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Ever think that those old algebra classes would come in handy producing video? Well, I'll ignore the fact that algebra is a major part of almost all of the editing process, and pretend that I'm BLOWING YOUR MIND.

Variables are just like attributes: they're a name that represents a value that may change over time. In DVD script, these values are numeric. Some DVD variables are yours to do with what you wish: like the memory button on your calculator, you can store a value there, manipulate it as you go along, and then read back that value to make decisions on it. By default, you have eight of these variables at your disposal*. They're all in an area called General Purpose Register Memory, or GPRM; and they're numbered, oddly, from GPRM 0 to GPRM 7.


Other DVD variables are set by the DVD player, and the DVD player is a bit of a tease: you can look at its variables but you can't touch. Colorfully named SPRMs (for System Parameter Register Memory), these 24 variables store information like the TV's aspect ratio and the current Parental Control settings. For full descriptions, try here; if you're actually wanting to use any of these, you'd be better served reading Apple's excellent documentation in the DVD Studio help - just search SPRM. We'll use both of the SPRMs I just mentioned later in this series for some examples.


We're almost to the fun part - next time, we'll use variables to control our DVD.



* - You can "partition" these variables if you need more than eight, but that's a little beyond the scope of this particular tutorial. In conceptual terms, one GPRM can hold a number as big as about 65,000.  If you don't need numbers that big, you can break the GPRM up to store several smaller numbers. Have a Google for GPRM Partitioning in DVD Studio for more information.

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Scripting in DVD Studio, Part 1: How Scripts Work was the previous entry in this blog.

Scripting in DVD Studio, Part 3 - Random Play is the next entry in this blog.

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