movie-title(1) Creates a menu for a set of movies on a DVD


movie-title [-C] -o output -t title_seq [-T XxY] [-s start] [-c interval]
source_video [...]


This program takes one or more video streams (which are the .m2v or .vob files that are produced by movie-to-dvd) and exactly one title sequence (as produced by movie-make-title or movie-make-title-simple) and combines all of them into a navigational menu from which a viewer of the DVD can choose which movie he or she wants to see.

The program will produce a VOB file that can be used as a menu if you want to do your own DVD authoring, but it will also produce an XML file that can be used directly as an input file for dvdauthor, the program that you will most likely be using to create the DVD images that you can burn on a real DVD.


The menu will look as follows: the background that will fill the entire screen will be the supplied title sequence (as produced by movie-make-title or movie-make-title-simple). The sound from the title sequence (if any) will be audible while the viewer is choosing which movie to watch.

If the animated type of menu was chosen in movie-make-title or movie-make-title-simple, each movie in the menu will be presented by having a rectangle in the menu in which a picture-in-picture version of that movie is display (exactly as long as the title sequence is itself).

If the static type of menu was chosen in movie-make-title or movie-make-title-simple, each movie in the menu will be presented by having a rectangle in the menu in which one frame of that movie is displayed, that will remain unchanged while the menu is being displayed.

If the none type of menu was chosen in movie-make-title or movie-make-title-simple, none of the movies in the menu will have a preview image at all.

Below the rectangle (or below the navigation button(s) if there is no preview image), the name of the movie will be displayed. If no further information is supplied (see further on), the movie's file name will be used as the title (which is most likely not what you want), otherwise the supplied title will be used. Above the rectangle (or above the title if no preview images are present), a "play" icon will be displayed, which can be chosen by using the DVD player's remote to play the movie. If more information is supplied (more than just a title), an extra "information" icon will be displayed as well, which can be selected in order to view the extra supplied information.


If supplied, one can also add information about the movies to the DVD: an extra information icon will appear with the movie's title, and when chosen, the information will appear for the viewer to read. If there is more information than will fit onto the screen, a scrollbar will be created, and the viewer will be able to scroll by using the up and down keys on his or her DVD player's remote control.

The way the extra information works is as follows: create a file with the same name as the video stream's name, except using .info as the extension instead of .m2v or .vob. So if you have a video stream called my_home_video.m2v, then you should create a text file called


The file has a certain format: the first line should be the title of the movie as it should be displayed in the menu. You may use the special character ^ (carrot, usually shift-6) to split up the title into multiple lines. This is useful when the title is quite long and is too wide to fit in the grid.

The remainder of the file may be used to supply information about the movie. If the file contains only one line, only the title will be used and no "information" icon will be displayed for this movie. Lines should normally not be any wider than about 60 characters to avoid the lines being wider than the screen can display.


To introduce some extra clarity, you may specify in which color a line should be displayed. Usually, the text is white (and the background is always black). You may type a hash mark (#) followed by a six-character hexadecimal color code (the same as those used on the web) followed by a space followed by the line itself to display a line in a certain color.


An example of a .info file could be:

My first words
#ffff00 Title:

    My first words

#ff00ff Date:

    September 8th, 1975

#ff0000 Synopsis:

    A home video that captures my first words as a child!

In this case, the title is "My first words", which will be displayed in the DVD menu. Further more, extra information is supplied, which can be viewed using the "information" icon on the DVD. The "Title:" line will be in yellow, the "Date:" line in magenta and the "Synopsis:" line will be presented in red. The other text will be in plain white.


The following options are available:
-o output
Specifies the name of the menu VOB file that should be produced by this program.
Not only this file is created, but a whole lot of other files as well. These files can be automatically cleaned up by using the -C option (see the information there).
The most notable files are output itself (which is a VOB file that can be used as a menu, if you want to do your own DVD authoring) and output-dvdauthor.xml, which is an XML file that can be given to dvdauthor's -x option to create the DVD image for you.
There is also output-overlay.gif, which will contain the titles and the rectangles used in the menu. This file can be viewed to see whether the titles all fit nicely in the menu before you decide to burn it to a real DVD.
Personally, I usually use the name title.vob (short and to-the-point).
When this option is supplied (and the rest the of arguments remain as they were when the program is first run), the program will clean up all the temporary files that were created for producing the DVD image. When the program is run without this option, it will suggest a command line to run including this option when it finishes, to clean up.
-t title_sequence
This option tells the program which title sequence directory to use, which must have been created my movie-make-title or movie-make-title-simple beforehand. Please look in the manual pages for movie-make-title and movie-make-title-simple for more information on how to use those programs.
-T XxY
Normally, the program will determine by itself what the optimal grid size is in which to present all the movies at once. For example, if there are five movies, it will set the grid size to three by two (leaving one space blank). Using this option, you may override the program's default grid size and set it to X by Y (note the letter x in between the two numbers). If you specify a grid size that has more spaces than there are movies, the last few spaces will be left blank. If you specify a grid size that has fewer spaces than there are movies, the program will tell you so and will refuse to run.
-s start
Normally, the program will start capturing frames for the picture-in-picture versions of the movies to put in the menu from the beginning (first frame) of those movies. This is often just fine, but sometimes you will want to start capturing frames somewhere beyond the start. You could want this if all the movies start the same way, for example. You'll also want to use this if you are displaying static preview images in your menu: if you don't, you will probably just see a black image because the first image of a movie is rarely anything useful. Using this option, you can specify a number seconds, which will be used as a seek position in the movie before any frames are captured.
-c interval
Sets how long a chapter lasts in the movies. Chapters are created every interval minutes in the movies. This makes the movie easy to navigate with a DVD player's remote control. The default is 2 minutes. If you do not want chapters to be created, specify none.


If this program is called with a incorrect set of parameters, it will print a diagnostic message telling the user what went wrong. Also, it will then print its usage information, listing all the options and their meanings.

The program tells you what it is doing while it is running.


The command line that I use most often is:
movie-title -o title.vob -t title input1.m2v input2.m2v


Once the program has been run, you should run dvdauthor to create a DVD image that you can burn to a real DVD. The program will tell you how to run dvdauthor once it has finished. Also, it will suggest what to run after dvdauthor has done its job to clean up all the temporary files that are no longer necessary at that point.


Once you have created a DVD image with dvdauthor, you may burn it onto a real DVD. How this is done depends on which program you use for that. Personally, I use growisofs. The command line that I use for that program is:
growisofs -dvd-video -Z /dev/dvd directory_with_image

The directory_with_image is the directory that you specified in dvdauthor's -o option.


Some movies are split up into more than one part. That is, you have more than one .m2v or .vob file, which together make up the entire movie. For example, you could have a movie that has been split up into separate sections, each lasting a half hour at the most.

In this case, you don't want all the sections to appear in the menu, just the section from which you want to rip the picture-in-picture view for use in the menu.

You should supply just the .m2v or .vob as an argument to this program from which you want to rip the frames for use in the menu, along with any other .m2v or .vob files that you want to appear in the menu. Once the program is done, just before you run dvdauthor, you should edit the file called output-dvdauthor.xml. Look for the line that contains the file name of the section of the movie that you specified on the command line. Copy this line and paste it below the existing line until you have as many lines as that there are parts of the movie. Now, edit the file names in each of the lines so that you end up naming all of the sections of the movie.

Now, when you run dvdauthor, it will join all of the sections together into one complete movie. It will do this for all the movies that had been split up.


The author is Sven Berkvens-Matthijsse ([email protected]). Please send any project related e-mail to [email protected].


None known. Please report any bugs to [email protected]!