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How do I create a graphical menu on loading a CD?

Discussion in 'Talking technology' started by Ric Willmot, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. Ric Willmot

    Ric Willmot Member

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    If I burn a number of files to a CD ...
    Such as:

    1. E-Book
    2. Keynote Presentation converted to a movie file windows people can see it
    3. A video file of my BMW Networking Day
    4. A spreadsheet file
    5. Some PDFs - maybe 5-6
    6. 10 minute audio segment in mp3 or similar
    Is there a way to create a menu (a graphical "pick an icon" style would be great) that opens up automatically when someone puts the CD into their drive and they can then choose which file they wish to activate/view?

    I am a Mac user too, if that makes a difference.

    Thanks.
    Rgds,
    Ric
  2. ray_223

    ray_223 Active Member

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    Hi Ric,

    I have no idea how to make a CD automatically open in a Mac,
    but it's pretty easy to do on a PC.

    There are heaps of freeware autorun apps you can use.

    I'd suggest making a html page (e.g. index.html) on the CD and automatically open the page by creating an autorun.inf file.

    See below link for a small app and instructions:
    http://cdrunner.50webs.com/

    Making a HTML file means you can easily tailor it to your requirements and most people will have plugins loaded to take care of most video formats.
  3. ahortin

    ahortin Member

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    Hi Ric,

    One of the simplest ways to create something like this, is to create an "Autorun" cd that executes an HTML page. Within the HTML page, you can create a menu using either simple text links or images.

    A couple of things to note, to auto-execute an HTML page (as opposed to a program file), you'll need to use something like 'Autorun Pro'. This is a free utility that can be used to Autorun all sorts of files. Have a look at this link, it'll explain it all in detail...
    http://www.ezau.com/latest/articles/autorun.shtml

    With that said, there's never any guarantee that the CD will definately Auto-run. It's possible to configure your PC so that CD/DVD's don't automatically start. You may also find that if the user's default browser is Internet Explorer, there's a good chance that it will display a yellow bar up the top of the window with a security warning, when the page is loaded.

    Another alternative to using an HTML page, is to create a Flash "Projector" file. This is basically an Adobe Flash file that's compiled into an executable program. You can then Auto-run this file, in the same way as I mentioned above.

    Both of these solutions have their pro's & cons and as mentioned, there's no 100% guarantee that either will definately start automatically on every machine. Feel free to contact me if you'd like to discuss further or if you have some other questions.

    Cheers,
    Anthony
  4. ahortin

    ahortin Member

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    Ray,

    You snuck in a few minutes ahead of me with basically the same info as I was writing up ;-)
    Good work.

    Cheers,
    Anthony.
  5. peppie

    peppie Active Member

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    Ric

    If you were to put all of your example list onto a disk it may just not fit onto a CD, especially when you start talking video files because video in any form can take up a lot more room than audio.

    So my suggestion is to make the disk a DVD. It is a little more complex (and especially for a self confessed technical Luddite like you), but essentially you "author" a video DVD (with an application called a DVD authoring program of course) to run just the same as your typical commercial video DVD and with such a program you can create an on screen menu which can be configured to play one or more videos and/or audio tracks etc.. These can be played on your computer or on a typical home TV/DVD set up.

    On that disc I can also place a converted Powerpoint file that will run exactly the way it runs from a computer, but using the player remote control to step it through. I can also place a sideshow on the disc that can be stepped through with the remote control. And you can add data files to the DVD that can be viewed on a computer in the same way any data CD might run.

    There are simple programs around to create such a DVD using standard templates etc., but I confess that I just don't know any well enough to comment on them. I tend to work with higher level stuff that takes a bit of effort to learn how to use. But as an example of what can be done, I am discussing with a technical trainer the possibility of using this DVD authoring process to create a fairly straight forward interactive training disc. One advantage is that it will be accessible to anyone with a TV and DVD player.
  6. ray_223

    ray_223 Active Member

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    I liked your explanation better ;)
  7. Ric Willmot

    Ric Willmot Member

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    Thank you, everyone.
    You guys are sensational!
    :)

    Rgds,
    Ric
  8. websitepro

    websitepro New Member

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    Hey,

    First you create a text file and save it as autorun.inf and put in the cd's main directory, and in the file you write:
    [autorun]
    OPEN=the program to execute
    ICON=the icon to display

    Link the OPEN command to a html file that you made to use as your menu
  9. Ric Willmot

    Ric Willmot Member

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    Website Pro ... I think I need to chat wit you, as I have no idea where to even start with the advice you gave there.
    I'm sure it's perfect, but when I open my Filofax, I can't find the keyboard!

    ;)

    Thank you, I will call you Friday.
    :)

    Rgds,
    Ric
  10. LeelaCosgrove

    LeelaCosgrove Member

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    If you're going to go the DVD route - what version of OS are you running? I assume X, I don't think anyone is running on 9 anymore!

    So, you should have a program called iDVD - very easy to create a cool graphic menu and to drag and drop audio and video files.

    Not sure about text files, you'll need to look at that (or google "How to put text files in IDVD" Sure you'll come up with something).

    In typical Mac fashion this is a VERY easy solution - I'm fairly certain their brief is ... "I want a program my 5 year old can use". It's all "Do this!", "Write Something here!", "Drag and Drop your files here", "now press this button" - wa la!
  11. Ric Willmot

    Ric Willmot Member

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    Thanks for that Leela.
    This particular instance is on CD.
    But for future reference your DVD tip is excellent.
    Yes I am using the latest of Mac software iWork09 and iLife09.
    Great advice.
    Thank you.
    Rgds,
    Ric
  12. ahortin

    ahortin Member

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    Just a note... You can't specify an HTML page such as "index.html" in the OPEN command. You need to specify an executable file. This is one of the reasons for using something like "'Autorun Pro".

    Cheers,
    Anthony

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