blind man needs help - help me help him

i do nothing with video other than pop a dvd into the player
any help with this problem below is appreciated

i had a call from a blind man tonight helping his wife make dvds at home.

he is a dj and generally knows audio well. used to run the mixer board at church (even though blind!)

he said that playing the dvds there is no audio heard from the dvds
he plays cds okay and plays from the internet okay - sound is there
just not on dvds

question 1 –
are there any magic settings in xp or wmp to make the audio play with a dvd ? i have no idea where to start looking for this problem.

question 2 –
i am assuming the dvds with a problem are the ones he is making
do not know what software he is using - assuming wmp or win movie maker or similar stock win program (TBD). suggest a better easier program and i can try to get it for him to use.

what/how does the audio get burned onto a homemade dvd ?
are there any special settings or options that need to be set first ?

question 3 –
is there something else that needs to be considered for video?

i will be researching this asap but he wants me to come to his house tomorrow to help him and at the moment i am clueless as where to start.

but keep any ideas coming. i am not confident that i will resolve his problem during the first trip.

First check the obvious reasons for an apparently silent video …
simple reasons for silent video.jpg

I will check the settings on his player
(probably WMP - need to verify)

I am making a list of questions to ask him.
Clearly I need more info.

He is trying to play the video on a PC dvd drive.
I think he said the video plays okay on a dvd player.
Need to confirm that.
I am going to get a copy to see if it plays on my pc.
Maybe I can look at the track and see if there really is audio there.

He said that other audio plays fine with the pc.
So not concentrating on the normal no-audio issues we hear about here. But need to double check his soundmax card settings anyway.

Todays questions:
I want to know his work flow.
All software he is using.
How he made the video.
Did it ever have audio on his movies before when he did it.

Did a cram course on video last night and came up with some other possibilities. But they seem to be more video issues than sound.
There are way too many types of video and audio coding methods out there!!! Add 15 types of dvd and the chance of problems is near 100% for somebody new trying this stuff.

Some video software does not do audio – or only works with certain types.
Some software may not burn dvds right.
Some players don’t play all types of dvd/encoding right.
[Issue here appears to be simply pc audio not these problems]

If he edited – did he drag the audio onto the total track ?
If not where/how did the audio get to the video?
Did he save the track with audio correctly?
What type of audio was it? Do we need another codec to play it?

Any more info that I need to get from him ??

Although a very nice person, and blind, he is a schlimiel and I fear he is making me into a schlamazzel. He causes himself many problems through lack of common sense. Goes off on tangents no matter what people advise him to do , or warn him not to do.

His wife recently had a stroke and is just out of rehab and back home to finish recovery. Which is more motivation to help as I think he is doing the video for her.

I think they are making a video for Christmas. Certainly hope its not some sex tape. I really don’t want to see that:)

I really want to help him for assorted and divers reasons, but I fear that this could become a time suck and I am being squeezed by way too many critical pressing items for my family.

I just want to find this problem, fix it, and exit quickly.

Out of the box my WMP would not play DVDs, no sound or vision, and I had to download a codec, that was a couple of years ago I can’t remember what it was called.

This is the codec pack I’m using now …
The pack comes with a media player, “Media Player Classic” MPC, which plays DVDs …

Media Player Classic is capable of VCD, SVCD, and DVD playback without installation of additional software or codecs.

There is a free (windows) program called G-spot which will check if a computer has the necessesary codecs installed to play particular media …


I am leaning to the codec problem.

He says that a commercial dvd will not play either.

So either a codec is missing/bad or the dvd uses a format that wmp cannot handle. Wikipedia table indicates wmp is limited pretty much to the windoze formats.

Not sure why he wont just play the dvd on his player.
It works there.

Maybe I can get him to dl a better player.
I would rather just buy him one if he would use it then to throw away a lot of time futzing with winslop’s bogus software blivets.

After I downloaded the K-lite codec pack WMP and Windows movie maker could then read DVDs.

Maybe I can get him to dl a better player.
I would rather just buy him one if he would use it then to throw away a lot of time futzing with winslop’s bogus software blivets.

As I mentioned above the K-lite “mega” codec pack comes with a media player classic (MPC) which plays just about everthing.
MPC playing home made DVD made with DVD recorder.jpg
The K-lite codec pack and MPC are free, no strings attached.

BTW when a program uses the k-lite codecs, icons appear in the tray, one for video one for audio, you can click on them to customise (optional).

Thanks for all the help.

Problem solved. He tried another commercial cd and got an error message mentioning a codec problem. So that confirmed the diagnosis.

He chose to dl cyberlink power dvd and it all worked.
I presume that the new program came with the codecs it needs.
Now I hope tht program is not a problem. It came on my pc standard and has zero real control by the user that I can find except to play or tweak meaningless options.

He has the other links you all mentioned in case of future problems.
And I have them on file should I ever get around to playing with video too. [Some day I need to edit my daughters wedding video we shot in minidv format and put it on dvd].

Looks like that program is only free for 30 days … (and a bloated 123Mb)

MPC-HD is free forever : no limited time period, (and less than 20Mb with all the codecs).

The K-lite codec pack does enable the ubiquitous video editing program “Windows Movie Maker” to read DVDs.

However MPC-HD just plays videos (and audio): it’s not a video editor.

“cyberlink power dvd” also just plays videos, not an editor. Cyberlink do sell video editing programs at a price,($40-$100)

There was a thread in this forum about free video editors, (a video version of Audacity) …

afaik now, he only wants to play movies for his wife
she had a stroke and was already deaf
i guess the sound is for him since he is blind

originally it seemed that he said he was making the dvd
but really only needs to play commercial dvds

he paid $20 to cyberlink to dl a copy that should work indefinitely
i will pass on the various other players in case that one has a problem