Converting Windows Media Files To DVD Using DeVeDe

This past week I was looking to convert some Windows Media Video (wmv) files to DVD format for my father-in-law. I chose to use DeVeDe since it has a simple interface and was recommended in a number of the searches I did for Linux based video conversion software. I ran into a few problems that (ultimately) were easily fixed and thought others might benefit from the research.

DeVeDe Installation

To start I installed DeVeDe from the Ubuntu repositories:

$ sudo apt-get install devede

and started it from the command line:

$ devede

Creating the DVD

On the “Disk type selection” screen I selected “Video DVD”.

DeVeDe Startup Screen

DeVeDe Unsaved Disk Structure

and began creating titles and adding the corresponding files.

The first problem I ran into was when I clicked “Forward” to start the conversion. It appeared to start normally but I eventually got the error “Conversion failed. It seems to be a bug of Mencoder.”

DeVeDe Conversion Error

I found the solution to this in a post by fpeelo on the Linux Mint forum. Apparently DeVeDe is trying to pass an invalid parameter to the avconv utility. To fix it, open the file /usr/lib/devede/ in an editor as root. Search for the string -newaudio and comment out the containing line.

The next problem occurred when I tried to directly convert the wmv files. Again, the conversion appeared to proceed normally but eventually posted an error “Failed to create the DVD tree. Maybe you ran out of disk space.”

DeVeDe Error Creating DVD Tree

I felt confident this was not a disk space problem and upon searching found this is apparently a common error related to the dvdauthor utility. I found the solution for my case in a post by George Heine in the Ubuntu Multimedia forum. Using the information contained in his post I used ffmpeg to convert all the wmv files to mpg with the command:

$ ffmpeg -i <filename>.wmv -map 0:1 -target ntsc-dvd <filename>.mpg

and was able to create the DVD using the mpg versions with no problem.

Testing The DVD

To test the DVD, I mounted the created iso using instructions from

$ mkdir -p ~/media/iso
$ sudo mount -o loop /path/to/dvd.iso ~/media/iso

Once mounted, the DVD can be played using your favorite media application.


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