Thursday, April 19, 2007


I've always had a bit of the archivist in me.

When I was a kid, I started recording movies from TV on to video. I was primarily interested in classic movies (I watched a lot of AMC) and musicals. As I got a bit older, I moved into TV shows, recording Red Dwarf, PBS's Mystery and Masterpiece Theatre, and Oz. Eventually I accumulated more than 50 tapes and hundreds of movies and shows.

Time and technology moved on. Now I have two Tivos and a DVD burner in my computer, and the VCR sits disconnected in my bedroom. I still have nearly all of the tapes I made years ago, in a trunk in my livingroom. They don't get watched very often.

But that doesn't stop me from burning lots of stuff - TV mostly - to DVD. I can buy 50 blank discs for the price of one movie, and Tivo desktop + Roxio Easy Media Creator makes it pretty easy (aside from the fact that EMC crashes at least once every single time I use it. Usually more than once. Usually about every 10 minutes during the process.).

When I was first starting the process - burning random shows from BBC America - I tried a couple of different freeware/shareware/demo software programs to do the editing and burning. I reluctantly purchaced EMC ultimately because they have a deal with Tivo so shows don't have to be converted before they can be worked with. And aside from the whole crashing, it works pretty well.

In fact, I've spent the last few days working to re-upload a number of discs I'd made with a different program and re-burn them with EMC. The old discs just don't play smoothly. The discs I made with EMC simply play much more cleanly, without pauses and skips and freezing up in the machine. Although I'm not a newbie, I'm not exactly a technology expert - maybe there are things I wasn't doing correctly with the old software that added to my issues. But I'm happier with this easier and cleaner result.

If only it didn't take me four days to upload and burn two movies ...


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