View Full Version : School CD-whats best format please?

12-02-2009, 11:18 AM
We're a small school that prides itself on it's international program. We get students from all over the world into our school for our amazing outdoor activities and to experience a NZ school. As we are so small we have in the past made up a very cheap CD with a powerpoint and some movie files. My question is as follows. We now want to upgrade this CD to include some new bits and pieces but we are worried that there are so many different platforms and opperating systems and movie formats, plus we want to put some typed pdf bits and pieces in there as well. What is a good all round format we could use? Are we better to stick with an html format with links to run powerpoints and movies or are we better to turn the complete works into a DVD that will run on any Tv. We, (Like any school) can't really afford to go out and get a technical company to do it for us so that's not really an option. Many thanks in advance to any helpful advice.


Speedy Gonzales
12-02-2009, 11:24 AM
It would have to be menus and mostly text (and photos, if the DVD supports JPG format), if you put it on DVD.

Since most DVD players (connected to TV's) wont play programs / open pdf files etc

A CD will usually work on any platform. If you burn it in the right format

Then finalise the CD. Only reason you would change to DVD, would be if the files youre adding to it, wont fit on a CD

You dont have to stick to html. There are programs that can add menus / backgrounds, and even sounds to CD's. But it'd probably take longer to put it together

12-02-2009, 08:27 PM
Since nearly everyone will be using a computer to view I would have thought staying with Powerpoint would be fine since even Open Office has it's own powerpoint player that is compatible

12-02-2009, 08:46 PM
Last one we did was an autostart html page with links to pictures, movies and documents. These programs that "can add menus / backgrounds, and even sounds to CD's. But it'd probably take longer to put it together" You've perked my interest Speedy, and you elaborate on what these are?



Poppa John
12-02-2009, 09:00 PM
Have you considered a Website? PJ.

12-02-2009, 09:43 PM
Have one of them and it does work well. The boss has spotted those CD business cards and is a big fan. With operating deficits I can't see him going out and purchasing a bunch of them, then I got to thinking, the square business card cds are pretty cheap and we should be able to create something similar for cheap as chips....etc...

12-02-2009, 09:53 PM
Don't forget to ensure there are NO unnecessary apostrophes or American spellings too!

"it's international program"

Speedy Gonzales
12-02-2009, 10:17 PM
There's quite a few programs around, BUT the better ones arent free

This is pretty good (http://www.longtion.com/)

It lets you add nearly everything

WHAT or how many programs / docs would you usually put on a cd??

Give me an example / list

If its too long, give me a list in a PM

13-02-2009, 07:19 AM
Part of my Daughter's High School book list and has been since she started is a Flash Drive.

Audio and Visual files are prepared and updated regularly and put on the school server. The Teachers tell them what files to put on their flash drives each time they are updated.

She brings them home and listens or watches them at home as part of her homework. They are updated in her French Class regularly.

13-02-2009, 09:04 AM
When I was at school was used Yearbook Interactive (http://www.yearbookinteractive.com/) products (from memory it was part of/is part of Jostens). While not the best software in the world, it is multi-platform, and with some design skills you can create a reasonably professional looking product.

14-02-2009, 06:34 PM
I'm tempted to suggest keeping the video component of it all in MPG format, which is pretty universal, but only if you already have all you need in terms of software to create / author the MPG files. If you're getting the media from a consumer level DVD Camera, then there may be all you need among the software that came with the camera.

I must emphasise (and support an earlier post) to use a CD instead of a DVD if the 650MB capacity is sufficient. DVDs open up a whole nother layer of compatibility / incompatibility issues, and are more of a challenge to read (and cannot be read at all if the end-user only has a CD drive).

I've heard bad tales about the non-round business card discs. There can be balance issues, and if not carefully centred in the drive doors recess they have the potential to damage the drive.

If you do use DVD media however, the quality of the media is very, very important.
I've had many, many issues trying to get DVD media that is not total garbage, and despite the brand name on the packaging, you CANNOT TRUST big name brands to actually be goog discs. Many of them simply buy discs of other manufacturers and stick their own name on it.
From my sad experiences, store bought DVD media is 99% 'manure'.
Dunno if I'm violating forum rules in saying this, but I strongly recommend the Taiyo Yuden media, globally recognised as among the very best, if not the very best.
www.picosys.co.nz is a reliable NZ source of these, although other sites have had them listed (but seldom in stock).

14-02-2009, 07:18 PM
and cannot be read at all if the end-user only has a CD drive

That would be about 0.01% of the population, so I think you're pretty safe going with a DVD if you need the space. :p As for compatibility, I've never had any issues with compatibility. Maybe I'm unique?

14-02-2009, 11:23 PM
That would be about 0.01% of the population, so I think you're pretty safe going with a DVD if you need the space. :p As for compatibility, I've never had any issues with compatibility. Maybe I'm unique?

I beg to differ on your statistics of those who have only a CD not DVD player nowadays.

But maybe that's merely your guesswork?
I admit my own opinion is conjecture. I'm happy to be proved wrong...

But as the school wants "international pupils," it would seem logical to make its info available as widely as possible.
And for that, older hardware usually wins.

18-02-2009, 05:31 PM
Id use CDs,with HTML,a consistent template could be used.

For file types I would stick to the most popular eg PDF, RTF,mp3,MPG. For some reason newbies think that everyone has the entire office package installed. This isnt alway the case, and you require internet access to download the viewers.

There are several good freeware programs which can convert video. Handbrake,WINFF,autogk(avi only).
If you include VLC Media player you could get away with almost any video type.

If you deliver special file types you should bring the program on the CD to open it.

See Zen garden CSS for web design ideas.http://www.csszengarden.com/

IT doesnt need to be boring 1995 era HTML.