Bitrate Problem

So, I finally finished my DVD with my short film, Xtremely Xtreme.

However, when I tried burning my masterpiece to DVD- uh oh! it said “bitrate exceeded”! What the heck does that mean?
It turns out I had skipped a crucial step- crucial to my DVD anyway: encoding the audio.

When I converted the video to MPEG2 video and AIFF audio, I chose the Quicktime conversions- Variable Bit Rate with a two-pass algorithm, rendering for NTSC. The result was a .m2v file for each video track and a .aiff file for the accompanying audio.

This might have worked by itself… However, my movie has commentary tracks. Four of them. That means that a single DVD track had five audios to go with the video. Good thing I didn’t have multiple video angles!

As it turns out, somewhere there is a “bitrate settings” slider near the one pass/two pass conversion chooser. Good luck finding it; I couldn’t. I found out that every information stream, such as the video tracks or audio tracks, have a bitrate associated with them, and in total they cannot exceed a number somewhere around 10. “PCM is around 1.5” I was told. Still don’t really know what that advice means.

However, something I did figure out is how to use A.Pack. What A.Pack does is convert AIFF sound files to a much smaller DVD-compatible format called AC3. Using the numbers provided by Ken Stone, I encoded at a much lower bitrate (192; my friend recommended 448 for single audio tracks) and fit all the audio tracks onto the track! Whew!