How to Copy a VCD in Linux

Posted by: manmath sahu
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Author: same as 'Posted by'
Software: Linux

Linux users generally get stuck up while trying to copy VCDs. They get an "IO Error", no matter what they try. Further, if one copies that video files from windows partition or just tries to play that infamous *.dat video file, Linux does not recognize that file. Of course, if one opens that file with mplayer or vlc (or any other video player) then it does play.

Nobody wants to let those good old VCDs go just for the reason that they canít be copied. Thanks God, there are a few fixes to it, all regarding ripping the files off.

Truth: You canít copy the files off a VCD, but you can only rip them off to your hard drive.

VCDXRIP (a part of VCDImager) and Mencoder (that comes with Mplayer ) are two versatile programs that rip VCDs. Both these programs ship with PCLinuxOS 2007. If you use other distro, please download and install these into your OS.

Copy (rip) VCD in Linux using VCDXRIP:

Just issue the command:

$ vcdxrip

It will rip the vcd files to your hard drive in *.mpg format, that can be readily playable in any media player.

Note: Read the vcdxrip manual to know the insides of the command and its various options.

Copy (rip) VCD in Linux using Mencoder:

Mencoder is a versatile toolset that helps you do a lot of tasks, ripping a vcd is one of them.

Just issue the command:

$ mencoder vcd//:2 -oac lavc -ovc lavc -o filename.avi ($ sign is the terminal prompt)

You will get an avi video file, thatís compressed and readily playable.


But... but... vcdxrip and mencoder can copy (rip) only error-free VCDs (unlike windows that copies the *.dat files regardless of the errors). If these programs find any error during ripping, they stop the process right there. So, use only clean and well authored VCDs.

Here is one sure shot way to copy even corrupt VCDs:

$ cdrdao read-cd --device 0,0,0 --paranoia-mode 2 --read-raw data.toc

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Posted by: Joe
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Author: same as 'Posted by'
Software: mencoder 1.0

Just a simple correction to make the mencoder command work: the colon should come before the slashes:


Thanks, this did the trick!