May 252010

Picasa makes it nice and easy to burn pictures to a DVD with it’s Gift CD feature, but that DVD will only play its slideshow in a computer, not in a TV or standalone DVD player.  That’s because Picasa is creating a data DVD, not a video DVD.

DVD Maker is Free

If you want to be able to play it in a TV, you need to use some other software.  Windows DVD Maker comes free with Windows Vista, or Windows 7.  Just click on Start and type DVD – you should see Windows DVD Maker in the list and you can click on it.

In DVD maker, you click on Add Items.  That takes you to your file system where you can find ‘My Pictures’ and select whatever pictures you want.  All the pictures you select will be added to one slide show.  Any videos you select will become separate items on the DVD.


Prepare your Pictures First

Realize that this is using the picture files on disk, they won’t include your Picasa edits unless you saved those edits to disk.  My preferred method is to Export all the photos to a new Folder, then it’s easy to select all pictures from that folder. They also won’t be in your custom order, they will be in the order that they are on your disk.  See the article on keeping your pictures sorted.

When you have all the items added, you may want to change the disk name and/or change some of the options before clicking Next.  The question mark in the upper right is the help menu – read thru that for the complete process.

On the next screen there is an option to add music to your slideshow. image


When you’re done customizing, just click the Burn button in the lower right.  You should use DVD-R or DVD+R.  DVD RWs work in fewer players.  You may need to research the particular requirements of your player.  See this informative website on DVDs and DVD players.

The resulting DVD should play in either a computer or a DVD player.

Other Ways to Make a DVD with Pictures from Picasa

If you use Picasa’s ‘Movie’ feature – you will have control, in Picasa, of the slide order and the music.  The result is a .wmv file.  Then use your DVD maker to put that wmv file on a DVD. If you want to narrate your slide show as well, we highly recommend the free program from Microsoft called Photo Story 3 (Windows only).  See the Geeks on Tour Photo Story page for more information.

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.

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  5 Responses to “DVD of Pictures that Plays on your TV”

  1. Just copy jpeg files to a regular CD-R or CD-RW, either organized in folders or not, and it will play even in an older dvd player and even be controllable using your remote.

    Yes, after 4 hours, multiple internet searches and several wasted DVD’s, the first CD I made would have worked to play on the TV through the DVD players!

    • That’s true, many DVD players will display .jpg files and let you move forward or backward thru them. Not all players though – I’d say you were lucky. Many TVs also have inputs for RCA cables that will display pictures straight from the camera. But, if you want to go to the extra step of adding music, and specifying order, and timing – you’ll need to use the Movie feature and DVD burner.

  2. Hi Chris,

    Good tip. However, as is typical of Microsoft, Windows DVD Maker is not included in the Vista Home Basic operating system. I don’t have a PC with Windows 7, but my guess is that it’s also true for that “basic” operating system–if there is one. Based on comments in the Picasa forum, I’ve downloaded the Cheetah DVD Burner software. It does an excellent job and is relatively inexpensive (i.e., around $20).


    • Jerry,

      Will this program also handle making DVD’s I can view on my TV DVD player from my hard drive cam corder as well? I can not tell you how difficult this has been. I have tried all types of programs – Cyberlink Media Show – works but not great, AVS, and Microsoft. It shouldn’t be this hard. Thanks for your input and help.


      • Tom,
        No – it shouldn’t be that hard. If you just want to go directly from camera to DVD, you should have that option with Windows DVD maker when you plug the camcorder into the computer. I prefer to edit my video first, so I import to the computer, edit with Movie Maker, then ‘Publish to DVD.’

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