How to Convert Vcd to Avi

by Churyl T. Jones

A Video Compact Disc, or VCD, is a video format created in Japan that allows for 1 hour of MPEG-1 encoded video and audio to be stored on a standard 700MB CD. VCD's are playable in almost all standalone DVD players and computer CD/DVD drives. Their visual quality is about equal to what you would expect from a VHS video. Audio Video Interleave, or AVI, is a file format designed to store video and audio data that is primarly meant to viewed on computers and played by software video players such as Windows Media Player. This article describes steps that may be taken to convert a VCD to a computer AVI file using a popular (and free) PC video processing tool known as Virtualdub.


Insert the VCD you wish to convert into your DVD-ROM drive. Some computers are configured to start playing VCD/DVDs as soon as they are inserted. If the disc starts to play, stop it and shut down whatever DVD playing software that was just started.


Using the explorer, explore the VCD disc and enter the [X]:\\MPEGAV\\ directory, where 'X' is the actual drive letter of your DVD-ROM drive. This is the directory which holds the actual MPEG video files of your VCD (the main feature and any extra menus it might have). Here you should find listings for one or more files named \"AVSEQ01.DAT\", \"AVSEQ02.DAT\", \"AVISEQ03.DAT\", ..etc. In the majority of cases, however, there will only be the single file, \"AVSEQ01.DAT\". In instances where multiple files do exist, make a note of the one with the largest file size. You will need it later.


With the explorer window still open to the MPEGAV directory, start up Virtualdub.


Find the AVSEQXX.DAT file within the MPEGAV directory that has the largest file size. This will represent your the main movie feature. Remember, most likely there will only be the single \"AVISEQ01.DAT\" file there, so the choice is simple.


Drag and Drop this file into Virtualdub. Virtualdub will spend a few moments analyzing and importing the video frames into its buffers. When analysis is complete, you will see the first frame of the video show up on the Virtualdub preview window. You can now close the MPEGAV directory window. The remainder of these instructions involve Virtualdub only.


(In Virtualdub), Select the Video menu and choose \"Full Processing Mode\", if it is not already selected.


Next, select the Audio menu and make sure \"Source Audio\" and \"Direct Stream Copy\" are selected.


[OPTIONAL] Virtualdub is now set up to copy raw video and audio from the VCD and convert them to an AVI file \"as-is\" with no compression. This undoubtedly will require lots of hard drive space, as alluded to earlier. To greatly reduce the size of the output file, those familiar with Virtualdub can now delve deeper and configure extra video and/or audio compression if they desire. Discussion of these techniques, however, are outside the scope of this article. The curious reader should consult the Virtualdub Documentation ( for more information.


Chooose File===>Save as AVI. In the broswer dialog, select the path and name of your new AVI file. Then click Save.


Sit back and let Virtualdub do its work. A popup window will allow you to track the progress of the AVI conversion. The actual processing time depends on the speed of your computer and the length of the video.


Once the operation is complete, it is safe to close Virtualdub. Your new AVI file is now ready.

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About the Author

Churyl T. Jones's writing has writing has appeared in various online and print publications over the past 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American studies from Wesleyan University and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing.

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