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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Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.