Skip to main content

Converting Old SVCD / VCD Disks To Video Files

The VCD and SVCD format for video disks was popular back in the day; it essentially let you create a video disk on a CD disk (not DVD) and play it back (usually) in a regular DVD player. Embracing what I thought was a pretty spiffy technology, I converted several videos from VHS tape into playable disks - this was before I had a DVD burner in my PC.

I dragged some of these VCD disks out with a view to converting them to video files that I could upload to my cloud account, as they contained some pretty special scenes of our kids when they were little. We don't have a DVD player connected to our TV anymore, so I reasoned just converting each VCD to a single video file made sense.
 
However, I ran into a major snag in that my Linux laptop system did not seem to want to do anything with these files; while I could see the file structure of the disk, I could not open the actual .dat video files, and I could not even copy/paste them from the CD.


I thought to my dismay that the CD media may be bad, but after I tried 3 or 4 different CDs and got the same result, I thought it would be unlikely that they had ALL failed (though not impossible). I went to our venerable Windows 7 home PC and was presently surprised - and relieved -  to find that I could now open the VCD disk in VLC Player and run the conversion to .mp4 with no issues. 

I could NOT open these in VLC on Linux, for whatever reason - I did not delve into it further, as this was a sort of one-off situation, and I already had a working alternative. 

So if anyone else out there has some old VCD disk and need to covert them to a more convenient and portable format, VLC will do that for you - at least in Windows. Just open the CD, use the "SVCD/VCD" option (screenshot below, from the Linux version of VLC) and then use the "save/convert" feature to process the disk contents. Works like a charm.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

VPN Use Is Up, Up, Up

Since the repeal of the Broadband Consumer Privacy Rules, VPN use and traffic is rather predictably spiking, according to many VPN providers. VPNs are not the b-all and end-all of privacy though, and indeed the usual cretins have stepped in to provide shady VPN services that may actually sell on user data.

Also remember:
ISPs still track your location data and DNS records, even if you're using a VPN. Similarly, a VPN doesn't stop a company from using on-device snoopware to track you (remember Carrier IQ?). Neither will it stop ISPs from charging you a premium for privacy (something both AT&T and Comcast have already experimented with). Nor will a VPN stop a company from using your credit score to provide worse customer service (something CableONE has crowed about). DSL Reports

Microsoft's Mild Mea Culpa Over Windows 10 Obscure Upgrade "Choice"

In a cleansing act before the turn of the year, a Microsoft bigwig has admitted that they may have gotten a little carried away in their zeal to upgrade as many users as possible to Windows 10.
Specifically, Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela referred to the upgrade notification that appeared to be deliberately deceptive in the way it handled a users response. If a user clicked the red "X" at the top right of the notice, that closed the dialog box but went ahead and installed the upgrade anyway.
To actually not accept the upgrade, you had to click a link in the notification window itself. Not a few users would come back later and find their system upgraded to Windows 10, or in the process of doing so, when they thought they had expressed their wish not to do so. "Within a couple of hours of that hitting the world, with the listening systems we have, we knew that we had gone too far and then, of course, it takes some time to roll out the update that changes that …

pCloud Cloud Storage On Linux

As a cheapskate user of the Dropbox free plan, I was looking to see if there was another provider that offered a little more free storage than the 2GB from Dropbox (I actually have 2.5GB, due to a couple of bonus offers).
After a bit of research, I came up with Swiss-based pCloud: it has a client for Linux, as well as Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. The free tier offers 10GB of Cloud storage with no file size limits, which is fantastic for my (pretty basic) needs. You can set up your account first from the pCloud website, or during the client install process.