx 4-5 weeks from past experience].

So we bought a couple of new hard disks... this project is proving expensive to us what with new software for the captions [which we then discarded] new DVD authoring software for the number of clips, loads of DVDs as tests for the new software, new DVD writer [because it failed] and two new disks for the RAID system. Please I want a MAC video computer for my birthday and forget about all this Windows rubbish ;-)

Anyhow... have managed to coax some life back out of the disks, put them on another computer [that is identical to the video one and we happen to be borrowing from another organization at the moment] and yesterday I copyied all the files that are not corrupted between the two computers.

Today I made a full project DVD... YIPEE!! Ready to send off to our partner. After it was finished I started going through checking the menu orders and... you'd guessed it I now get a 'menu out of order error -45633' come up on screen. I don't believe it :-(

I have had an email from Tech Support at Sonic, saying if there are further questions please reply on the website. So I went to the website [almost every day for a week] and cannot login because it doesn't recognise my password so I clicked in the 'email me my password link' and... nothing comes! So I look up the 'Contact us' page and it links to the login page that doesn't work and requires the 'email me my password' to work. So... no contact with Sonic. Thanks guys... not!

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