Windows DVD Maker SDK Information

A few things got mixed up in documenting some DVD Maker stuff, so I thought I'd like to the information out there and provide the information that hasn't quite made it out yet.

First of all, if you are looking at adding custom transitions, buttons, and menu styles to DVD Maker, there is an SDK for that. I didn't work on that section of DVD Maker, so I don't know exactly how it works, but I would not be surprised to find out that it takes a fair bit of effort to author a DVD maker style.

If you are wanting pass information into DVD maker on startup and/or use it for unattended burning, here's what you need to know...

Command Line Options:

dvdmaker <filename>

This is how you pass a project file to DVD Maker. You can use the .msdvd extension if you want happy things to happen around the file (ie clicking on it in explorer launches DVD Maker), but DVD Maker doesn't care what the extension is.

dvdmaker -drive:<driveLetter>

You can use this to start up DVD Maker and have it look at a specific burner, but you should probably just set the drive in the project file instead. This is here so that AutoPlay can do the right thing.

dvdmaker -clickonce <filename>

If you have captured a tape on Vista, you probably ran what we call the capture wizard. In this wizard, you have the option of burning a dvd directly after capturing. Capture wizard does that launching DVD Maker with the clickonce flag (yes, it should probably really be named "clickeighttimesandthenputablankdvdinthedrive"). This is precisely equivalent to starting DVD Maker without this flag, pressing "Next" to get to the hub page, and then pressing "Burn".

Project File Format

It's fairly easy to understand the project file format by simply saving a project file and looking at it, but here's a bit more information:

Windows DVD Maker uses a simple XML-based project file format.




<ContentFile Filename="c:\content\video1.avi”/>

<ContentFile Filename="c:\content\video2.wmv”/>

<ContentFile Filename="c:\content\sunset.jpg”/>

<ContentFile Filename="c:\content\winter.jpg”/>

<ContentFile Filename="c:\content\mysong.wma”/>





<Font Name="" Color="0xFF00FF00" Bold="1" Italic="0"/>

<Button Play="Play" Scenes="Scenes" Notes="Notes"/>






<SlideShow Transition="Cross fade" PanZoom="0" MatchMusic="0" Length="75.000000"/>



Field information:





Denotes the content block. Only <ContentFile> elements are allowed inside.


A file to add to DVD Maker. A file in the content block is treated exactly the same way it would be if it were added through the “Add Items” dialog. Video files end up in the main list, still images are put in a slideshow folder, and audio is added to the slideshow.


The title of the disc


Drive letter of the DVD burner to use


Name of the style to use. If blank, uses the default.


Defines the name and color of the font, and whether it is bold or italic. For the color value, the first two characters must be “FF”, and the values for the red, green, and blue components are defined by two character hexadecimal values. For example, “0xFF00FF00” is bright green, and “0xFF0000FF” is blue.


Sets the names of the buttons used on the main DVD menu


The text that shows up on the notes page. The maximum number of characters supported is 256.


The setting of the “Foreground video” editbox on the Customize page


The setting of the “Background video” editbox on the Customize page


The setting of the “Menu audio” editbox on the Customize page


The name of the scene button style set on the Customize page


Settings for the slide show. Transition sets the name of the transition to use, length is the amount of time each slide will be on the screen, and PanZoom and MatchMusic are used to set the “use pan and zoom effects for pictures” and “Change slide show length to match music length” settings.


Comments (1)

  1. As well as the SDK , which you can use to build your own custom DVD menus, you can control which media

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