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What's wrong with tovid

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In an effort to invite hard criticism, this page has been created for listing gripes and annoyances, or constructive nitpicking, of anything in the tovid suite.

On the other hand, if you've found a problem or error in tovid, please report a bug instead.

Many of the comments below are old now and I think a great many have been addressed, so we are listening ! For future comments tovid 0.34 and newer only please.

Burning Device Edit

When you launce tovidgui ithas the option to burn on the basic menu but when i go to run todisk now it tells me to specify y burner path but when i do it countinuously tells me to specify and will not countine building the disk.

Admin: Please try again using latest SVN or tovid 0.35 or newer. If the problem persists please open an issue or post to the tovid-users list with verbose information and especially the name of the device file you are trying to use.

Disk Usage Edit

When you launch tovidgui from the main menu in Gnome, it dumps huge output files into your home directory, and not even into a ~/.tovid/ dir, but right into ~/. It also appears to dump some files into /tmp. For many apps this wouldn't be a big deal, but when you're dealing with huge video files, the app must allow the user to specify the working directory. It's not safe to just assume that every user will have say ~5 GB free in their home and/or tmp directories.

Admin: Again, this report is out of date, as current tovid allows specifying OUTPUT_DIR (honoured by all scripts) in ~/.tovid/preferences.

Interface Edit

What's wrong with the interface, command-line options, or GUI design?

Just started using Tovid via the gui (version 0.28 with Ubuntu Dapper) and it is brilliant, but a handful of minor niggles:

Admin: 0.28 is very,very old now, many of the problems itemized below do not exist with the current tovid and 'tovid gui' (currently at 0.35).

Also, I wanted to place a launcher on my desktop to launch tovidgui. However, when I tried the application attempts to use my home directory (which doesn't have that much space) to store the temporary files needed when creating the mpgs for the DVD. I have to cd into a directory that has lots of available space and then launching tovid from the command line instead. Ideally, tovid should probably default to attempt to use the same directory for the temporary files as output directory.

It would be nice if the GUI would allow for the possibility that all the videos it's dealing with are already encoded. Or to put it simply, the GUI should allow you to skip the encoding of videos while still constructing the menu.

I wanted to create an pal dvd image from an xvid-file. so I stared todvdgui and created the menu and than went to step 2. Everything worked fine, and the mpg was created. no I went to Step3 and said Author Disc structur, and not the strukcure was created, but the file was recompiled but this time not to pal but to ntsc, so it seems that there is an error in the parameters :-(

It would be nice if there was a "Play all videos" option in the menu. I have to go in and hack the xml by hand now get it to work right. I ruined quite a few DVDs trying to figure out how to do it too.

There does not seem a way to make 16:9 text menus, everything I do is 16:9, making 4:3 menus seems odd. I accept that they just stretch out anyway.


There is no concept of saving a project. I agree with the skip encoded files bit wholeheartedly and the temp directory. Though it should be a preferences option. There is also no estimation of finished size. You can throw in a few videos and wind up with an impossible to burn image that you don't find out until it fails to burn. There is no information about the videos available either such as duration.


Agree with all the above. Also, there should be an "Abort encoding" button that allows to stop the encoding process. At the very least, encoding should stop when the GUI is closed.

Is there an option to create a DVD without a menu? You can on the command line, but not with this GUI.

  • The GUI doesn't fit correctly on my monitor. I'm running the monitor at 1280 x 768, but the vertical size of the GUI is way too big. I shrink it down so I can see the entire window, but I see that some buttons and text are cut off at the bottom, but there is no slide bar or anything to get to those.



kjsharke: I am just learning the CLI -- forgive me if I haven't RATM sufficiently, but these are things that confused me about todisc:

  • when "-text-mist" applies -- I am mostly using "-switched-menus" and "-text-menu", I expect it to be around the titles (as specified by "-title")
  • ditto for "-title-offset" and "-title-gap"
  • it is "-switched-menus" but "-text-menu" -- I forget when it is plural (could "-switched-menu" be a synonym?)
  • I'd like to be able to use "-showcase IMG1 IMG2" to chose images to represent each title, but I don't think this works (yet?)

Also, I've had an error with the bgaudio track, but it waits until after it processes the images to fail. Would it be possible to test that the audio track exists and is in an acceptable format prior to that? FYI: I am using 0.31-0ubuntu5. I've been burning videos while I've been sick, they've looked great thank you! If you have any questions: kjsharke---mtu---edu

I wanted to use an flv file (from youtube) in my DVD and expected tovid to do the encoding. But tovid crashed at ffmpeg. Apparently the padright, padleft, etc. parameters passed to ffmpeg were not working. I had to encode it separately and then call it from tovid.

Memory Usage Edit

(This is in the Menu creating part of tovid (makemenuu)) There is a bug in convert (ImageMagick) that causes tons of memory to be consumed. With 1.5GB of memory, it consumes 70% before crashing. When it increases, the system immediately starts swapping memory. Then convert crashes. (For my specific computer, it won't crash, but freezes while swapping memory, and later returns to normal, if no other process had a memory leak.)

A suggestion is to process 200-400 frames at a time, and after processing, combine the whole menu together.

Some other evidence of convert's problems: [1] System is Ubuntu 8.04 LTS, on Acer laptop, 1.5GB mem.

Coding style Edit

So what's wrong with the code? Doesn't it make sense? Isn't it totally obvious?

For sure the code is more advanced than what I can write but it misses few fundamental things:

  • tovid depends on many tools for which the tovid author has no control (e.g. transcode, ffmpeg, etc.). This afternoon I have spent few hours debugging jpeg2yuv and transcode segmentation faults. Before I did that I wanted to ditch tovid since it just did do the job....

My suggestions:

  • properly handle exit codes of the external tools after each execution of such tools
  • simpler solution is to exit on any error and do not continue after a fatal error has occured. e.g transcode failure keeps the script going... WRONG
  • try to have a step counter so you show how many steps have been run in tovid. Granularity should be high enough
  • Better(clearer and more verbose) logging. Some commands are not echoed in the log file
  • Less verbose output on the screen. What is on the screen should also be on in the log.

You can contact me at octavsly on google mail

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