As you may have read in the previous chapter, iMovie makes it easy to preserve your masterpiece on videotape, suitable for distribution to your admiring fans. As you’ll read in Chapters 15, 16, 17 through 18, you can retain even more of your digital quality and still reach the masses by burning your opus onto a DVD.
There is, however, an in-between step. You can also preserve your QuickTime movie files (the ones you export from iMovie using the instructions in this chapter) on a CD.
Of course, in the world of video, what’s meant by “CD” varies dramatically. There have been as many different incarnations of videodiscs as there have been of Madonna. These days, if you claim to have put video on a CD, you probably mean one of these two things:
You took some ordinary QuickTime movies and burned them onto a CD (or a DVD, for that matter), which you can play only on the computer. You insert the disc, see the icon for the QuickTime movie file, and double-click it. You then watch it in the QuickTime Player program (see Chapter 14).
You created a Video CD, a weird, low-budget cousin of the DVD. A Video CD is indeed a videodisc, and it can indeed be played by many DVD players. But the quality is no better than that of a VHS videocassette. (Technically speaking, this disc contains an MPEG-1 movie file, as opposed to the MPEG-2 files on DVDs.)
The following discussion offers a road map for creating both kinds of “video CDs.”