As you might have picked up, the process of doing the three DVDs inside the documentary set works as follows:
- Create Content
- Create DVD Master
- Plant creates DVD “Glass Master” from DVD Master
- Plant presses 5 example discs (“Check Discs”)
- Jason plays Check Discs, approves
- Plant makes one hundred billion discs
- Discs go in packages and out to customers
All well and good. Disc #2 went through this process and is waiting at the “one hundred billion discs” step for the other two DVDs to arrive. So it’s done.
Disc #3 is still going through the “Presses 5 example discs” step.
Disc #1 came today, and I played it.
It is busted.
Oh, not just busted, “busted” is not the word to describe the situation. “Super Mecha Busted 3000” comes closer. It’s not just half-baked; it shot out of the oven and set the Sous Chef on fire and is somewhere in the main dining hall eating everyone’s hair. It is, basically, unacceptable. I will have to re-master and go through the process again, adding 5 days to the timeline.
Of course, I’m glad to have 5 of this broken disc than 5,000. It will, however, add roughly two grand to the cost of printing. So I am not happy, in the general sense.
I would like, at this point, to thank Ulead Software, creator of Ulead DVD Workshop 2, for creating a piece of software that, should you want to make a nice DVD of photos of your cats, you’re in luck, but if you are in the mood to create a DVD that consistently works in, you know, DVD players, you’re going to go through the trials of Hercules. I would also like to issue fair warning to these folks that I will. from this point on, carry a pile of cream pies with me at all times and will be prepared to hit them in the face with said pies should we meet.
This is, of course, why one takes on “check discs” in the first place, so that these problems are found before the mistake becomes so out of control and rampant that my years of work suffer. But still, I thought I’d not be facing this stuff for a while and now I know what I’m doing for the next couple of days. It sucks.
While everyone’s waiting, I’d like to go ahead and share something special. When I opened to pre-orders, people who pre-ordered were able to submit a paragraph of text that would be placed on the DVDs for others to see. They are at the root level of the DVD-ROM portion of Disc #3. These paragraphs are in both HTML and text formats.
A big thank you to all the people who sent me paragraphs, who believed in the project enough to pay with real money before a product was ready to ship, and for their patience.
We’re close. This was a setback, but a minor one.
It occurs to me that some people would want a more technical version of what went wrong. I will summarize this way: “Ulead is extremely poor, more than any software should be in 2005, at handling changes in digital assets it is referencing, including obvious changes in length or format. Because this disc configuration was the oldest and had the most changes, inherent flaws in Ulead’s mastering software made it unable to properly track MPEG and subtitle files accurately, leading to lost chapters, dropped subtitles, and missing graphics. They are poop.”
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