Using Merge Mode
This great new feature was introduced recently in the V188.8.131.52 beta for DVDFab Platinum, and is a powerful addition to your DVD toolset. What can it do? Here are a few examples:
Put a two-disc movie onto a single disc; say goodbye to â€œflipperâ€ discs forever!
Make a special disc with titles from many sources, like a cartoon carnival disc for the kids.
Put two versions of the same title on one disc.
Make a disc of just â€œExtrasâ€ and â€œMaking Ofsâ€.
Make you own â€œNight at the Moviesâ€ disc, with feature, cartoon and extras.
Interleave material from different sources with chapter length control.
The First Step(If youâ€™re in a hurry just read the boldface type +Tips at the end)
is to decide what sources to use for your project. Valid sources are DVD discs (but you must have an optical drive for each disc source), DVD folders and ISO files. The merge process runs faster if you copy the merge sources to your HDD before starting. All sources must be continuously available until the merge process completesâ€”you canâ€™t pop a DVD out of a drive and put in another; if you do, the Merge entries from the disc you remove will be deleted from the Merge list. In practice this means that youâ€™ll be copying to HDD for some sources anyway, unless you have lots of optical drives or a project with few sources.
when youâ€™ve decided on the sources and copied them to your HDD if necessary, Open DVDFab Platinum and click on â€œMergeâ€. The first of two screens will appear, which Iâ€™ll refer to throughout as Merge1 and Merge2. Merge1 is used to select the title sources for your project. If you start with a DVD in Fabâ€™s default drive it will appear as the first source. The window should populate and look similar to the Customize mode screen.
Sources can be added in any order since Merge2 lets you re-arrange them much like the â€œAdvanced Title Optionsâ€ button in the standard DVD-to-DVD modes, but itâ€™s easier to keep track of the Merge process if youâ€™ll add the sources in the order you plan to use them. Add your sources using the Source drop down (to select optical drives) or the Folder or ISO Source buttons.
As As each is selected it will be analyzed and added to the Merge list which is displayed on Merge2. As each source is added, select the title, audio stream and subpicture you want to include.
click Next to bring up the Merge2 screen. If youâ€™re just converting a flipper disc or putting a two-sided movie onto one disc, you will only see two sources listed. If youâ€™re making a â€œfavoritesâ€ compilation you may have several. Verify the order of the titles and included chapters, make any changes, select DVD5/9, select a target, and click Start to begin the merge. The text window will give you a running progress report much like the other modes. You will get the same successful completion chime (hopefully) and boxes the other modes produce when all goes well.
Example: Favorites Disc
Here is a sample merge project that illustrates the flexibility and power of this new feature. For the test I made a kidâ€™s cartoon compilation of titles from the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 2 using discs one and three, and two episodes from Pinky and The Brain Volume 1. First I copied all necessary elements to separate HDD folders. Since there were lots of titles from Looney Tunes disc 1, I did a Full Disc copy of that one, but copied only the desired titles from everything else to save time. The titles from the first source, the full disc copy, are spread throughout the compilation. To spread them out like this you can either re-select the source using the drop down in Source, re-load the source using the Folder/ISO source button, or select all the titles at once and move them around using the UP/Down buttons. It doesnâ€™t seem to make much difference, but if you use the drop down DVDFab will remember and display with checkmarks the titles youâ€™ve already used from that source. Just check the one(s) you want to add. They will appear in the proper order on the Merge2 screen. This Merge completed in a little over 7 minutes reading and writing using two hard drives. Discs will be slower. For converting a flipper or two-disc feature to a single, you can copy the 2nd side/disc to the HDD and use the original disc as the source for the first half of the movie.
Think the merge through before you start. Donâ€™t wind up ready to push Start and realize you need to burn another source to the HDD.
Merge mode will not allow you to re-use or duplicate a title on the merge list using the drop down source selector. This can be accomplished if necessary by re-loading the source using the folder or ISO Source buttons. You can, as I did in the Example above, re-use a source using the drop down selector as long as you select a different title from the one already on the merge list.
There are no menus on merged volumes.
DVDFab makes the same default title selections in Merge that it does in Main Movie, so be sure to UNcheck that title if you donâ€™t want it.
You can go back and forth between the two screens as often as necessary.
The Preview window is your friend like never before. Remember that it updates the Title and Chapter numbers just above the viewer window in real time while running and will be a tremendous help in setting chapter begin and end points if you need to do that.
Iâ€™m sure this new mode will evolve and change over time, so check back. Iâ€™ll keep this updated as time permits. My #1 request for Merge is an additional column on the merge2 screen that shows the Source number (1,2,3,4 etc.) based on the order in which the sources were added (or parse the source paths differently so that something besides DVD_VOLUME shows).
Thatâ€™s All Folks!