Apple: breaking things for no reason

My wife is one of the billions who have no interest in computers per se, but want to use them to do things — just as I have no interest in cars but want to use them to drive places. She’s just spent a solid 20 solid minutes trying to figure out how to export a video file from iDVD on her Mac, so she can upload it to YouTube. No dice.

So I stepped in, a professional programmer, wise in the ways of computers. I was ready to click a couple of menu items, File -> Export -> MP4, and save the day in 30 seconds. Twenty more minutes later, here I am.

It appears that Apple have removed that option from iDVD.

How have I concluded this? By exhaustion. I’ve certainly not found an announcement or anything — far less an explanation. Somewhere in the upgrade treadmill, this crucial feature has simply been taken out the back and quietly shot.



10 responses to “Apple: breaking things for no reason

  1. Because Apple. Great and wondrous are the ways of the Apple designers, never to be questioned.

    The good news is that you can probably achieve what you want to do with Handbrake (, which does provide a reasonable GUI for converting to mp4. There may be a few too many widgets and toggles for the average user to love it, but it does come with presets that are easy to navigate.

    I know it means you have to download something new to accomplish what was built in before. Sorry, it’s the best I have to offer (:

  2. futilelaneswapper

    ffmpeg is your friend.

  3. I’m not sure ffmpeg will help with Apple’s presumably-proprietary DVD-construction format.

  4. Presumably because iDVD is for making DVDs and if you’re trying to make a movie file you’re supposed to use iMovie… has iDVD (as opposed to iMovie) ever had to option to export to something you could upload to YouTube?

  5. Mac the Ripper or Handbreak should do the trick.

  6. H, yes, Fiona says she has exported video from iDVD before.

    And yes, of course iMovie would be the most obvious place to do this from: but those huge source files are gone. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to want to make video files from what remains.

  7. According to my research, iDVD has ‘export to disk image’ starting in version 5 (a long time ago) and has never has a save as mp4 option. Apple forums are quite consistent in saying ‘you can’t do that’. A disk image is of course not the same thing, but is mountable and will have a Video_TS folder with the video elements in it.

  8. Thanks, John. Well, maybe I am mis-remembering, and this very obvious feature never existed.

    In our case, though, things are even worse: “Export to Disc Image” (and indeed Burn DVD) fails mysteriously, with one of those completely uninformative error messages that are in fashion these days. You know the kind of thing “We’re terribly sorry but a slight error has occurred, and export was unsuccessful” — to which you are supposed to hit “OK”.

  9. Yikes. Broken indeed. I’ve been using HandBrake for so long that I just don’t recall what did/didn’t work… ;)

  10. Apple would say “Surprise” ^_^

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