Create and burn DVDs with Free Movie DVD Maker | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Create and burn DVDs with Free Movie DVD Maker

Compose and burn your own DVDs with this freeware release.

Think Free Movie DVD Maker lets you compose and burn high-quality DVDs from your movie clips. It handles a wide range of video formats as well as DVD output types, including HD DVDs up 1080p in resolution. With drag-and-drop, clip editing, zoom mode, and menu options, it can produce high-quality DVDs compatible with any DVD player. Free Movie DVD Maker places a splash screen before segments; a premium version removes the ads and includes lifetime support and updates.

The thing we like best about Free Movie DVD Maker's user interface is the easy way you can toggle between Detail and Thumbnails views, not to mention the slider that lets you scale the view to see both details and thumbnails. We could also turn off thumbnails altogether. We added files by dragging and dropping them into the program and by clicking Add. We could move clips up and down to change the playback order. A sidebar to the right of the main view is tabbed for three features: Settings, including burner, disc size, TV format (NTSC or PAL) and zoom mode (letterbox, pan-and-scan, and stretch); Advanced, which let us further customize our settings; and DVD Menu, which includes options such as fonts and buttons. A helpful preview displays each page's content as thumbnails. The only glitch, if we can even call it that, came when we tried to load a video titled in non-Western characters. A pop-up message flagged the nonstandard video and advised us to close the clip and rename it, which we did. Subsequently, it loaded normally in the program's queue. You don't have to burn a disc right away: Free Movie DVD Maker will save your project as a DVD file you can burn later (we did both). The program's Help file includes sections specifically for Beginners and Advanced users.

We made our choices and clicked Burn. The program created our DVD in very respectable time, though of course your system's resources will bear on the overall speed. Each clip's progress was tracked in the main list. End result? Our finished DVD played normally in our DVD player.

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