Burn pictures to DVD and keep their quality, tags

By Jim Sanders

The Orange County Register

Q. I have Windows Photo Gallery. When I download photos from Photo Gallery to a DVD, it comes out in Windows Media Player format — somewhat dark and without the tags and captions. Any way to download my albums to a DVD (and if so, what kind) in the same format that appears on my PC?

A. Windows Photo Gallery is a program that comes with the Vista operating system. It provides an easy way to organize your photos, by date or other tags that you can add to your photos.

When you have selected the photos you wish to copy to a DVD, click on the "Burn" button on the task bar. This will drop down a selection of options: "Data Disc" and "Video DVD."


To keep the format of the pictures, select "Data Disc." The computer knows what type of blank media you have in your DVD/CD burner. It will copy the files you have selected to your DVD. The photos should retain all their tags and image quality. You will then be able to look at them with your computer without any difficulty.

Burning a video DVD is a different matter. Windows Photo Gallery literally creates a movie from your still images. It has some neat features for making a slide show more interesting, such as adding music. A major attraction of this feature is that the DVD you create can be sent to someone that only has a DVD player and they can watch it. Photo Gallery uses the same pan and zoom features that are found in Photo Story 3, a free download available for Windows XP users.

Burning definition: Although you can use the word "download" to describe the transfer of information from computer to optical media, the standard term used to describe that function is "burn." The terms "download" and "upload" are usually reserved for files that are online. "Burn" comes from the fact that the laser in your optical drive heats up the material of the disk to create the digital ones and zeros that represent your data.

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