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Photo Slideshows on DVD

Preserve your cherished memories forever!

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • How does the process work?
    1. Determine the what the DVD slideshow is for (wedding, rehearsal dinner, anniversary, birthday, graduation, etc.)
    2. Decide on which effects package you want (either Silver, Gold or Platinum)
    3. Gather and organize all your materials (paper photos, digital images, video clips, printed materials)
    4. Select your music (we can help you with that, check out some suggested music)
    5. Send us your materials (paper photos, digital images, video clips, printed materials)
    6. We create your one-of-a-kind slideshow montage, arrange a preview prior to production and produce your DVD
    7. We ship the completed DVD back to you along with all the materials you originally sent us
    8. Enjoy the show!!!
  • Where do I start?
    The best way to start is for us to talk on the phone. Call us at 1-866-616-7556. Doing a DVD like this is a commitment...for all of us! Trying to pull all the necessary materials together and to know what to do with them can be a lot of work. We want it to be a collaboration. We will work hand-in-hand with you to tell your story and make the movie everything you envisioned. Your level of involvement in the process is entirely up to you. Some customers want to be very involved in all the details while others provide some basic guidance/guidelines and then ask us to use our creativity and experience to create the movie. It's up to you. There are a lot of ways to do this. We'll figure out how to get there...together! If you want to see what other customers have said about us and our work, go to our testimonials section.
  • What if I don’t know exactly what I want right now?
    That's OK. We can work with that. Even if you don't know the details at this point, we can still help you get started. Just give us some general information and guidelines about the project, we'll take the basics for now and fill in the blanks as we move forward. Many customers allow us some creative license to put the framework of the movie together based on our experience with these types of projects. With a little guidance from you, we should be able to get pretty close to what you're looking for.
    • Tell us the theme of the show and which effects package you want
    • Send us whatever images, photos and/or other materials you know you want to include
    • Tell us what music you like and don't like
    That's it for now! With just that information we can get started.
  • How long will it take to finish the DVD?
    From the date we receive your materials, it typically takes 7-10 business days to complete your order. That does not include shipping time. The completion time is dependent on the schedule of other orders in the que, which package you want and the complexity of the order. Larger, more complex orders may take longer. If you need rush service, please let us know IN ADVANCE of placing the order.
  • What's the difference between the packages?
    There are three different DVD slideshow packages: Silver, Gold and Platinum.

    The main difference between the packages is the special effects.

    The Silver package is a very simple DVD slideshow. It's a basic, straight-forward no-frills package with no special effects. It's a great way to simply and easily see your pictures and preserve your memories. Check out our sample of the Silver package and pricing.

    The Gold package includes some enhancements to make the DVD slideshow a little more dramatic. This package includes different transition options between slides, motion within the image (i.e. panning, zooming, rotation) and variations on the captions. Check out samples and pricing for the Gold package.

    The Platinum package gives you a totally different experience. It's a much more sophisticated, elaborate presentation using custom special affects, transitions, backgrounds, layering, titles and much more. It's truly timeless and makes a fantastic gift. A sample of the Platinum package and pricing are available.
  • How much does it cost?
    There are two main factors in determining the cost: (1) the number of photos you have and (2) which effects package you want (Silver, Gold or Platinum). Each package is different and requires a different amount of time and resources to complete. With any package, you'll receive superior customer service and a top-quality product. All packages include scanning, basic photo editing, music, packaging and shipping. Send us an email or call us at 1-866-616-7556 and we’ll send you an estimate.
  • What forms of payment do you accept?
    For your convenience, we offer several different payment options. We accept credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express), cashier's checks, money orders and personal checks. You can also arrange to make a payment from your checking account.

    For credit card payments, upon completion of the project, we will send you an email that has a link where you can view and pay the invoice directly. We do not take your credit card information. More details for these options can be found on the Payments page.

    We can send you a PayPal invoice that you can pay through your PayPal account or with a credit card.

    We will take personal checks, but because of problems we've had in the past, we will not ship the DVD or any of the original materials back to you until we have the check and it clears the bank. You should allow an extra 5 days for the check to clear the bank.
  • Is a deposit required?
    For projects using actual photos, a deposit is not necessary. The account must be settled in full prior to shipping any original photos and the new DVDs to customers.

    For projects where all the photos are all digital, a deposit of 50% is required prior to starting any project. Any balance on your account is due prior to shipping your order.
  • What if my photos aren't in the best condition?
    Unless they're digital, most people have had their photos lying around either loose or in albums for a long time, so it's not unusual for photos to be old, damaged, faded...or worse. For all packages, we offer basic photo corrections, like cropping, and “normal” red-eye removal.

    For the Platinum package, we provide the normal correction, but we also do a more involved enhancement like minor color/tint/shade/contrast correction.

    Some photos may be badly damaged and may be beyond our restoration capabilities. If you think that is the case, let us look at them first. If we can't restore them, we'll let you know. At that point, we suggest that you contact a professional restoration company. We can suggest photo restorers that we've used on prior occasions or another good resource for finding services in your area through your local Better Business Bureau or www.anglieslist.com
  • Can I scan my non-digital photos?
    You certainly can, but since scanning is included in the cost of all packages, the best thing to do is to let us do that for you. We know how to determine the optimal settings to get the best quality image possible. In addition to 35mm photos, we can scan 35mm negative and 35mm slides.

    We'll do our best to include just about anything you want, regardless of the condition of the material, but please keep in mind that the better the quality of the photos and other materials you supply to us, the better the quality of the DVD will be. Remember that Times of Your Life DVDs performs only minor photo enhancement. If a photo is too badly damaged and we're not able to use it, we’ll let you know beforehand.
  • If I do scan my own photos, what format should I use?
    The best (and preferred) format for us is .jpg but we can also accept other formats like .png, .bmp and/or .gif. If you want to scan your own images, they must be at the highest resolution possible. Generally, the dpi (dots per inch) should be no less than 600, and the larger the file size, the better.

    If you are sending photos taken with a digital camera, it's important to make sure camera took pictures with an image resolution (i.e. file size) setting of medium or large. That will result in the best quality DVD. Anything lower than medium may not result in the best quality on the DVD.

    Many times, it's important to a customer that a particular photo be included in the DVD even though the photo may not be in good condition. We totally understand that. In general, we will include any photos/images that you want, regardless of the condition of the material, but please keep in mind that the better the quality of the photos and other materials you supply to us, the better the quality of the DVD will be. Remember that Times of Your Life DVDs performs only minor photo enhancement. If a photo is too badly damaged and we're not able to use it, we’ll let you know beforehand.
  • How should I send my materials?
    We know the materials you send us are very personal and are important to you. Therefore, in general, we strongly suggest that all materials be sent using a service that provides a way to track packages and confirm delivery. Using the regular mail service is NOT recommended. For normal orders, the Post Office has several low-cost services that provide tracking capabilities and delivery confirmations. If you have requested rush service, you should use an overnight service like FedEx, DHL or USPS Express Mail.

    Please note that Times Of Your Life DVDs is not responsible for items that are lost in transit or arrive damaged. It is your responsibility to ensure that all materials are properly packaged to arrive safely and in a timely manner. We will notify you when the materials have been received.

    All materials should be sent to:

    Barry Cohen
    Times of Your Life DVDs
    2029 Arbor Lane
    Mound, MN 55364

    Digital Photos & Video: If your pictures and/or video are digital, they can be burned onto a CD and mailed to us. Digital photos and video cannot be sent via e-mailed. If you're not sure how to get the digital pictures onto a CD, please give us a call. We can help you. There are cardboard CD mailers that can be purchased at any office supply store.

    Photo prints: Printed photos should be sent to us in a photo mailer, which can be purchased at any office supply store or the Post Office. It's critical that photos do not get bent during in transit

    Other printed materials: Other printed materials like newspaper articles, invitations, etc., should be placed on an envelop between heavy cardboard sheets to prevent damage. A photo mailer will work for these materials also.
  • Can I send other printed materials to include in the DVD?
    Absolutely! If you have other things you'd like in the DVD, we would be happy to include them. Just about anything printed can be scanned and included. Things like invitations, birth announcements, diplomas, newspaper articles, articles printed from the internet, artwork, licenses, etc. If it's printed, we can include it! Send it to us and we will scan it for you. Since we're taking the time to scan these items, we can put them onto a separate CD so you have them in digital format. For costs, see Prices and Packages.
  • In what format would you like to receive my materials?
    Ideally, all the materials will be in digital format. If your pictures are digital, they can be burned onto a CD and mailed to us. If your not sure how to get the digital pictures onto a CD, please give us a call. We can help you.
  • What if my pictures are in photo albums?
    For photo albums, you basically have two choices. The first option is that you can send us the entire album. Depending on the condition of the album and pictures, we can scan the photos while they're in the album. Please note that can sometimes results in slightly less-clear images, but often times, the album and photos are so old that trying to remove the photos for scanning may damage them. If we think that the photos will be damaged if we try to remove them, we will let you know. If you do send us the entire album, please indicate which photos/items you want included in the DVD. You can put a Post-It note next to the photos you want. Do not put Post-It notes directly on the photos.

    The second option is that you can remove the photos from the album and just send us the photos you want. Please make sure that they are in the order that you want them presented.
  • Can video clips be included in the DVD?
    You bet! Short video clips add a nice addition to a DVD slideshow. The inclusion of video clips is only possible in the Gold and Platinum package for an additional charge. Let us know what you have and we'll be glad to help.
  • Do I get all my materials back?
    Absolutely! We know the materials you send us are very personal and are important to you. Anything you send us will be returned to you with your completed order. We do not keep, discard or share anything that has been sent to us by customers.
  • What about privacey? Who else will see my materials?
    Your materials will NEVER be shared, publicly or privately, with anyone without your permission. We will NEVER use your photos for anything other than creating your DVD post your photos.

    We may ask you if we can put your video on our website as a demo, but we would NEVER do that without your permission.
  • Where and how do you get the background music for the DVD?
    Music is a key factor in creating the right mood for your DVD. Copyright laws regarding music are tough and are enforced. Times of Your Life DVDs only obtains music legally and requires that customers do the same. Our DVDs are created for private use only. We send them to you with the understanding that they are not intended for public presentation, you will not charge a fee for people to view them and they will not be duplication or used for any other purpose other than for the customers' private use.

    If you provide us with the music, we can accept and use only legally-purchased CDs. No home-burned music CDs or files will be accepted. All music you send us will be returned to you when the DVD is completed.

    When we provide the music, we purchase the music only from legal, legitimate internet sites. Currently, iTunes is the only on-line music provider we use. Any music purchased for use on your DVD will be deleted after the DVD is complete. We also use royalty-free music when available and appropriate.

    We have provided a list of suggested songs, but you don't see the song you want, we can get it for you.
  • Will your DVDs play on my DVD player(s)?
    That is always one of the key questions. DVD players can be finicky. There are two main DVD formats that the industry uses for home DVD players: DVD-R and DVD+R. Neither is better from a quality or performance standpoint. It's strictly a different format (like what Beta and VHS were with videotapes). Most DVD players manufactured after 2000 can play both formats. However, despite manufacturers' best efforts, there are still some issues with compatibility. Even though players say they can play both formats, occasionally they don't. It's impossible to predict when there might be problems. No one can guarantee that a particular type or brand of DVD will work with a player.

    All of our DVDs are produced using the DVD-R format. They are the highest-quality recordable discs available. The DVD-R format will play on more than 95% of all current DVD players manufactured after the year 2000. DVD-R is the most versatile format for movies. We can also produce DVD+R discs, so check your player for compatible formats (see the next FAQ "How do I check what type of format my DVD player accepts").

    We test every DVD on four different multi-format DVD players prior to shipping it to customers. Before it leaves our facility, we are confident that it will play on your equipment. HOWEVER, if there is a problem, please let us know. We have several different options we can try to get one that will work.

    If there are problems playing a DVD, 99.99% of the time it is the DVD player. It is extremely rare for a DVD disc to fail. If there is a problem playing a DVD, before asking for new discs, try the DVDs in other players, computers, etc. The player may need to be cleaned. The most minute particles of dust or dirt can cause a multitude of problems with a player. A DVD cleaning kit can be purchased at an any electronics store.
  • How do I check what type of format my DVD player accepts?
    The easiest thing to do is to call us. We'll be glad to do that for you. If you tell us the name and model of your player, we'll check and let you know.

    If you want to check yourself, there are several resources to check the format compatibility of DVD players. One of the easiest ways is to go to www.videohelp.com/dvdplayers. Go to the "Search Player" field and enter the name of your player. Scroll down the list to locate your player. The chart indicates compatibility with DVD-R, DVD+R, or both. If your player is not compatible with DVD-R, please indicate on your order that you want DVD+R. If all that is too much for you and you want an easier way to find out, you can contact us and we'll check for you! If the DVD that we made for you does not work, don't worry. We have several different discs that we can try. We'll get it to work.
  • What happens if I lose my DVD or it gets damaged?
    If your DVD was made within 6 months, Times of Your Life can make a replacement DVD for you. Pricing can be found on the Pricing & Options page. After 6 months, all files are purged. These shows require significant computer space to store files. Keeping files for too long puts a strain on storage capacity. Times of Your Life DVDs will keep your movie stored on our computer system for 6 months from the date your DVD is shipped. If, after 6 months, you want to add onto the current project or want a copy, the original will not be available.
  • Does Times of Your Life DVDs keep a copy of my DVD?
    We keep all project files (i.e. photos, printed materials, etc.) on our system for up to one year after your project was shipped to you. After about one year, all the photos and other materials are deleted from our servers because they take up so much space. So, if you want a change to be made to the video, we can do that within the first year.

    But, we keep the actual video file forever, which means that we can make an exact copy of the current DVD long after your project was completed. But keep in mind that no changes can be made to that video file. It’s not physically possible, but at least we can make copies of the same video.

    In case of a system crash or failure, backup files for almost all projects are kept on external hard drives and cloud storage services, so they can still be retrieved.
  • Can I add material to the DVD at some point in the future?
    These videos require significant computer space to store files, so we cannot store your files forever. Times of Your Life DVDs will keep your movie stored on our computer system for approximately one year from the date your DVD is shipped. After one year, all the materials (i.e. photos) used to build your DVD video are purged. If you want to add more content to the current video, that must be done within the first year.

    We keep the actual video file forever, which means that we can make an exact copy of the current DVD long after your project was completed. But keep in mind that no changes can be made to that video file. It’s not physically possible, but at least we can make copies of the same video.
  • How long will the DVD last...how do I care for it?
    All DVD recordable discs are extremely sensitive to heat, UV light and humidity. You should avoid exposing them to any extremely hot environment such as automobile interiors in the sun, or inside near radiators or heaters, or near an outside window, and so on. It's best to keep all DVD discs stored in a cool, dry place, closed up in a blank plastic DVD movie case. This will ensure that they last the longest.

    Avoid any abrasive, scratching or etching treatment of the disc's top or bottom. These recordable DVDs are much more sensitive than DVD Video or Game discs that are purchased in retail stores. Even a small scratch can make them unplayable. You'll know right away if a scratched DVD is un-usable or destroyed, but one exposed to high temperatures, humidity or strong UV light sources can become unplayable within anytime from a few hours to a few days.

    Treat your recorded DVDs with care. Handle them by their edges, gently. Avoid harsh chemicals in marking pens, ink and label adhesives. Avoid touching the top or bottom surfaces. Don't slide them across tables, players or computer cases. Return them to their black DVD cases immediately after playing. Don't stack DVDs one on top of each other and shuffle them like a deck of cards. With proper handling and protection during storage, a DVD disc can last for longer than you will probably want to re-play them. One company claims that its DVD discs can last up to 100-years or more. Store your own DVD recorded discs carefully in a cool, dark, dry place and they should last for many years.
  • Can I make my own copies of the DVD once I purchase one?
    The short answer is…No. Of course, we can't prevent you from trying to make copies, but we incorporate anti-copying technologies to prevent duplication. If attempts are made to duplicate, the original DVD may be damaged. If duplication is attempted, Times of Your Life DVDs is not responsible if the original DVD is damaged. If you want additional copies, please contact us and we will produce copies with the same high quality as the original. The costs to make copies can be found at Prices & Options.
  • Can I see the movie before you manufacture and ship it?
    Yes! In fact, we want you to see the video before we produce the final DVD and before it ships. We upload the video to a page on this website that only you can access. We email you a preview link. You can view the entire movie and let us know what changes need to be made at that time. See a sample of a preview page.

    One on-line preview upload is included with all packages. That preview can be viewed as many times as you want. If changes are made after the first preview, additional previews can be setup for $10 for each upload. Any content changes must be made prior to the DVD's final production.

    Of course, any errors due to Times Of Your Life DVDs will be corrected at no charge. Examples would be spelling errors, incorrect image sequencing, wrong placement of titles, etc.
  • If I don't like the DVD, can I get a refund?
    We want you to be thrilled with your DVD! And we will do everything we can to make sure you are. But due to the extensive time, labor and materials involved, Times of Your Life DVDs does not offer refunds. However, there is nothing more important to us than your complete satisfaction. We want you to be thrilled with your DVD for years to come. If you are not happy with your DVD, please notify us within 7 days of receipt.

    The best way to ensure you are happy with your DVD is for you to see the movie and make changes BEFORE it is produced. To ensure you are 100% satisfied, for an additional fee, we offer a Preview Service that allows you to preview and approve your DVD prior to final manufacture. We upload the movie to a page on this site that only you can access. You can view the entire movie and let us know what changes need to be made at that time. Any content changes must be made prior to the DVD's final production. We strongly suggest that you take advantage of this service to avoid any problems. If you previewed the movie and changes were made based on that viewing, additional charges will apply if changes are requested AFTER the DVD is produced.

    If you choose not to use the preview service and the DVD is produced, printed and shipped back to you, no changes can be made without additional cost. Again, we strongly suggest using the preview service so you know exactly what you are getting.

    Of course, any errors due to Times Of Your Life DVDs will be corrected at no charge. Examples would be spelling errors, incorrect image sequencing, wrong placement of titles, etc.
  • What is the recommended length for a DVD?
    The “best” length for a video is very subjective. For most occasions, we have found that in the 10 to 15 minute range works well. That would be about 100 to 149 photos, but we should talk about what the DVD is for and how it will be shown.