Popcorn v1.0.2 is now available.
* Tiger compatibility
* DVD-R dual layer support
* Close Caption and DVD player fixes
* AppleScript support
* Transcoder performance improvements
Full notes here:
(The original 1.0.2 release notes mentioned DVD-R DL Data discs so I asked Adam about that.-Mike)
It's a typo - should not say data disc formats.
Should read as "Correctly records to DVD-R DL (dual layer) media."
Popcorn does not burn data DVDs, only video DVDs.
We now have -R DL (dual layer) and +R DL (double layer) support in
Popcorn. We had +R DL in version 1.0 and 1.0.2, now we have -R DL correctly as
Reader Reports: (most recent first)
(I welcome other Popcorn user feedback. Please include
system/OS/drive details and Popcorn version used in reports. Thanks.)
First Feedback on Popcorn 1.0.2 Update (see above for update info/links)
I was trying to move the video ts file into Popcorn after I had upgraded to Tiger and it crashed. I started looking to see if others had that problem. Your site and others reported problems. Yesterday morning (I work 3rd shift) I checked out at a site that reported that Roxio had a patch. (patch info and download link posted in the main news page here yesterday morning at 7:30AM eastern. Copy of that post is above also.-Mike)
....As soon as I got home downloaded the patch. Tried again and it made the DVD for me. So it works. I have G4 Sawtooth, 800Mhz Sonnet CPU, 1GB RAM and Tiger 10.4.
The Popcorn 1.0.2 update also fixes other problems like Closed Captioning support and more. I welcome other Popcorn 1.0.2 user feedback (if it fixes specific problems you had w/1.0, etc.)
Closed Captioning vs Subtitles: (in reply to previous posts on
Popcorn not supporting Closed Captioning. The Popcorn 1.0.2 Update released 5/4/2005 mentions CC support/fixes.)
"Mike, I wanted to comment on Jerry's feedback on what he calls "closed
captioning". I believe that Jerry is referring to what is known as
subtitles. (correct) Subtitles are NOT closed captions. Subtitles are a function of the DVD player, and Jerry says he used the "DVD player remote menu". Closed captions are decoded by a chip in your television (if it's a 1993 model or newer AFAIK), and can be toggled on or off via your TV's menu.
Subtitles - in my experience, generally will show ONLY the spoken
dialogue on screen in text. Closed captioning is much more inclusive,
because it is geared towards the deaf/hard of hearing, so it will
include other audio cues. Example below:
SUBTITLE: "Hello, how are you doing today?"
"What was that?"
"I'm not sure, lets go take a look"
CLOSED CAPTIONING: Betty: "Hello, how are you doing today?"
Bill: "Pretty good"
[door slams, gunshot is fired in the distance]
Betty: "What was that?"
Bill: "I'm not sure, lets go take a look"
You can see how the closed captioning really fleshs out the audio
portion. With the subtitles, the viewer experience is a little more
frustrating because the viewer has to deduce what is happening via the
action on-screen. I've seen DVD's where they have the English
subtitles as "Closed Captioned in English for the Hearing Impaired" -
meaning the subtitles are closed caption quality.
Hope this helps Jerry and others understand the difference between
subtitles and closed captions. I prefer them due to the additional
audio information they provide. There is no real standard requirement
in the DVD industry - I've seen DVD's subtitled in English, and they
claimed they were "closed captioned", and vice versa (plus a whole lot
of other combinations in between!).
"Regarding the Following Tip from Thomas on Burning Specific Titles/Episodes. (from a previous reader post below)
"Benjamin W. wants to know how to best deal with copying specific titles from DVDs. The solution is to use Toast 6. Drag the VIDEO_TS folder to the Toast 6 Video window with DVD video selected as the format (do not choose DVD video from VIDEO_TS). (assuming the files were already ripped to the hard drive) Some files won't be accepted and that's okay. Some will have zero seconds in length and they need to be deleted.
I dragged the VIDEO_TS folder to the window with DVD video selected. I got message "Couldn't complete the last command because of a Mac OS error. Result code = -50." When I say OK to that, all I get is a generic icon for the TS folder. No other titles. So I see no way to delete some titles and copy others.
I had one reader say it worked but another also said it didn't:
well, unfortunately this did not work using mtr and toast on my setup. it may work when you have multiple titles, but it did not work for a single chapter. i will take your second suggestion and email the author of mactheripper.
when you rip out a chapter you only get one file inside a video_ts folder. when you rip out a title you get multiple files inside the folder. so what i had previously tried doing was to rip out a title then replace the main file with my chapter rip but i haven't been able to pull that switcheroo off either.
anyway, thanks for the tips and providing the page. i'll keep monitoring it and will post back if i get an answer from the MTR author.
"Mike, After compressing and burning a backup DVD using Popcorn
closed-captioning (actually subtitles-Mike) worked on my $29.95 Wal-Mart DVD player.
(If what is meant by closed-captioning is that the words are displayed
on the TV screen using the DVD player remote menu.)
(Subtitles are not the same as Closed Captioning. See the Closed Captioning FAQ for more info, although some comments there are
somewhat confusing to me, such as the note that subtitles are Open Captioning and can't be turned off - subtitles can in DVDs. -Mike)
Of course it will only display english subtitles but the others were
removed before burning with Popcorn.
This was even after selecting main movie only and turning off all other
languages except for english.
It may be that the closed-captioning was removed before Popcorn was
used. But it works great for me.
Also see the later post above (dated 4/14/2005) for notes on CC vs subtitles.
Notes on Closed Captioning: (Note: the post below was referring to Popcorn 1.0. V1.0.2 update released in May 2005 notes CC support/fixes.)
"Just a quick heads-up regarding Popcorn. (Version 1.0) For those who use closed
captioning features on DVD's (hearing-impaired, etc) Popcorn will be
pretty much useless for them because it apparently strips the closed
caption encoding from the MPEG files while compressing them. On the
Roxio forums it appears that the company has said it is a glitch they
are aware of and they hope to fix that in a future update. However,
some other competing products do preserve the closed caption encoding,
making a true DVD backup - DVD2OneX, DVDRemaster, and Fast DVD Copy 3.
Another interesting factoid about Popcorn - it's the only "DVD backup"
program that does not have a downloadable demo. The other three
competitors that I mentioned earlier offer demos of their products.
Cost ranges from $50 to $100 USD.
So, it's going to be frustrating for those who need closed captioning
and purchase Popcorn without being able to evaluate it to be sure of
its support. Just wanted to let others who have this need know so that
they are aware of the situation.
Subtitles still work per a Popcorn user report (which would be useful for the hearing impaired).
Reader Tip for Burning Specific Titles/Episodes: (in reply to a reader's post below)
"Benjamin W. wants to know how to best deal with copying specific titles from DVDs. The solution is to use Toast 6. Drag the VIDEO_TS folder to
the Toast 6 Video window with DVD video selected as the format (do not
choose DVD video from VIDEO_TS). (assuming the files were already ripped to the hard drive) Some files won't be accepted and
that's okay. Some will have zero seconds in length and they need to be
deleted. Next, delete whatever titles you don't want on your copied
DVD. Edit the text next to the remaining title(s) to something that
makes sense to you.
If the content fits on a single-layer DVD you can
burn this now with Toast. If it doesn't fit then choose Save as Disc
Image and use Popcorn to compress that image file to fit a DVD.
I've not tried this personally but Tim wrote "Yes, this works just fine for me" - however some other readers said it didn't work for them.
(see later reports above).
"I have one important tip for all PopCorn users looking to create a
physical back-up DVD. Use MTR to decode the original disk.
Ripper will create a folder with the exact same file name as a mounted
store-bought DVD. When you choose this folder as the source for
compressing/burning in PopCorn, it will always work. I do not why, but
many old DVD players (like my own) will only play DVD copies when the
disc matches the original DVD's name. DVD Back-Up will only create a
VIDEO_TS file, without the very important DVD-mounted name.
For example, "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" mounts as DIME. MTR will create this folder; select from PopCorn's select button, and you will be okay. Otherwise, you will have to create a folder called "DIME" and put the resulting decrypted VIDEO_TS folder into it. Does that make sense? Popcorn has taken me from using three apps: DVD Back Up, DVD2One and Toast Titanium to two: MTR and Popcorn. Much faster, consistent results.
"I am having a "problem" burning discs that have multiple episodes --
for example, discs of a television series. As others have noted here
and in other forums, Popcorn won't allow you to select parts of these
discs (two or three episodes) and so the compression is fairly severe.
I have difficulty playing the highly compressed discs on my dvd player
(I get freezing and lots of artifacts), which is a Toshiba sd-2800
(several years old). I am able, however, able to play these discs
without any artifacts or freezing on a computer's dvd drive (either on
my desktop or laptop).
First, is there any known workaround for the Popcorn limitations
regarding how it allows you to select what you'd like to compress? I
would imagine we will have to wait for some kind of update from Roxio.
(I'm also aware that dvd2onex is preferred by some because it allows
for more options when compressing -- any opinions about switching to
that application?) (check some of the past reports here using browser search/find, although remember there may be updates to the program than the versions they used. Also see a reader's suggestion on titles in a 3/30/2005 post above-Mike)
Second, why the difference between dvd player and computer dvd drive?
Would a newer dvd player work as well as the computer drives?
Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
Later DVD players are often more compatible (I had to ditch an older toshiba home player as it would not even play some commercial DVDs. Cheaper to replace it than to send it in for a firmware update.)
(added 3/28/2005 - updated 4/4/2005)
(Here's Bill's updated comments)
The problem making playable copies of uncompressed DVDs seems not to be
with Popcorn after all, but in the choice of ripping program. Taking
Hector's recommendation below, I used MTR to successfully
burn my first uncompressed DVD in Popcorn. MTR is
conveniently configured to require fewer steps, has more user
configurations, and it works. So, thanks Hector! And thanks to you Mike
for this awesome service you provide us all.
(he later wrote)
I should have noted that this disk is the only 'non-compression' trial
I've had a chance to run, but it's the first one I've had that worked,
so I'm pretty sure the problem was somehow related to the way DVDBackup
rips files. I'll try another soon and let you know if there are any
(his original report follows as a FYI)
"Mike, it figures you'd have a page already set up dedicated to issues I'm having... this is absolutely the best Macintosh site. As for Popcorn, I've had generally excellent results, though I agree it's an oversight not to allow the option to split movies onto 2 DVDs to reduce or eliminate excessive compression for videophiles.
The problem that I'm having is that on smaller movies (the Criterion version of Kurosawa's 'Sanjuro' for example) I wanted to make a copy to take on the road so the expensive original stays safely in the box. DVDbackup made a perfect rip, and I can watch the movie entirely on the computer, but Popcorn won't make a playable DVD.
(I asked him if it fails to complete a burn or is the burned DVD not playable. See below for his reply.-Mike)
Perhaps because it's a b/w movie, it and other backups I've made of 'small' movies (Powers of Ten, and some others) require NO compression. None of these no-compression backups have burned to DVD. I've tried making a disk image from the video TS file and burning that but I didn't do something right, and got another coaster.
There are a few users on Roxio's Popcorn FAQ (forum?-Mike) page with this issue, but no working solutions. Anyone else have this problem and solve it?
(he later wrote)
I now realize my note wasn't articulate enough. Popcorn doesn't exactly
'not burn' uncompressed DVDs, but rather produces a DVD that won't
play. The disk will neither play on the original computer (G4 Powerbook
17), whereby DVD Player says "not allowed" when I hit 'play.'
Nor will it play on a recent model 'universal disk' Denon 5900 DVD
player, which only shows a Windows-esque directory page with some
folders. I have, occasionally, gotten a film to play partially, by
clicking on the folder with the film's name as its title, but it never
plays but a single 'scene' or so, and typically displays typographical
directory information in a portion of the viewable area.
No error messages from Popcorn, no buffer underrun, just a thrown away
DVD. I've also tried different DVD blank media with identical results.
Sincere apologies for the incomplete original description... I hope
this is more clear!
Everyone probably knows this, but I'll also note that when I first
tried to play Popcorn disks on our household DVD player, a 3- or
4-year-old Sony, that machine would sometimes skip badly, if it played
the disk at all. I tested the same Popcorn disks on another, much newer
$30 DVD player and the disks played fine. So the Sony was replaced with
a Denon 5900 (a discontinued-model bargain from the Crutchfield
Outlet!), which I really recommend strongly for music as well as DVD
use. The musical detail from the Denon is astonishing, as is the detail
in the picture on DVDs. All the Popcorn disks play beautifully now, but
it still won't play these uncompressed Popcorn disks.
Thanks again for your help,-Bill"
"Mike, I don't have solutions for the folks experiencing problems with Popcorn (it works for me), but here are some troubleshooting steps to
1. Choose Save as Disc Image from the Popcorn File menu and then burn
the saved file with the Image File setting in Popcorn. Making this a
two-step process sometimes results in a complete burn.
2. Use good media or at least try a different brand of media before
concluding that the problem is with Popcorn. Also, try the burned DVD
with different players.
3. Burn at a slower speed than "Best" if you are having errors or
freezes. Choose the speed after inserting the blank media.
4. Check for firmware updates for your DVD drive.
5. Search the Popcorn forum at Roxio's support site -
http://roxio.com/en/support/popcorn/index.jhtml - for suggested solutions or post your problem there.
6. Naturally, doing all the things to keep your Mac in good health are
important, such as repairing permissions, cleaning caches, running
DiskWarrior and - if the problem is with an external drive -
downloading and applying the appropriate Combined System Updater even
if you've already done the incremental System update.
"I am running popcorn on osx 10.2.8 and i have no problems burning ts_video file to a dvd if it needs to be compressed. However, non-compressed ts files just burn as a ts file on a dvd disc- It can not be played on a dvd player. Has anyone else had this problem? Any time the status box reads "auto-compression on (if needed)" I know the DVD will burn successfully.
Thanks for your help
I don't own Popcorn but if any other reader has a tip let me know. (I also suggested he write Roxio tech support.) There's some past reports/tips below but not exactly this problem.
(added 2/21/2005 from 1/28 mail)
"Problem: Popcorn hangs/freezes halfway through burning.
1.8 GHz G5, OS X 10.3.7
Pioneer DVR-106D (as reported by Popcorn)
Generic "AZO dye" 8x dvd-r blanks
Popcorn set to record at "DVD 4x"
Popcorn set to "prevent buffer under-run" mode
No other apps running
No screen saver enabled
"Hard drive sleep" disabled in Energy saver preferences panel
Over 20 Gigs of free space on system hard drive
Over 30 Gigs of free space on
Firewire hard drive where TS_VIDEO folder is stored
What (bad) happens:
Use MTR to rip DVD to hard drive.
Popcorn compresses TS_VIDEO folder just fine (progress bar goes all the way).
Writing to DVD starts, but the Popcorn app freezes/hangs about halfway through (based on the progress bar). Time indicator freezes.
Have to force-quit to get out of Popcorn.
Have to reboot G5 to eject helf-burned DVD.
Physical inspection of DVD shows that it is truly half-burned.
When Popcorn is set to record at "DVD 2x", things work fine (compress, burn, verify).
Is this a sign of buffer under-run?
(normally you'd just get an error - not a total freeze-Mike)
If so, can't Popcorn fail more gracefully (especially since I have the "prevent buffer under-run" mode enabled)?
Thanks for the Popcorn notes!
Anyone else see this? (It may not help but I asked if he
tried other brands of media.)
(really behind on mails here so late posting some of these.)
(added 2/21/2005 from 1/12 mail)
"Ok.. so I got Popcorn and it all seems very simple and intuitive. As I tried to burn a DVD back-up from the Video_TS folder (that i ripped with MTR), I got the following error message.
"The drive reported an error:
Sense Key = ILLEGAL REQUEST
Sense Code = 0x72, 0x05
SESSION FIXATION ERROR"
iMac G4 17" FP with a PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-104 drive. I'm using TDK DVD-R 2x media.
I just can't get the darn thing to make a copy. Any suggestions?
I asked if he tried different media and I'd also send this to
Roxio tech support to see what they say.
(added 2/21/2005 - from mail last month. Can't find his
original mail on the problem though-Mike)
Got it figured out Mike. I was confusing the fact that you can extract just the main feature right from Ripper, with the fact that you need to extract the whole thing, then choose feature only in *Popcorn*. Popcorn doesn't like the structure of the Title only VIDEO_TS folder when extracted at the Ripper stage that way.
"It seems like there's a whole new crop of DVDs that DVD2One can't handle correctly without erroring out... they've got ArccOS coding on them. Fortunately, I've had no problems using Popcorn with these discs.
I asked for some examples of these and what version of DVD2One he's using (in case they update it later).
"I got Popcorn to back up some old DVD's which I was worried about getting damaged from scratches. Program worked just fine in burning to DVD-R discs. I have no trouble playing back on standalone DVD player's or on my Mac. However I cannot get the Popcorn'd DVD to play on a PC laptop. Is there a patch that needs to be loaded to get Win Media Player or Power DVD Player to play the compressed DVD?
Not that I know of (not sure what media player and PowerDVD versions he has though, if that matters.) I've not played a compressed DVD on a PC though. (I rarely use a PC for DVDs.) I asked if the DVD disc mounted in Windows (i.e. some drives may not mount some burned discs, sometimes
can vary by even the brand of media used. (I had some cheap generic DVD-Rs that would not even mount in any combo or dvd rom drive I had - only in the Pioneer that burned it, yet other brands didn't have that problem.)
Reply to a previous reader report on problems he had
copying a burned DVD:
"I use the "Copy" feature in Toast 6.0.5 to copy Popcorn DVDs. No
problems so far.
(Just a FYI - toast 6.0.7 released last summer added Dual Layer burn
support. There's now a 6.0.9 update released - see roxio.com's updates page.)
"Popcorn has been working fine up to now, but I've run into an issue for
which I haven't been able to find an answer.
I have a DVD that I previously burned with Popcorn. The DVD plays as
expected. When I try to copy it, Popcorn behaves normally (if slowly)
until it reaches the end of the process, that is, after both
compression and burning. The progress bar reports 100% progress, but at
that point the program hangs and I have to force-quit. I've waited up
to 15 minutes without the process being completed and verification
I've also tried re-ripping the DVD but both MTR and
DVDBackup fail, presumably because the Popcorn DVD has no encryption.
Have other users had similar experiences? Thanks.
(I asked if he had plenty of free disk space)
about 200 gigs"
I don't own Popcorn but if any reader has a suggestion for Arnie, let me know. (See later posts above for replies.)
Notes on DVD Disc Naming: (first a reader mail then the
reply from Roxio)
"What I would like somebody to report is how to name the DVD in
Popcorn. For instance, if I am burning a Video TS folder, once the disk
is burned it is named Desktop.
Roxio replied with an explanation:
It takes the name from the parent folder that the VIDEO_TS folder is located in. For example, if your VIDEO_TS folder is inside a folder called "MY_GREAT_DVD" then that is what the disc will be automatically named.
The reason why this person's disc is called DESKTOP is that the VIDEO_TS folder that they are adding to Popcorn is located on their Mac's desktop, and the Mac OS stores those items in a folder called "Desktop" in their home directory.
More on Video_TS files: (A follow-up mail from a reader that sent a previous report on video_ts file problems)
"Thanks to Thomas for responding to my question as to why Popcorn, at times, refuses to compress and burn some VIDEO_TS files. (see his post below) This community is one of the truly great things about being a Mac user!
I, too, saw the comment posted on the Popcorn forum Thomas refers to. While I have found the comment that one must rip the full disc to avoid receiving the 'invalid VIDEO_TS folder' alert, I've found that Toast (6.0.7) will burn exactly the same 'movie only' VIDEO_TS folder just fine. Strange for applications presumably using the same burning engine. Perhaps it's the compression portion of Popcorn which is finicky?
Since I've developed workarounds to this unpredictable 'invalid VIDEO_TS folder' issue, this issue is no big deal for me. Still, I'd appreciate hearing others who may have discovered what the 'common thread' is which would help one predict when they'll run into an 'invalid VIDEO_TS folder' after ripping (OTHER than Roxio's advice to rip the full disc).
A Roxio contact replied to a reader post below (dated 1/10/2005)
regarding DL disc/burn support:
Mike, I just wanted to comment on a recent item in your Popcorn feedback. (reader post below)
Popcorn definitely does support double-layer disc burning. Popcorn uses the same burn engine as Toast, which has had DL support since July with v6.0.7.
Popcorn will say that compression may be necessary if the source size is > 4.7 GB and makes the eventual determination at burn time, depending on the size of the blank media used.
If someone inserts a blank DL disc into a DL capable recorder, then Popcorn will not compress the source to fit. If they insert a blank SL disc, it will compress if needed.
My guess is that either the customer is not using the correct firmware for that drive to enable DL support or they may not be using DL media.
A reader replied to Kevin's post (dated 1/10/2005 below) on a possible
cause for the video_TS file not in the proper format error:
Regarding Kevin's issue with Popcorn rejecting some VIDEO_TS folders.
According to posts on Roxio's Popcorn forum this likely is due to the
DVD being ripped using a setting other than the Full Disc extraction.
Popcorn only works when the VIDEO_TS folder is a total extraction from
a video DVD.
In other video DVD news, LaCie just announced they will start selling
FastCoder in February. This handy box can encode MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 from
DV sources in real time. LaCie was going to sell this item a year ago
and suddenly cancelled their plans. We'll see if they really mean it
LaCie also announced they will be selling a DL drive with Lightscribe
capability. This allows a label to be "burned" to the top surface of
compatible DVDs and CDs. Here is their announcement:
typically Lacie doesn't make drives so I wonder whose OEM drive
they're using for that. (Yamaha had a similar feature for one of their CDR/CDRW drives some years back.)
"I had just gotten Popcorn this holiday season when I also got a new
Pioneer DVR-108 to install in my G5. That went great, and it's written
up on xlr8yourmac.
But Popcorn does not understand dual-layer media. That's one thing to
understand. Maybe a future upgrade will? (See Roxio's reply to this above, saying there is DL support.-Mike)
I had a season of TiVo recordings I wanted to burn to a DVD. For three
discs, that meant, after using Toast to make the VIDEO_TS, that it came
to about 9.4 GB per disc. Too big. But Popcorn only offered to compress
it to 4.7 GB. Too much compression. I know, I tried, and it was UG-LY.
I have a copy of DVD2OneX, and I found that I could customize that app
by typing in the number to compress to: turns out, with some
experimentation, that the number is 8000 MB. The usual lost space for
directories and headers and the rest, I guess. Only then would Toast
burn it to one DL disc. (I found 3 Verbatims online for $20.)
So, after some time-wasting, and some interesting experiments, I burned
all three DL discs, and I now have a complete season of my favorite
series in near-pristine state.
(he later wrote in reply to Roxio's comment on his post above)
Nice to hear I must have missed something with Popcorn. But I don't think I should have had to read minds to get the compression to work. I'd normally want to select my media size from a menu, check how much compression would be needed, and then burn or not. Inserting a disc (about $7.00 per, at this time) and then hitting record only to see what level of compression was necessary while the burn was happening -- not a good interface design, no?
Generally speaking, I've been very happy with Popcorn so far. My son, who has used it most, uses it to back up all his DVDs since he lives in a Frat House at college...and if you've ever seen the disgusting mess a men's frat house looks like (and is), you readily understand the danger of DVDs floating around there. So now he can just use and lend his backups without worry.
QUESTION: Occasionally we get an 'error' stating "This VIDEO_TS file is not in the proper format" (or words to that effect). Has anyone else seen this? (BTW, this is after ripping the DVD with one of the available freeware 'rippers'.) And, if so, does anyone know what this means and how to get around it? (My solution so far has been to compress the Movie...only slightly if no compression is actually needed, using DVD2One, before burning. Popcorn then does not give this error message on the new VIDEO_TS file created by DVD2One.) Since I obviously have a workaround, this issue is not a show-stopper for me...but any help in understanding this Popcorn error would be greatly appreciated.
If anyone has a suggestion for Kevin let me know. (Don't own
Popcorn personally.) Update - see the later post above about
this error and a possible cause.
"Over the holiday break I was able to give Popcorn a very thorough testing. In short, my wife and I have close to 250 DVDs in our collection. These DVDs are used in our classrooms and most are documentaries I edited via iMovie and iDVD and hence, they are one of a kind. Recently, due to ease of use, we started storing these DVDs in our classrooms but this created a fear that something could happen to the originals. Over our break, I copied just under 200 DVDs via Popcorn and only one coaster resulted. While the majority of DVDs did not require compression, those that did, worked flawlessly. The
average copy time (including verification) for a 45 minute DVD was about 21 minutes. For movies requiring compression (over 2 hours) the average time (including verification) was 90 minutes. This time is after using (ripper software) on several movies.
Overall, I am very happy with this. However, from now on, I will just make my archive DVD copy when burning from iDVD, so my need for this program will decrease but I still see a use for it.
I am using an upgraded 2001 Quicksilver with 1.33Ghz, 1.5 gigs RAM, and an internal 8x Pioneer DVR-107D (firmware 1.20).
I just want to chime in on Roxio Popcorn 1.0
I own about 25 classic movies on DVD. My kids watch them all the time and I noticed they were becoming scratched up. I was able to purchase Popcorn for $29.95 so I decided to give it a whirl about a month ago when it came out. I just recently have been able to use it.
I use a G4 MDD 1.25 Ghz. PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-105.
Ripping the DVD's was no problem. After that I used Popcorn to record them on a RiDATA 4X DVD-R.
Some were large that compression or "main movie only" made very little difference and others selecting "main movie only" resulted in no compression.
Needless to say that all 25 movies are all backed up. No failures whatsoever. They play great on all my kids $29.95 wal-mart DVD players. I did in fact have one that was so long it said that compression would only yield a "good" copy. After watching that particular one all I can say is that it came out great. Much, Much better than a VHS tape.
The ones that did not compress are crystal clear. Most all of them if "main movie only" is selected will offer no compression as long as the movie is under 2 hrs or so.
If compression is used it takes me around 45 mins. on average to compress and burn and without compression somewhere around 13 mins. for a typical movie. I do notice during compression that my G4 is using both processors at around 70-80%. So I will do all my backups in the winter when I need my home heated.
I don't recommend doing anything else on the computer until burn is completed. Also disable any screen-saver as this caused popcorn to crash once but it was in the compression stage and all was saved.
All in all I would have to rate this release version 9 out of 10. Only because it does not include a ripper. I know, I know that would be hard in this day and age.
So for around $ .75 a backup w/case this program already paid for itself.
"This is the best Compression/burning DVD software thus far for the Mac!
I have used it for 12 movies thus far, and not one of them has been bad.
I am a home theatre enthusiast, so i am particularly picky about how my
DVD's turn out. I use DVD backup to rip the DVD's, and now use Popcorn
(video_ts mode) to compress and burn. I was using DVD backup to rip,
DVD 2 one (to choose my audio and video files to make one movie ready to
burn to DVD disc), DVD imager to make that DVD movie a dvd image, then
the built in disc utility in mac OS X to burn that image to disc.
That's four programs, popcorn took the place of those last three
programs mentioned, and cut my time in half!
I have a HD Ready TV, and a Progressive scan DVD player, and on every
movie I have burned thus far I still get 720p resoloution, and of course
perfect surround sound. I do choose main movie only on every movie with
the 5.1 audio only.
I have had a few movies not copy all the way and I'll get a buffer under
run error, but I am almost positive that My super drive is "dying"
because the drive won't eject and the Mac does not see it any more when
that error comes up. After a reboot it's good to go. (check energy saver settings - make sure it's set to never allow drive sleep, to help avoid a common issue in the past where drives may go to sleep/become inaccessible if a disc left in the drive for long idle periods like the long encoding phase-Mike) I plan on
replacing that drive with a dual layer drive. Popcorn supposedly will
recognizes dual layer disc drives and discs, (the only burning program I
know of thus far that does), so by the time the dual layer media comes
down in price, you should be able to make an exact copy of any DVD, with
all hte audio and features with no compression! What a great program
for so Cheap!
"I've had some similar issues with skipping/jumping forward in
copying/backing up my movies...Frustrating since you never know till
you preview them since they copy just fine-Then you find all your time
wasted. Here is the result of my research and experience:
1. Buy the best quality DVDs you can from Memorex or Verbatim. I used
the 'cheapies' and paid for it since their layers are made from less
expensive materials. (anyone want 150 cheap, no-name DVDs?)
2. Burn at a much slower speed! (I only use 1x even though I have a
Plextor which can handle higher burn rates)
3. Make sure nothing else is running! Trying to do to many things is a
no-no when copying DVDs (at least in the Popcorn stage).
4.Make sure you have adequate disc space.
5. I also got "This disc cannot be copied" errors which results when
you extract anything other than the whole DVD including extras.
6. Test EVERYTHING. Without doing a check (by watching the complete
movie or opening every file) you will never know if a backup file is
unable to be reopened or a movie doesn't 'skip' two hours into your
feature. By buying good DVDs and burning at 1x you should be a bit
Hope that this helps!
"Re: Popcorn tip for sharon (see her report below from 1/3/2005)
My only suggestion would be to dump the DTS track (if one) because those are large files, mostly over 1GB alone.
"I used Popcorn for the first time yesterday. The final last minute of
the movie did not record.
Here's what I did:
I launched Popcorn, selected the Video_TS folder, and selected these
All (2 movies and 45 extras, 5:42:51)
This Popcorn message was displayed
"Copying this DVD with the current options results in more than 3GB
worth of audio. Since the audio cannot be compressed, the copy may not
I changed the recording options to:
Main movie only
The same warning message is displayed.
I recorded the DVD anyway. The last minute of the movie was not
Here is my question:
1. Why didn't the whole movie record? Especially, when I changed the
Current version of Popcorn (downloaded it 12/31/04)
Computer is a G5
95 GB on hard drive
I tried to Roxio an email asking for technical support, however, the
form would not recognize my TSID number. The automatic response said my TSID number was not in the database. The CD-Key was in the database, along with my other personal information. I suspect the database was not updated because I bought late in day on 12/31/04.
I appreciate any suggestions you may have to offer.
(she later wrote in reply to later reader posts/tips above)
Hi Mike, Please let folks know I appreciate their suggestions and I will try them ASAP!
I am using TDK DVDs, but can switch to Memorex or Verbatim.
I'll switch to 1x instead of letting Toast choose the Best speed.
I was guilty of reading email or Web surfing, next time I'll just let
the Popcorn & the other applications work alone.
I did check each movie chapter and shall continue to check before
burning. I looked for the DTS track and couldn't find one. Probably because I'm only burning the Main movie. I'll let you know how thing go.
I asked her what DVD she was trying to copy but she said she didn't want to mention the name. I don't own Popcorn (never used it) but if any readers that do have a suggestion for Sharon, let me know.
Since you've created a page specific to Popcorn comments I want to add
these user tips.
Although most people think about compressing commercial movies with
Popcorn, it is a great way to get around the 90-minute limit (or
120-minute limit if you also own Jam) that Toast has in encoding your
home movies. Using Toast 6.0.7 you can choose Save as Disc Image from
the Toast File menu to encode and author movies up to maybe 3 hours
long (4 hours with Jam). Then use Popcorn to compress the disc image to
fit a single-layer DVD.
Let's say you have a couple home movies on DVD that are an hour or so
long. You can make one DVD from these. Assuming you have just one DVD
drive, use Toast's or Popcorn's copy mode to save a disc image of one
of the DVDs. Eject that disc and insert the other DVD (these aren't
copy protected, remember). Mount the disc image file you made of the
first DVD. Now drag the VIDEO_TS folders from both the mounted disc
image and the mounted DVD to the Toast Video window with DVD-video
selected as the format. You'll see a couple files you want to delete
along with your movies as individual Titles. Type in your Title
information and choose Save as Disc Image. This merges the two movies
to one VIDEO_TS folder. Any chapter markers are retained. Now use
Popcorn to compress that final disc image for burning to a single-layer
"I sent in my Toast 5 c.d. key to Roxio on a Sunday night and got the
direct purchase/download link back an hour later! Used ripper on my
kids DVD and used Popcorn to burn a Main Feature English only copy (6%
compression) that the 4 year old may gleefully drag across the floor
under her butt and I won't care. I will still scold her as l laugh on
the inside. After all a parents job can't be hijacked by the mere fact
that my copied DVD's are now a disposable item. Hehehehe.
About 20 minutes to rip and an hour to burn and verify. I'll try to get more specific but it was painless and pretty fast.
(added 12/7/2004 from 12/5 email)
I purchased Popcorn from Roxio after seeing the info on your site. I have Toast Titanium 6, so I was able to purchase/download with the discount without any problems. I've been using Ripper to rip my kid's Disney DVDs, then burn just the "Main Feature" to a new DVD with Popcorn. So far, everything has worked great.
I've got a dual 2.5GHz G5, so everything works pretty quickly. The DVD's have worked in all our players. Our DVD's tend to get scratched up and dirty, as our little children aren't as careful as they should be. Plus we use DVDs during trips in the car, so they are susceptible to damage that way. Now we can preserve our "real" DVDs and let the copies get damaged.
I think Popcorn is especially great (in conjunction with a Ripper) to make "Main Feature only" DVD copies -- as soon as you pop in your DVD copy, the movie starts playing right away, no annoying "previews" or menus. Plus, many of the movies I've made copies of have been able to be copied without compression from Popcorn, so the quality was exactly the same. I think it is well-worth the $30 I spent.
It would be nice if there were some options as to which parts of the DVD were copied (besides "all" or "main feature"), but I can't really complain about that.
(added 12/7/2004 from 12/2 email)
"I've compared a DVD made by Popcorn with a DVD made with DVD2One/Toast.
For me it was very obvious that Popcorn has a lot more MPEG artifacts
in darker colored regions and problems with movement (compressing a DL
DVD to 4.4GB).
I'm back to DVD2One.
A 2nd report from Drew on Popcorn:
(added 12/7/2004 from 12/1 email)
I've had my first problem with Roxio's Popcorn v1.0. I used Ripper v2.0.2 on the full screen version of "The Day After Tomorrow", then ran it through Popcorn. After compression was complete, I almost immediately got a buffer underrun error dialog that recommended reducing the DVD write speed. This I did, but I still got the error (again after a long wait for compression).
I next used "Save as Disc Image..." and tried to burn the resulting file in Toast v6.0.7 and got this error:
There's not enough free space on this disc: 2302544
sectors (4.4 GB) are needed, 2298496 sectors (4.4 GB) are available.
Looks like Popcorn didn't apply quite enough compression for some reason. I've not had this problem with the 9 or 10 other disks I've backed up. I opened the image file in Popcorn to tried to burn it from there; I was surprised to see this information:
Video: All (1 Movie and 8 extras, 2:16:52)
Compression: Medium Compression (0% reduction)
I hit the big red button, and after the usual long wait for compression, the disk burned successfully! I can't see any additional image degradation from the double dose of compression, but clearly something is amiss with Popcorn. It is only a v1.0 product, so hopefully a fix is in the near future.
(added 12/7/2004 from 11/26 email)
"I'm pleased to report that I'm having great success with Roxio's
Popcorn. I ordered it online using my Toast Titanium 5's TSID and got
The discs created with Popcorn seem to be mastered better than Fast DVD
Copy, although it is now a two-step process. DVDs copied with Fast DVD
Copy occasionally would cause my PlayStation 2 to have audio problems,
particularly when advancing to the next chapter on a disc. Popcorn does
not have the same problem, even when copying the same disc.
Also, I just updated my Pioneer DVR-108's firmware to the "hacked" one
that unlocks the ripping speed. Now, on my dual 2GHz G5, copying a disc
from ripping to burning takes less than 45 minutes.
References: Firmware flasher (in French)
(FYI - The FAQ's DVD section also has info and download links on FlashKit 2 which also includes posts from the Oct. 26th news page on non-beta tweaked v1.14 DVR-108 firmware (including an unlocked rip speed and region free version at http://gradius.rpc1.org/ that does not mess with the burn speed detection of the drive, which a reader preferred.)
Thanks for the great site! Hope your holiday is going well.
(added 12/7/2004 from email)
"The sad truth is that people know less about what to do with a Video_TS file than they do with an mp3. It is HORRIBLE to compress a large movie down to 4.36 GB, especially if you're going to watch it on more than a 27 inch TV. I don't know if Popcorn has an option to split the movie without compression (like DVD2OneX) but that's the only way to do it without destroying the movie. I had to learn all this the hard way and now some of my earlier copies (including seven seasons of Deep Space Nine) are unwatchable on my 51 inch HDTV.
(no real name given by this AOL user)
A reader replied to a previous report on 11/24 from a Popcorn user regarding subtitle defaults:
(added 12/7/2004 from 11/24 email)
"In regards to Drew, who says his movie-only DVD copies default to subtitles on:
I've seen the same thing with other DVD copy software. The thing is, some (most?) DVD players come from the factory set up to default to subtitles on. You (almost?) never notice this with commercial DVDs, since they have customized menus to turn subtitles on/off and typically default to turning the subtitles off. But when you do a movie-only copy, you don't get the menu or the code that overrides the player's default of subtitles on. At any rate, anyone having this problem should probably go through their DVD players' setup menus and make sure that their player is set to default to subtitles off. I'll do a test of this myself tonight; I have yet to make a movie-only copy with Popcorn.
proud new owner of a used B&W G3 (my first Mac after 10+ years of PCs)
Mike, Popcorn is pretty nice. I had the same trouble ordering that everyone else is having; the Roxio web page would simply claim that my Toast 6 "is already registered" and would not let me proceed. I call the 800 number for sales, they took my order over the phone, and they directed me to store.roxio.com and emailed me a TSID and CD Key for Popcorn for the $30 price. I then downloaded it (the 10 meg version) and it installed flawlessly.
I ripped a DVD (Harry Potter CD that my kids have) with Ripper and then burned it onto a DVD with Popcorn. It takes some time to complete the process (I didn't time it) on my Tibook 1 ghz, but the result is a perfect reproduction of the DVD that plays in the Tibook
and my DVD player.
This is about as easy as I think it can get. This will probably remain
a two step process since Roxio is -not- going to open themselves up to the legal issues involved in the de-CSS part the Ripper
It's nice to be able to make DVD copies for the kids, as they have
previously ruined or lost some of their favorites.
Although some other readers had no problems getting the toast owner discount (even with older versions), this reader did:
Mike, I tried to purchase Popcorn shortly after you mentioned it this weekend. What a mess!
The site won't take the serial number to give the discount, so I was told by the Online Store to make the full price purchase and then call back in to get a refund.
Monday afternoon, I get a email from RebateHQ.com that my -rebate- was denied. What rebate? I never mailed in a rebate for this. I have fought other battles with RebateHQ in the past, so I know what a mess they are.
Tuesday morning, I called Roxio. The supervisor said to ignore the email from RebateHQ. So, where's my $20 discount/ refund Roxio? Oh, wait another 72 hours?
I wonder if Roxio got the site fixed yet, because I suggest your readers wait until it is before they purchase.
Yesterday's news also had a note about an amazon.com $10 rebate on pre-orders (at $42.99) for the retail boxed version with a wider qualification criteria, but that means waiting for shipment and the rebate and a few dollars more in net cost.
Heck, I only have (Toast) 3.5.7, and I got the rebate. (Toast 3 doesn't even have a number) I bet that hole is probably going to close soon enough.
PAINFULLY SLOW!!!!. Ripper (also needed with Popcorn for protected dvds) and DVD2OneX is faster, more stable and actually easier to use.
I asked John for system details (please include them if you're referring to performance since that can be affected by CPU speed, ram, drives, etc.).
Hi Mike, Creating a movie-only (no extras) DVD copy with Popcorn works fairly well (tested with Finding Nemo and Harry Potter). Foreign language sound tracks can be eliminated to save space and reduce the amount of compression applied to the video. Also, subtitles are preserved, but unfortunately, they are turned on by
default when the finished disk is played back (tested in Philips DVD-727 and Initial DVD-9510).
Since my universal remote doesn't have a subtitle button, I
have to find (not easy) and use the factory supplied remote to turn off
Hi, Mike - thought I'd put my two cents in on this one - backed up my "50 First Dates" DVD on 3 trial runs. Audio and video quality of all three is nearly indistinguishable, however, the last test disc did skip frames at various times during viewing.
PowerBook G4 17" 1GHz , 1GB RAM
23" Apple Cinema Display HD (ADC version)
External FireWire 400 w/NEC-3500A DVD Drive (w/Patchburn 3)
FujiFilm DVD-R 4.7GB 8x Rated
50 First Dates (7.44GB)
Roxio Popcorn 1.0
Roxio Toast Titanium 6.0.7
Using Popcorn and selecting the VIDEO_TS Folder, Copy Summary was:
- Video: All (1 movie and 29 extras, 3:11:10)
- Audio: All (Dolby 5.1, Dolby 2.0)
- Languages: All (English, French)
- Auto-Compression: On (if needed)
And, clicking on the Copy Options button, the following is revealed:
- Video: All (1 movie and 29 extras, 3:11:10)
- Quality: Medium
- Compression: High Compression (41% reduction)
You don't have manual control of Quality or Compression.
Rip & Burn performed with NEC-3500A:
- Rip 0:37:12
- Popcorn 1:27:53
- TOTAL 2:05:05
Test 2 and 3
I wanted to compare Popcorn's Compress & Burn times against the combination of using DVD2oneX w/Toast or DVD2oneX w/Popcorn (compression already performed by DVD2oneX). Rip & Burn performed with NEC-3500A:
I got Popcorn first thing Friday, based on how much I liked Roxio Toast.
While Popcorn looks great (if you think Toast looks great), compared to
DVD2OneX, it allows almost no customization compared, takes longer to
compress or just to copy, and makes oddly sized files when making disc
images. Still, I suppose if you don't have Toast and want a burning
solution, Popcorn is for you. I think it's a major rip.
Mike, I downloaded Popcorn today and successfully made a copy of The Return Of the King, my purchased disk was messed up. Since in is a copy protected disk, I used Ripper to extract the files and remove protection, about 30 mins. I then brought
the Video TS file into Popcorn and it compressed it down about 45%, about 90 mins. Then burned o external
Pioneer 108. So far the copy is recognized by my set top player and
(he later wrote)
As a followup, I just watched the copied version of Return Of The King. The quality was quite good, actually, outstanding considering the compression. My hats off to Roxio for this product, and it is only at a 1.0 release.
Mike, My Toast Titanium 6 registration code did not allow me access to the $29.95 discounted Popcorn download. (see the later reports on this in Friday's news page where some noted entering their already registered CD key/email address allowed them to log in and get the discount.-Mike)
However, my Toast 5 code did bring up the offer--which is odd since the offer is supposedly only for Toast 6 users. Maybe Roxio will straighten things out once the special offer email is sent later this week.
I posted Roxio's mail to me on Friday saying there would be offers sent via email to previously registered toast owners this week.
"Hi all. I just purchased Popcorn, and if you like Toast, you'll
definitely like Popcorn. It's got the same simple interface, and so
far, I've not had trouble with playing any of the 5 DVD's that I've
done so far on any of my DVD players, including the DVD player in our
mini-van. I cannot say the same for other products, like FastDVDCopy.
I was eligible for the $20 discount, which made the purchase a bit
Although FastDVDCopy is convenient in that it performs the extraction, compression, and burn all in one step, it seems very buggy, and I haven't had much luck with compatibility and certain DVD players. It's also very expensive. The combination of Ripper (free) and Popcorn is better IMHO, and with Tiger coming soon, I'll just use Automator to "one-step" everything. ;)
After reading your blurb on Roxio's popcorn, I immediately went to
purchase it for $30. ($49.95 w/o Toast discount.) The $20 rebate (discount) for Toast users works only if you
haven't registered Toast already.
(the Toast discount link in the Roxio's Popcorn page goes to a product registration page, but see later mails below from previously registered Toast owners on getting the discount.-Mike)
So I called their sales number, 800-518-2432 to see what they could do. The sales rep took my order over the phone for $30 and even waived shipping. I asked him from where the product would be shipping and he said CA. I'm in VA. Sigh, there is always something. :)
I said I didn't want to wait a week to get it so we worked out another
way. I ended up purchasing the product for the full $50 and I need to call the rep back in a hour and he will credit back $20.
I am really looking forward to popcorn because $30 is cheaper than
everything else out there.
One more thing of note, it is a 127 MB download.
(Note: the popcorn software alone is only 10MB, the 127MB includes label making software. See updated roxio comments below-Mike)
Just after midnight Friday (appx 1AM) I received this mail from Roxio regarding previously registered Toast owner discounts:
Toast users who have already registered their product will be receiving the $29 (29.95) special offer by email early next week (to the email address they used when they registered).
(I asked Adam about the download size (one reader noted 127MB above, a later report said 10MB)
Actually both are correct... :-)
There's a 10 MB version that only includes Popcorn software, and there's a 127 MB version that includes the label creation software and the Popcorn software.
The $29 (29.95) special is for the Popcorn software only, which shouldn't be an issue for any Toast 6 user, since it's the same label software that they already received when they purchased Toast.
The customer who bought the $49 downloadable and then got $20 off from the phone rep received the full 127 MB version, but normally Toast users will get the 10 MB.
Several other previously registered Toast owners wrote they were able to get the discount using the currently online form:
(mail from 1:47AM Sat.)
"Mike, Contrary to one reader's report about not being able to get verification
for registered users, I was able to log in and purchase Popcorn with the
discount. They first asked me to register a product, so I entered the CD
Key for my copy of Toast 6. When I entered it with my email address, it
recognized me as having previously registered and asked for my login
information. After that I was able to do an online purchase just fine.
The offer is only good for downloadable purchases, and the actual
download was just a shade over 10 megabytes. (for the Popcorn software alone)
I haven't had time to test the program, but I also own DVD2oneX so I
shall compare the two side by side and let you know the results.
"Mike, The Popcorn page DOES allow existing owners of Toast to get the
discount via the web. I simply registered my already registered copy of
Toast. Their web site recognized that my copy was already registered
and asked me to log in with my name and password. It thanked my for
being a loyal customer and gave me the discounted price for download.
It's not obvious that registering an already registered product would
work, but it does.
I have only made only made one DVD since downloading Popcorn. It's
works as advertised, compressing as needed based on your selected
options and burning the final DVD sequentially.
"Actually the first reader to report about getting Popcorn with the $20
dollar discount is wrong. (first report below) I also had the same problem, but after some
digging on the site, it automatically told me to login and then I was
able to get the discount online and download it all within 10 mins. If
you have created a user account, a must when you register, then all you
have to do is log in and then you can buy Popcorn with $20 discount.
FYI. Long time reader, thanks for all the info.
Here's the first report on Popcorn (from the Nov. 19th news page)
"Re: Trying out Roxio's Popcorn application
I presume you'll get a news release from Roxio about this. (see Roxio's Popcorn page-Mike) They just
started selling an application called Popcorn that is for copying video
DVDs either from a non-protected DVD, disc image or VIDEO_TS folder to single- or dual-layer media. It also offers compression options to fit a dual-layer video DVD onto single-layer media, similar to DVD2OneX. They are selling it for $49.95. There is a $20 discount for registered Toast owners. (See sidebar link on the Popcorn page for discount for Toast owners. It goes to a toast registration page that apparently is for new registrations only - but see later news item above for how previously registered Toast owners got the discount.-Mike)
I just tried it out and it retains existing chapter markers and gives
the option to copy (and compress, if necessary) the entire DVD or just
the main Title. If just the main title is selected there is another
option to choose just the main sound track or all the sound tracks.
Also, if just the main title is chosen there is no title menu. If a
compression option is chosen Popcorn first writes a image file to the
hard drive before burning the DVD. Toast's "Save as Disc Image" option also is present in Popcorn. My impression is that it is super easy to use.
I've not bought Popcorn (yet at least) but welcome feedback from anyone that's used it.