My words on free/open source software

Friday, October 31, 2008

Ripping VCD in Linux

I've got some old VCD discs so I've spent some time on studying how to rip them for backing up.

There are two methods available:
  1. To make a perfect ripping, use cdrdao read-cd:

    cdrdao read-cd --device ATA:1,1,0 --driver generic-mmc-raw --read-raw image.toc

    the --device is optional. By using this you got a TOC/BIN file pair that contains all the tracks from VCD which can be used to produce exact 1:1 copies. You can also generate a CUE/BIN pair by passing a filename with .cue extension. Although it is said that mplayer and totem can play the BIN file if proper decoding plugins are installed, I have never been able to do that, which is a big problem for me.

    Credit goes to manmath: http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-217997.html

  2. For easy playing back, you can extract MPG files by using GNU VCDImager, which is included in many popular distros. Using the vcdxrip program:

    vcdxrip -C=/dev/cdrom

    By this you got all videos in usable MPG files.

Though you may be able to copy DAT files from VCD to your hard drive directly in Windows, this is not the case in Linux systems, you'll get I/O errors. The reason is that the file system of VCD disc is not valid ISO-9660 and never meant to support direct copying video data as plain files. Windows must be doing some conversion behind the hood.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

The cdrdao command produces a TOC file not a CUE file. The cdrdao command looks at the extension to decide whether the file is in TOC or CUE format. You should change your example and replace the .cue with a .toc . Thanks for the post as it got me going in the right direction to be able to rip to and burn from our own produced VCD archive.

Yan Li said...

Thanks for the comment. You are right. I've corrected the text.

Anonymous said...

Thanks loads of this, took me ages to figure out why I couldn't just copy the mpeg off! This trick works great!

danielmeyer said...

Thank you for the vcdxrip pointer - I was able to backup my video CD of some home movies for which I had lost the original .MPG files!

Daniel Meyer

Anonymous said...

excellent, thanks.

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