This article provides basic information about sending disc images for duplication or replication. An ISO image is a single file which contains a complete copy of the contents of an optical disc. You also may see it described as a Disc Image, ISO Image or DVD Image file (as shown above). Disc image files are very useful because the allow a copy of a disc to be sent electronically – be that on a USB stick or transferred via the Internet.
Making an ISO file
There are two simple ways to make an ISO image. Most professional disc authoring software will have the option to make a disc image instead of actually burning a DVD or Blu-ray disc. The screen grab above shows the option in Adobe Encore. If you already have a disc then you can ‘rip’ the contents to a computer as an ISO image using a commercial disc utility. Note – Be very careful downloading software from websites – check and verify their authenticity and ethics before downloading or installing anything.
ISO files can’t be corrected if there are any errors with the disc authoring. Therefore we recommend that you check the file by burning a disc yourself and making sure it plays properly in a standard DVD or Blu-ray player.
Sending an ISO file
If you don’t have your own FTP server then you can use a file storage service such as Google Drive, Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive. All of them offer free accounts but they do vary in the amount of free storage provided. At the time of writing Dropbox is 2GB, Google Drive is 15GB and Microsoft OneDrive is 25GB. If you have an Office 365 subscription then you may get 1TB for free or in some cases unlimited storage. It’s worth knowing that there are restrictions that crop up. Dropbox can be picky about limits and OneDrive unlimited has caveats too. We prefer Google Drive for fuss free and speedy file sharing.
Be aware that ISO image files could be quite large so you may need very fast broadband or a lot of patience. A completely full single layer DVD (around 2 hours of footage) is 4.3GB of data. A full single layer Blu-ray disc is around 23GB. If your files are large and your upload speed is low then it may actually be quicker to send the file(s) by post.
Find out more about CD, DVD and Blu-ray disc duplication.