Converting AVI files to DVD is a very routine procedure, and is most commonly encountered when moving footage from a home video camera onto a personal computer. But once you get that file onto your computer, then what do you do with it?

Edit Your Movie

Once you transfer that AVI file to your computer, you will in all likelihood want to reauthor it. There are plenty of good software packages available to assist with this task, and they run anywhere from $50 to $500, depending on the capabilities of the software. For most home movie needs, you can find a very capable editor in the $70 to $100 range.

Editing software will enable you to split and join clips, add transitions, titles, and effects, create DVD menus, and convert your edited movie to multiple file formats, including DVD.

Burn to DVD and Watch on a Television

There are a fair number of simple conversion tools available that will enable you to convert that AVI file into the structure required for DVD movies. Once you have that structure, you can use a DVD burning program like ImgBurn or Nero to create your DVD.

Play Your Movie on a Portable Device

While standard DVD players are most commonly used for watching movies, a new generation of portable players exists that is capable of playing video, provided it’s in the proper format. So you can convert that footage into something that can be played on portal media players like the iPod, Zune, and PSP. That’s another thing to keep in mind as you learn how to convert AVI to DVD format.

There is no such thing as the perfect software for all of these tasks. The fact is that what is right for me might not be right for you. To determine the best software for you, first determine exactly what your goals are for your software, and choose accordingly. As a rule of thumb, video editing software is large and requires a lot of processing power. The more you want your software to do, the more complex you can expect it to be. Conversely, simple utility programs, while not particularly complete, are simple and inexpensive to use.

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