17 July 2007 @ 12:02DVD Image Utility

Do you need to create a DVD image of a movie you made? Do you need to image and burn a copy of a DVD from your DVR? There are a lot of uses for this simple droplet which uses mkisofs for its imaging. A co-worker of mine found it useful for duplicating home videos that his wife is burning with a DVR.

My initial reason for creating DVD Image Utility was because I needed a method to burn some DVD compliant discs without having to buy a third-party application, such as Toast. Unfortunately, the Mac’s built-in hdiutil will not create a DVD compliant image. Once the resulting image was burned to a DVD-R, it would not play in all DVD players. The same DVD created and burned with DVD Image Utility has played in all DVD players that I have had the opportunity to try.

How to use DVD Image Utility to create image files

Drag and drop your DVD folder (the folder containing the VIDEO_TS) onto the DVD Image Utility icon. You will be prompted to select where to save the image file. Select and wait for confirmation that the image is complete.

How to use DVD Image Utility to burn image files

Drag and drop a .img or .iso file onto the DVD Image Utility icon. You will be prompted to insert a blank disc. Providing that the disc you inserted is large enough to hold the image, the image will be burned, and you will receive a confirmation when it has finished.

I have tested this with both single-layer DVD-R and dual-layer DVD-R.

How it works

Here is the Applescript:

on run
display dialog "Please drag a DVD folder (containing VIDEO_TS) onto my icon to image this folder. Or drag a DVD image file onto my icon to burn it to DVD"
end run

on open input_items
set ginfo to (get info for input_items)
set disp_name2 to name of ginfo
tell application "Finder"
set nameExtension to name extension of item 1 of input_items
end tell
if nameExtension = "iso" or nameExtension = "img" then
set POSIX_source to POSIX path of input_items
set burning to "/usr/bin/hdiutil burn -noverifyburn " & POSIX_source & ""
with timeout of 30000 seconds
display dialog "Please insert a blank DVD"
do shell script ("" & burning & "")
tell me to activate
beep 2
display dialog "" & disp_name2 & " DVD burn complete"
end timeout
quit me
tell application "Finder"
set mkisofs_binary to ((path to me) as string)
set mkisofs_binary to (mkisofs_binary & "Contents:Resources:mkisofs")
set mkisofs_binary to (quoted form of (POSIX path of mkisofs_binary))
set mplex_binary to ((path to me) as string)
set mplex_binary to (mplex_binary & "Contents:Resources:mplex")
set mplex_binary to (quoted form of (POSIX path of mplex_binary))
set POSIX_source to POSIX path of input_items
set POSIX_file to POSIX path of (choose folder with prompt "Choose a folder to save image in:")
end tell
with timeout of 30000 seconds
do shell script ("" & mkisofs_binary & " -quiet -f -dvd-video -udf -V \"" & disp_name2 & "\" -o \"" & POSIX_file & "" & disp_name2 & ".img\" \"" & POSIX_source & "\"")
tell me to activate
beep 2
display dialog "" & disp_name2 & " DVD image complete"
end timeout
end if
end open

As you can see, the Applescript references the mkisofs binary inside the droplet’s package contents for its imaging, and uses the hdiutil that is built into the OS for its burning.

Download DVD Image Utility
Note: this is a Mac-only application.

DVD Image Utility has been tested on Mac OS 10.4 and 10.5. It may or may not work on earlier versions.
Note: this application will NOT image commercial DVD’s.

If you found this DVD Image Utility useful,
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by | 72 comments | Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in applescript, dvd, mkisofs | Link to this


  1. Taz | 08 Jun 2008 @ 21:01 #

    Works great! Thanks!!
    I can confirm that resulting DVD works in an LG DVD player.
    Confirmation on a Zenith player is pending…

  2. Taz | 08 Jun 2008 @ 21:10 #

    Any chance a progress bar could be rolled into this?
    If not, the rainbow wheel might do the trick.
    Thanks again.

  3. Jon | 08 Jun 2008 @ 22:01 #

    Sorry, but Applescript has no means of displaying a progress bar during a process.

  4. [...] Get DVD Image Utility [...]

  5. Jon | 04 Oct 2008 @ 18:56 #

    It’s a two-step process. Maybe I didn’t make it clear in the instructions above. The first step makes an image out of your DVD folder. The second step burns the image to a disk, and this step is initiated by dropping the image onto the DVD Image Utility.

    I apologize if my instructions weren’t clear.


  6. TF | 16 Nov 2008 @ 0:39 #

    It doesn’t work. The script couldn’t find the mkisofs

  7. Jon | 16 Nov 2008 @ 6:49 #

    I’m sorry about that, TF.
    Thanks for letting me know. Unfortunately the resources didn’t get transferred over last time I saved it. It is fixed now. You can re-download it.


  8. ACF | 23 Jan 2009 @ 19:17 #

    No errors processing the two steps, everything appeared to work fine but my Sony DVD player thinks I’ve got a DVD from the wrong region. Any ideas?


  9. Jon | 23 Jan 2009 @ 19:33 #


    The DVD Image Utility does not set or modify any region information. Either, your DVD still has a foreign region set, or it is in the wrong video format (NTSC vs. PAL).

    If it is truly a region code issue, you can mount the image file that DVD Image Utility created and strip the region with MacTheRipper. This will give you a new DVD folder that you can run through DVD Image Utility again.

    If the DVD is PAL and your player is NTSC, then there is a rather lengthy process to convert it.

  10. Jeremy | 04 Jun 2009 @ 20:07 #

    so Mac The Ripper + DVD Image Utility = Win!

    …. right?

  11. Jon | 04 Jun 2009 @ 20:39 #


    That’s correct. Of course, if you rip a dual-layer disc to burn to a single-layer disc, you will need to compress it with something like DVD2OneX.

  12. Jeremy | 04 Jun 2009 @ 20:46 #

    I would probably begin to store the image files on an external drive for viewing later… thanks for the info!

  13. Rolf | 30 Sep 2009 @ 15:22 #

    Very handy app in concert with MTR & Toast. I was able to back up all but one of 4 discs which gave me the errors from mkisofs below:

    - Warning: -follow-links does not always work correctly; be careful.

    - Either VIDEO_TS.IFO or VIDEO_TS.VOB is not of correct size.

    - Unable to parse DVD_Video structures.

    - Unable to make a DVD_Video image.

    It worked fine for all but disc 3 of 4. Same workflow for all. Any Idea why it might balk at this from the errors?


  14. Jon | 30 Sep 2009 @ 15:34 #


    I have seen similar errors from mkisofs. It sounds like the DVD is damaged (possibly intentionally as a form of copy protection). What I would suggest is downloading myDVDEdit. While myDVDEdit has a somewhat steep learning curve, you won’t need to use all its features for this. Open the VIDEO_TS folder in myDVDEdit. If it encounters errors that it can fix, it will tell you so. Then Save and Quit. Now try to create the image again with DVD Image Utility.

    That is really the only suggestion I have. I hope that helps.


  15. Rolf | 01 Oct 2009 @ 11:13 #

    Thanks Jon,

    That worked wonderfully and I discovered a new tool in the process.


  16. Chris | 06 Oct 2009 @ 11:23 #

    dude your dvd image utility is fucking awesome.

    decrypts CSS.

    appreciate it.

  17. Jon | 06 Oct 2009 @ 12:10 #


    There is nothing in DVD Image Utility that decrypts CSS.

  18. Dennis Glenn | 24 Oct 2009 @ 8:01 #

    The movie I’m attepting to copy has a foriegn region(from England, I believe).

    I dropped the Video_TS folder on the DVD Image Utility.app icon,
    which created a VIDEO_TS.img with the following warning:

    /Users/dennisglenn/desktop/DVD Image Utility.app/
    Contents/Resources/mkisofs: Warning: -follow-links
    does not always work correctly; be careful.
    /Users/dennisglenn/desktop/DVD Image Utility.app/
    Contenets/Resources.mkisofs: Unable to make a
    DVD-Video image.

    I tried dropping the resulting VIDEO_TS.img on to the
    DVD Image Utility.app icon and received the following dialogue:

    hdiutil: burn “/Users/dennisglenn/Desktop/
    VIDEO_TS.img” not recognized – not recognized
    hdiutil: burn failed – not recognized

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    My Mac info…
    Hardware Overview:

    Machine Name: Power Mac G5
    Machine Model: PowerMac7,2
    CPU Type: PowerPC 970 (2.2)
    Number Of CPUs: 2
    CPU Speed: 1.8 GHz
    L2 Cache (per CPU): 512 KB
    Memory: 1 GB
    Bus Speed: 900 MHz
    Boot ROM Version: 5.1.5f0

    Running OS X 10.4.11


  19. Jon | 24 Oct 2009 @ 8:20 #


    Don’t drop the VIDEO_TS onto the DVD Image Utility. Instead, drop the folder that contains the VIDEO_TS onto the DVD Image Utility. Example, if the directory structure is MOVIE_NAME/VIDEO_TS, drop MOVIE_NAME onto the DVD Image Utility.


  20. Dennis Glenn | 24 Oct 2009 @ 17:50 #

    I should have read more carefully.
    I did as you instructed and it seemed to start burning but, I then received the following message:

    The device failed to calibrate the laser power level for
    this media.
    hdiutil: burn failed – Inappropriate ioctl for this device

    Any ideas?

  21. Jon | 24 Oct 2009 @ 20:07 #


    I’m not sure right off hand why you are receiving that error. Try Disk Utility.app. Drag the IMG file into the lefthand pane of Disk Utility, highlight that IMG file, and click Burn.

  22. Dennis Glenn | 24 Oct 2009 @ 20:28 #

    Hi Jon,
    Can’t burn it from Disk Utility. The burn button is greyed out.
    All I’m really trying to do with this movie is remove the region or
    set the region to region 1. I don’t have the physical DVD disk –
    just the VIDEO_TS folder/files.
    If you have any other suggestions, I’d love to hear (read) them.
    Otherwise, thanks very much for your time.

  23. Jon | 24 Oct 2009 @ 20:35 #

    Can you verify that your disc burner is working and that your blank disc is good and has enough capacity to accomodate the size of the disc image?

  24. Dennis Glenn | 24 Oct 2009 @ 20:42 #

    My burner is working, the capacity is okay and I tried another blank disk. The movie is a fairly rare BBC documentary that is hard or
    impossible to get. So, I downloaded a torrent. I’m able to play the movie on my Mac but, was hoping to burn it to watch on TV.

  25. Sonny | 29 Oct 2009 @ 15:44 #

    Hello Jon,
    I’m still having problem with this utility.It either gives an error message {unable to make an image from disk,does not always work correctly,or the volume string is too long.I hope you have a suggestion for me to make it start working again.I tried mydvdedit,but still the same messages.

  26. Jon | 29 Oct 2009 @ 20:47 #


    Please send me screenshots of the errors.


  27. Tom | 19 Nov 2009 @ 16:40 #

    About how long will it take to make the image from the Video_TS for a 4.4 Gb file?

  28. Jon | 19 Nov 2009 @ 16:47 #


    It varies depending on the write speed of your drive and whether or not you are writing to the same disc you are reading from.

    Expect around 5 minutes.

  29. WSPilgrim | 24 Nov 2009 @ 17:47 #

    n00b question: DVD image meaning photos or video?

  30. Jon | 24 Nov 2009 @ 18:32 #

    “DVD Image” refers to the file type. A DVD Image is similar to a standard Mac disk image with the .dmg file extension. The DVDs which we are “imaging” here are video DVDs.

  31. Nina | 15 Dec 2009 @ 4:31 #

    I’m trying to burn my movie from dvd, and I’ve followed the steps you included, it creates the image fine but then when I try to burn it it comes up with: hdiutil: burn failed – Inappropriate ioctl for this device.
    What can I do?


  32. Jon | 15 Dec 2009 @ 6:46 #


    I’ll look into this error. In the meantime, you should be able to take the disc image to Disk Utility and select Burn.

  33. Jon | 15 Dec 2009 @ 13:54 #

    Nina and Dennis,

    Do you have multiple optical drives? Do any of these drives not have burning capabilities?


  34. Nina | 17 Dec 2009 @ 1:11 #

    Thanks. Its fine now I tried it again and it worked. Now I just need to do it another 10 times. Will let you know if it screws up again!


  35. Jon | 17 Dec 2009 @ 7:44 #


    Keep in mind that if you are making 10 identical copies, you only need to keep the disc image and burn it each time. There’s no need to re-create the image every time.


  36. James | 04 Jan 2010 @ 17:54 #

    Do you know what version of the UDF format is used? I have used imgburn on the PC and burn my discs as UDF 1.02. I think more recent versions are not compatible with older players. Any thoughts / comments / information?


  37. Jon | 04 Jan 2010 @ 20:50 #


    I’m not sure how to determine the UDF version. DVD Image Utility uses mkisofs 2.01 with the -dvd-video and -udf options to create the disk images.

    Let me know how I can get the UDF version.


  38. cactus | 14 Jan 2010 @ 19:25 #

    Thankyou so much! Your little application is so easy and convenient to use, I greatly appreciate it.

  39. Mike | 26 Jan 2010 @ 16:38 #

    Does your utility run under Snow Leopard? It appears to create an IMG file (almost instantly) but no completion message. How long should it take to produce a complete IMG of a typical movie from a VIDEO_TS folder?

    The IMG file I’m getting seems to contain the movie, but the chapter menu isn’t working reliably.

  40. Jon | 26 Jan 2010 @ 16:42 #


    The image will be “created” immediately, but may take a 2-5 minutes to finish writing depending on your computer. If you mount the IMG before it is finished writing, it may not play correctly.

    I haven’t tested it on Snow Leopard, but I’m unaware of anything in it that would be incompatible.


  41. Mike | 26 Jan 2010 @ 17:40 #

    I should have waited before posting my question. It does work but I mounted the IMG before it was finished. It took maybe 10 minutes on my MacBook altho I didn’t time it closely.

    It’s been frustrating finding free utilities for my Mac like the ones I was used to in the Windows environment. I still haven’t found anything to compress DVD files to fit on a single layer DVDR like DVDShrink.

    At any rate, thanks for the nice utility that fills a huge hole in OSX.

  42. Tilman | 25 Mar 2010 @ 1:19 #

    Thanks for this very useful utility. After trying various scripts people had posted with little success I found yours and it worked great. I very much appreciate it.

  43. Guilie | 28 Mar 2010 @ 19:35 #

    Thanks a million!! I’d been battling with Disk Imager for a while, and your utility did the job in record time! Keep up the good work!

  44. Joseph | 30 Mar 2010 @ 15:35 #

    Now isn’t this a nice little utility? Worked perfectly for me. Do you get a nickel when I land on the Amazon page? One would hope!

  45. Jon | 30 Mar 2010 @ 15:52 #


    I’m glad it worked for you. If you buy something (anything), I get a small kickback.


  46. Joe | 11 Apr 2010 @ 17:34 #

    Hi Jon,

    This looks like a great app to properly burn Video_TS files for DVD players.

    However, I’m not sure if it is compatible with Snow Leopard. I just tried your application today, and I receive the error below :


    Just letting you know!

  47. Jon | 11 Apr 2010 @ 18:51 #


    I have seen similar errors from mkisofs. It sounds like the DVD is damaged (possibly intentionally as a form of copy protection). What I would suggest is downloading myDVDEdit. While myDVDEdit has a somewhat steep learning curve, you won’t need to use all its features for this. Open the VIDEO_TS folder in myDVDEdit. If it encounters errors that it can fix, it will tell you so. Then Save and Quit. Now try to create the image again with DVD Image Utility.

  48. Joseph | 12 Apr 2010 @ 3:53 #

    I believe this is the same error dialog I received when I accidentally dropped the VIDEO_TS folder onto the icon instead of the folder CONTAINING the VIDEO_TS folder onto the icon.

  49. Joseph | 22 May 2010 @ 14:54 #

    Jon, did you ever sort out Sonny’s problem with “string too long” error? I’m sure you did, but in case you didn’t, I had the same problem and solved it by using shorter folder names for folder containing VIDEO_TS and by putting that folder at root of HDD. If it’s buried in sub-sub-sub-folder these are part of the string

  50. bob | 25 May 2010 @ 14:38 #

    I have ripped all of my dvd’s to vob. Now I am wanting to convert them all back. When i drop them on the icon it works perfect. Is there a way I could automate the process. Say all of the folders containing vob’s in a certain folder?

  51. Michael | 15 Sep 2010 @ 10:14 #

    Making the image works super, but I can’t burn it to DVD.

    I have an iMac with a bad build-in DVD burner (most of iMacs share this problem), so I use an external DVD burner.

    DVD Image Utility doesn’t seem to find that burner and there is no possibility to switch burners, because DVD Image Utility doesn’t have a preference tab….

  52. Jon | 15 Sep 2010 @ 10:25 #


    Have you tried inserting the blank disk before clicking OK? I have multiple burners (internal, though), and DVD Image Utility will burn to whichever drive contains the blank disk.

  53. patrick | 20 Oct 2010 @ 20:28 #

    String ID error is due to a folder with too long of a name.
    Sorry if this is a ‘no duh’ just saw it asked and didnt see it answered. Ran into this problem myself.
    Shorten the folder name (the folder that contains the Video_TS folder that you are dropping on the DVD Image Utility icon) and use underscores in place of spaces.
    Great app! Many thanks

  54. Bill Carroll | 27 Dec 2010 @ 11:16 #

    Thank you for the DVD Image Utility and for the fantastic recommendation to use myDVDEdit.

    Simply put, you rock!

  55. Don Davis | 29 Dec 2010 @ 18:48 #

    I tried numerous methods and utilities to burn DVD’s from my archived home movies in Video_TS folders. This is the only program that worked, and it is fast and easy. Thanks!

  56. Russ Urquhart | 14 Mar 2011 @ 9:19 #


    How are you generating your VIDEO_TS files to begin with? I ask because i had used ffmpeg to get a mpg file, and then used dvdauthor to generate the VIDEO_TS, which i’m not sure was quite right. In either case, i tried using hdiutil to generate an iso which i then tried buring via DiskUtility. Needless to say i didn’t get a dvd that would play in any player.



  57. Jon | 14 Mar 2011 @ 9:31 #


    I have used mostly the same process as you. ffmpeg -> dvdauthor, but the key difference is that I use mkisofs to create the iso/img instead of hdiutil. I have had better luck with the images created by mkisofs than anything I have tried with hdiutil. I am only using hdiutil for the burning process.


  58. Russ Urquhart | 14 Mar 2011 @ 13:53 #

    Are you doing anything special when you call dvdauthor? For some reason DVDPlayer didn’t like the VIDEO_TS it created?

  59. Jon | 14 Mar 2011 @ 14:09 #


    No, I’m not doing anything special that I know of. The command I have used is like this:

    dvdauthor -x dvd.xml

    and the XML file is like this:

    <dvdauthor dest=”/abcdef/123/DVD”>
    <vmgm />
    <video format=”NTSC” aspect=”16:9″ />
    <audio lang=”EN” />
    <vob file=”/abcdef/123/video.mpg” />

  60. Russ Urquhart | 14 Mar 2011 @ 14:24 #

    Interesting. I’ll give this a try.

    I didn’t use an xml file. Maybe that was the problem.

    I’ll give this a try and let you know!


  61. Russ Urquhart | 31 Mar 2011 @ 8:53 #

    This helped me and i was finally able to get VIDEO_TS that would play under dvd player.

    One other issue i’m having, maybe you’ve seen it. I am putting the black bars on the top and bottom of the image in ffmpeg, and i get the mpg accordingly.
    When i get dvdauthor to create the VIDEO_TS for this file, it WON’T put the black bars in the VIDEO_TS and the image looks squished.

    Have you seen this, any ideas?



  62. Jon | 31 Mar 2011 @ 13:14 #


    Your aspect ratio and/or the size of your black bars could be causing the problem.
    This might be kinda tricky to explain.

    How about this? Tell me the picture dimensions of the file before you process it with ffmpeg.

    And then tell me what your desired screen aspect is — 16:9 or 4:3

  63. Robert | 13 May 2011 @ 16:11 #

    This is just brilliant. Thank You.
    Will send a few clams when we can. Promise.
    The comments are also very useful.

  64. Marc | 06 Jun 2011 @ 12:20 #

    Wonderful! Aside from a couple of stupid mistakes on my part (too long file name–quickly remedied–and not waiting long enough the first time), it worked marvelously the first try.

  65. David | 17 Sep 2011 @ 14:44 #

    Fantastic!! Thanks! worked like a charm on 10.6.8

  66. Dan | 07 Dec 2011 @ 20:53 #

    Help! I made .img files very well, the DVDedit application helped fix errors, but I can’t get this utility to burn! The error I get is:

    hdiutil: burn failed – Inappropriate ioctl for device

    What do I do with this? I’m trying to burn a 7.88gb image made with the utility onto a DVD+R DL disk, OSX 10.6.8.

    Many thanks!

  67. Jon | 07 Dec 2011 @ 21:38 #


    I’m not sure about the error, but once the .img file is made, it can be burned with other apps such as Disk Utility. Drag the img into the left sidebar of Disk Utility, select it, and click Burn.

  68. Copa | 30 Dec 2011 @ 9:30 #


    This is a great program. Thank you for your time in making it. I have one question. I have a directory full of sub-directories that contain VIDEO_TS folders. Instead of dragging them over one at a time, is there a way (or a modification I can make) to scan the directory recursively and process all the sub-directories?

  69. Jon | 30 Dec 2011 @ 9:40 #


    What you are describing might be possible by someone with more Applescript expertise than myself.


  70. William | 18 Jan 2012 @ 11:31 #

    Finally! It is so strange that I had to look high and low to find something to take the output of Mac The Ripper and put it into UDF format so that it could be burned with the Mac Disk Utility. And your droplet just really makes use of a pretty common Linux/Open Source command, mkisofs. Which just MaKes ISO File Systems, hence the name mk iso fs. This could really be done from terminal once you put the mkisofs on your mac or do it on a Linux box. BUT, Thanks, Nice droplet. Makes life much easier to have it all put together. Why does everyone swear you have to have Toast to do this??? Sounds like a conspiracy to me! ;-) Thanks Again for a great little droplet.

  71. sosb | 17 Mar 2012 @ 16:07 #

    I have a working rip, and was able to create a working img using your utility, but when I try to burn I keep getting “hdiutil: burn failed – Invalid argument” errors. ANy idea what is causing this?

  72. Justin | 29 Aug 2012 @ 13:00 #

    Thank you so much for this simple solution. It worked perfectly! I only have one suggestion: a progress display of some kind, bar or text. It’d be nice to see how far along it is in making the image or burning the disc. Other than that, pretty simple. So, thanks again!

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