For SourceForge’s January “Staff Pick” Project of the Month, the website selected DVDStyler, a cross-platform DVD authoring application that helps users create professional-looking DVDs. The DVDStyler admin, Alex, shared his thoughts about the project’s history, purpose, and direction. Tell me about the DVDStyler project please. DVDStyler is a cross-platform free DVD authoring application that makes [it] possible for video enthusiasts to create professional-looking DVDs. It provides over 20 DVD menu templates and allows you to create your own menu designs and photo slideshows. What made you start this? I wanted to burn my videos on DVD but I couldn’t find any DVD authoring software with a GUI on Linux. So, I decided to make one myself. Has the original vision been achieved? I think so but there is still much to do to make DVDStyler better. Who can benefit the most from your project? Anyone who wants to burn video DVDs with beautiful and individually designed interactive menus. What is the need for this cross-platform free DVD authoring application? Even though there are many different DVD authoring applications, DVDStyler stands out from the crowd. It succeeds by combining usability with flexibility within the menu design. In addition, the possibility of DVD scripting makes DVDStyler one of the most powerful DVD authoring applications around. What’s the best way to get the most out of using DVDStyler? Read the user guide and try it out. For more information, see the DVDStyler website and wiki. What has your project team done to help build and nurture your community? There is a forum where users can ask questions or suggest new features. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time to support the project by myself but most of the posts are answered due to user engagement. In addition, the bug tracking system is useful to report bugs. Have you found that more frequent releases helps build up your community of users? Yes, it certainly does. I try to release new versions when important features are implemented. And, of course, with beta releases, you get the opportunity to test features and report issues. What was the first big thing that happened for your project? A fast increase in the number of downloads after releasing the first Windows version. What helped make that happen? Mainly, a decision to make DVDStyler cross-platform. What was the net result for that event? DVDStyler became popular on different operating systems. What is the next big thing for DVDStyler? I’m working supporting transitions from menus to titles. Also, I plan on creating animated menus and menu effects. After that, the big thing will be Blu-ray Disc support. How long do you think that will take? Menu transitions are already planned for first half of the next year (2015) but implementing Blu-ray authoring could take more time. Do you have the resources you need to make that happen? Let’s just say, help is certainly welcome.

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Image: DVDStyler