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I'm one of today's best-selling computer book writers, with more than 15 million books in print.

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My TV’s DVD player can’t display my CD’s photos!

Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/mutednarayan/729874990/

Photo by mutednarayan

Q: I am trying to copy digital photos from my computer to a compact disc to play on my TV’s Panasonic DVD player.

But even when I tell Windows 7 to create a CD using the “With a cd/dvd player” option, my DVD player can’t display the photos. The DVD player just says, “Cannot open files.”

My computer can still display the photos, though. What’s wrong?

A: Actually, you’re doing everything correctly on your end.

The problem comes from crankiness found with many DVD players, including yours. DVD players connected to TV sets aren’t as smart as the DVD players inside computers.

Most TV-bound DVD players can’t handle more than 500 images on a CD, a limitation unknown to most consumers. When you copy 500 or more images to a CD, your DVD player will probably choke on it.

Your computer will still be able to read the CD just fine. But when the DVD player sees more than 500 files sitting on the CD, it chokes, sending you the non-helpful message of “Cannot open files.”

There’s a solution, though:

Your DVD player can handle more than 500 files on a CD, but only if those files live inside a folder.

So, copy all the digital photos you want to a temporary folder on your Desktop.

Then copy that photo-stuffed folder to your CD. When your DVD player opens the CD, it only sees one folder, so it doesn’t panic. Select that folder with your DVD’s remote, and you’ll see your oodles of digital photos inside, waiting to be displayed.

Slipping your photos into folders before burning them to a CD comes in handy other ways, as well, as it lets you organize your photos by theme, date, trip, event, or any other method.


Comment from Jasper Wilson
Time January 3, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Answered the question precisely without any waffle. Good stuff. Thanks.

Comment from C. K. Walter
Time September 13, 2012 at 9:37 am

I have the same problem. Recorded a DVD-R on Windows Vista; clicked on Master format; it shows my 23 pictures fine on the computer; Toshiba DVD player says Loading, then Disk Error.

Comment from Andy Rathbone
Time September 13, 2012 at 11:30 am

CK Walter — have you tried playing the CD in different DVD players? That would tell you whether the problem lies with your disc itself or your Toshiba DVD player.

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