Does anyone know of a FREE, good, Windows-based software program than can burn AVI video files into DVDs? The program needs to both convert the AVI files and burn them to DVD. (If two programs are needed to do these tasks separately that is OK, but it would be nice if these could be done by the same program.) I know people who use Nero for their DVD video burning on the Windows side but it is commercial. There are open source Linux-based programs for this, but I do not know of a Windows-based software option that others I know have used and can vouch for as malware-free. (A very important issue when looking for downloadable Windows-based software.)

I have done all my DVD authoring to date with iDVD, and plan to continue doing so, but I have a friend who is looking for a free Windows-based solution to convert and burn some AVI files he’s created with a camcorder to DVD. I posted this awhile back to our COV forum but didn’t get a response.

In hunting for a possible software solution for this, I turned to del.icio.us and with a “dvd software avi free” search found the program Avi2Dvd. (752 folks have saved this page to date in del.icio.us.) The homepage includes multiple award links at the bottom, including one from softpedia.com (a reputable site I have used before, recognize and trust) which certifies the software is malware free.

This process of locating software and then trying to verify if it is indeed malware free is VERY important, and something which is worth discussing with both teachers and students. In many cases today in U.S. public schools, computers are locked down to prevent users (non-administrators) from installing new programs. Malware dangers are one of the primary reasons for this. At home, however, teachers and students are generally free to download and install new programs on their own. P2P software is notorious for including various types of malware, but programs claiming to be video and DVD burning software also often include malware. In striving to help equip ourselves and others to be saavy and responsible digital citizens, it is important to discuss these issues and help others get comfortable with the process of verifying the SAFETY of a particular software program to install on their computer system.

In using friends’ computers running Windows Vista lately (I know, friends shouldn’t let friends use Windows Vista, and I do what I can…) I’ve noticed that Microsoft has integrated more warnings about installing software which has not been officially certified by Microsoft. Mac OS X 10.5.2 now also integrates a warning when a user tries to open an executable file / installer which was downloaded from the Internet:

Mac OS X 10.5.2 warning about downloadable software

These operating system features are good and needed, but the bottom line is that users need to make decisions and choices about what to install or avoid when it comes to software applications. In K12 schools, the focus of IT departments is often to limit trouble tickets by locking down systems and limiting the installation and configuration options available to users. This is understandable, but that context is not universal. In addition to home computers, many more students and teachers/instructors (especially in higher education) are bringing laptops to class on which they have administrative installation rights. As educators, discussing malware and software installation issues with students is important if we want to help students become SAFE lifelong, digital learners.

If you have a recommendation for AVI to DVD burning software that fits the above requirements (and you are NOT a vendor of said program) please let me know by commenting here. 🙂

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3 Responses to DVD burning software, Malware and Digital Citizenship

  1. Wes, howdy! I ran across something that should meet your needs. More discussion here:
    http://www.mguhlin.net/archives/2008/06/entry_7215.htm

    Thank you,

    Miguel Guhlin
    Around the Corner-MGuhlin.net
    http://mguhlin.net

  2. Susan Hurst says:

    This worked pretty well for me this weekend:
    http://www.koyotesoft.com/indexEn.html

    Free Videos to DVD 2.1

  3. alina says:

    Total Video2Dvd Author can help you convert movies to dvd simply and directly,
    1. click “New project”, add video files, than click “OK”
    2. click “DVD menu”, preview dvd menu
    3. click “Output”, click “Convert and Burn” start burn DVD.

    a. easily convert avi or other popular video formats(such as youtube flv, mpg, xvid, divx, mp4, 3gp, mkv, rm, rmvb, mov, wmv, ogm, ts etc.) to dvd or ISO image file.
    b. support srt, sub, ssa, ass, smi, psb, tex, idx subtitles
    c. support dvd menu with background music, with a lot of templates
    d. support download youtube and other video share website video, then burn to dvd
    e. support photo slideshow to dvd, more than 300 kinds of effects.
    f. easy to use, only a few clicks,

    you can download this program FREE:
    http://www.effectmatrix.com/total_video_to_DVD_Author/index.htm

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