Burning the DVD in PAL on a Mac (OS X 10.5)

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Bear of Little Brain
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Burning the DVD in PAL on a Mac (OS X 10.5)

I just thought I'd recount my experiences in producing a working PAL version of the DVD on a Macintosh.

First, I'm no computer nerd and do not enjoy computing "challenges". I mostly understand the technology, will have a reasonable attempt at something, but am not prepared to waste undue time on something that I may rarely be using. That said:

The first problem was BitTorrent. I downloaded the "proper" BitTorrent program for Mac OS X. As I recall, it was a beta version, which was not encouraging. Whatever I did, I could not get it to start downloading. After further research and fiddling, I still could not get it going. Being a Mac user, I gave up on the arcane wizardry of "BitTorrent for Mac" and went googling. I found this useful list of Mac BitTorrent clients:

http://torrentfreak.com/mac-bt-clients/

I plumped for Transmission.

http://www.transmissionbt.com/

Note, however, that it requires OS X 10.5 (the latest version).

(Incidentally, I see that "Tomato" , found here: http://sarwat.net/bittorrent/  works with OS X 10.4, but I haven't tried it.)

Having downloaded the Transmission program and opened it, the next problem was to figure out how to get the DVD to download. From the "Download the DVD" page (via the "Community" tab), I selected the PAL version and was presented with "Download this torrent!". With Transmission open and the main "Transmission" window visible (Command-1, if it isn't), I simply click-held the "Download…" message and dragged it into the Transmission window and away it went (for hours). Easy peasy. Very Mac. Looking back at it now, it looks as if a click on that message actually downloads a small (17.8kB) file. I guess that double-clicking on that small file would get Transmission going as well.

At the end of all this I had "CRASH_COURSE-PAL.iso" on my desktop. My Mac Mini has a DVD burner built in. Not knowing anything about iso files, I created a "Burn" folder (Finder>File>New Burn Folder) and dragged the iso file into it (actually, I only created an alias/shortcut back to the original, of course). Then I popped in a blank DVD, and burned it. DUH!! WRONG!! The resulting DVD worked in the Mac somehow, after a message implying it wouldn't, but it didn't work in a real DVD player attached to a TV.

So I trashed the contents of that Burn Folder and started again. This time, I double-clicked on the "CRASH_COURSE-PAL.iso" folder and was presented with a shiny disk/volume called "PAL" mounted on the Desktop. Double-clicking/opening this revealed two files, "VIDEO_TS" and "AUDIO_TS". This time I dragged both of these into the Burn folder and tried again. This time it worked, and I had a DVD that played properly on the TV. All that was left was to tidy up the Desktop, by"Eject"-ing that "PAL" disc/volume.

So, the trick is to open the .iso download and only burn the contents of the mounted disc/volume. Maybe it's obvious to those in the know, but it wasn't to me (I am "of Little Brain", after all!).

Maybe I was just lucky with Transmission working straight off, but I just thought I'd put this "out there" for anyone struggling with BitTorrent on a Mac.

BTW, when I tried to download the NTSC version (for the hell of it), Transmission wouldn't have it, insisting that

"A transfer of "CRASH_COURSE-NTSC.iso" already exists. The torrent file cannot be opened because it is a duplicate of an already added transfer."

Don't know what to make of that, 'cos there was only the PAL version "already" transferred. Ho, hum.

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Re: Burning the DVD in PAL on a Mac (OS X 10.5)

Bear of Little Brain wrote:

This time, I double-clicked on the "CRASH_COURSE-PAL.iso" folder and was presented with a shiny disk/volume called "PAL" mounted on the Desktop. Double-clicking/opening this revealed two files, "VIDEO_TS" and "AUDIO_TS". This time I dragged both of these into the Burn folder and tried again. This time it worked, and I had a DVD that played properly on the TV. All that was left was to tidy up the Desktop, by"Eject"-ing that "PAL" disc/volume.

So, the trick is to open the .iso download and only burn the contents of the mounted disc/volume. Maybe it's obvious to those in the know, but it wasn't to me (I am "of Little Brain", after all!).

Bear,

This may have been the right solution for your configuration, but I do not believe it is the standard approach for Macs.  As discussed on Lifehacker, you should be able to burn a full .ISO file to a DVD in Mac OS X.  The same approach should be used for Windows.  The full .ISO file needs to be burned to the DVD, as discussed here.  This should be done using a program such as InfraRecorder.

Also for reference, a torrent is described on the Download the Crash Course DVD page:

Once you know whether you need the NTSC or PAL version, and you have installed the BitTorrent Client program on your computer, you can access the torrentsTorrents are tiny files which provide reference information on where your BitTorrent Client needs to go to download the DVD image file.

So the torrent is not the file you are downloading, but rather a tiny file used to point to the location of the file.

In regards to torrent programs, there are many to choose from. Certainly Transmission BT is a reasonable choice.  However I am a bit confused that you said BitTorrent for Mac is a beta program?  I just checked, and it is on version 4.27.2 for Mac OS X.  It is available for download here.

Ron

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Bear of Little Brain
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Joined: May 23 2009
Posts: 2
Re: Burning the DVD in PAL on a Mac (OS X 10.5)

Hi, Ron

Thanks for your comments.

I just wanted to describe what I did to get a working copy (and what I did wrong, which is often quite useful, I think). I used the Burn facility built into OS X, directly, and just wanted to mention that it didn't give me a working version until I used the contents of the iso folder and not the folder itself. Maybe InfraRecorder would have taken care of it - it just never occurred to me not to use the OS X facility.

Sorry if I got the BitTorrent info wrong. I had deleted it (BitTorrent) and thought I had seen "beta" somewhere. Going senile. Should really leave this tech stuff to my grandson. :-)

All the best.

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