DVD originally stood for Digital Video Disc, but as new applications were developed the terminology changed to Digital Versatile Disc. Depending on the type of disc, DVDs can store from 4.7 to 17 GB of data, which is much more than any compact disc can hold. In addition to video and audio, DVDs are good for backing up data that will not fit on a single CD (like your 4 GB of downloaded MP3 files).
Most dedicated CD-recording programs can also be used to record data in DVD-ROM format. (However, to create DVD-Video or DVD-Audio discs, you’ll need something beyond a standard disc-burning tool.) The basic DVD recording process is actually more straightforward than recording to a CD, because all DVDs use the same filesystem (UDF) and method of encoding binary data on the disc.
Recording a DVD-Video or DVD-Audio disc, however, is much more involved. You must first create the audio and video files in the correct formats, using parameters specified by the DVD standard. Before they are burned to a DVD, the files must also be organized and multiplexed in a process called “authoring.”
Authoring DVDs is a sophisticated procedure that’s beyond the scope of this book. If you’re interested, there are a few low-cost programs you can use to create your own DVD-Video discs—for example, Roxio includes a basic DVD-authoring application called DVD Builder in its Easy Media Creator package, and newer Macs come with the iDVD program. More sophisticated DVD-authoring programs start at around ...