CTS logo

About CTS

Classes and Camps



Books and Videos

Teacher Certification

Contact Us


Center for Taiji Studies

Center for Taiji Studies Articles
VCD Video Help
BooksVideosMusicMail Order

Playing VCD on Your Computer
Be aware that a VCD is not the same thing as a DVD.

DVD stands for Digital Versatile Disc and can store over two hours of high-quality video. While the DVD disc looks like a CD, it stores much more information. VCD, on the other hand, is simply a CD-ROM disc (which can store up to 650MB) that has video stored on it. The video is not the same quality as you would get on DVD or laserdisc, but is portable, durable, and affordable.

VCD display format is 352x240 for NTSC (Unites States) television (352x288 for PAL (Europe/Asia), while DVD display format is 720x480 for NTSC (720x576 for PAL). One of the features that DVD has that you won't find on VCD is the ability to jump to a specific time location on the disc.

DVD Players come in many brands, shapes, and sizes. Older DVD players may not play VCD, while most newer players will. Check the documentation that came with your DVD player to determine whether it will play a VCD.

How to Play VCD on Windows PCs
The Windows operating system comes in many flavors: 95, 95B, 98, 98SE, ME, NT, 2000 and XP. There are sure to be more and more versions of Windows to come. As of this writing (August 2001), you should be able to use the built-in Microsoft Media Player to view the contents of a VCD. You won't be able to just run the VCD. You will instead have to locate a file and play it within the media player of your choice. You should be able to use Microsoft Media Player, Real Player, QuickTime, or most any other player you usually use for .avi and .mov files.

  • Insert the VCD into your CD-ROM drive.
  • Open MediaPlayer (or QuickTime, or Real Player, or whatever utility you use to view .avi and other video files). (Microsoft's Media Player can usually be found by going to the [Start-Menu], then Programs/Accessories/Entertainment (or Multimedia), then run MediaPlayer.
  • Go to the File-Menu and select Open (or just type Ctrl-O)
  • In that window, click the [Browse] button.
  • Navigate back up until we can get to the whole computer where you can see all the hard drive(s) and the CD-ROM. You should eventually see an icon for the CD-ROM drive with a name, "CompactDisk" or "VolumeLabel". That should be the VCD you're looking for.
  • When the next window opens, change the file-type to "All Files (*.*)"
  • Double-click that, and then double-click on the folder named, "MPEGAV". That should put you in a directory with only one file named either, "AVSEQ01.DAT" or "AVSEQ01".
  • There should be only one file in that folder. Depending on how you have set up your Windows Explorer, it will either show an extension (ending) of ".DAT" or not. The file could be named "AVSEQ01.DAT" or "AVSEQ01", or "MUSIC01.DAT" or "MUSIC01", or something similar.
  • Either double-click that file, or select that file and then hit the [Open] button.
That should start the VCD file playing. You might need to hit the play button...

In the event you get an error message that says that the file is not recognizable or is incompatable, then you will need to upgrade your viewer.

Instructions for Installing
If, after all that work, you still cannot get your VCD to play, it is likely that your CD-ROM drive is not capable of reading that particular VCD. There are known issues with a particular VCD that uses the file-name, AVSEQ01.DAT (or AVSEQ01). If you receive an error message when trying to play that file, and cannot copy that file to your hard drive, then this particular disc will not play on your computer.

We have not been able to verify yet, but it is suspected that the format of this VCD is not v2.0, and not compatible with computer equipment.

If you are unable to get this VCD to play on your computer, your best solution is to play it in a DVD player that supports all versions of VCD.

How to Play VCD on Mac Systems
These instructions worked on an Apple iMac. Procedure for other Apple Macintosh platforms may vary.
  • Insert the VCD into the CD-ROM disk drive.
  • When VCD is inserted into the CD-ROM drive, an icon will appear on the screen, showing a disk with the name, "Untitled". Double-click this icon.
  • Double-click on "MPEGAV" in the window that you just opened.
  • In the window that just opened (from the previous step), double-click on the file. It will be named something like "MUSIC01.DAT", or "AVSEQ01.DAT". In any case, the last three letters should be "DAT". A new window will open. Scroll down the list to find "MoviePlayer with QuickTime translation". You can shorten the list by clicking on the option.
  • Double-click on "MoviePlayer with QuickTime translation", or single-click that choice and then click the [OPEN] button.
  • Click on the [PLAY] symbol at the bottom of the MoviePlayer window.
  • To eject the disc after viewing, close all windows, one-by-one, and then click on "Special" at the top of the screen. Click "Eject" from the menu, and retrieve your disc from the opened CD-ROM drive.
Special thanks to Dan Retoff for the iMac instructions.

Powered by Korora
Join Mailing List   |   Search   |   Links

Copyright © 2004-2013 by the Center for Taiji Studies.