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  1. I am trying to backup and create a duplicate of a VCD (with SWF files) that I have. I am using a MAC and have couple of questions.

    I am not able to play this VCD on MAC. Tried installing VLC Player and opened one of the swf files in the VCD. VLC can open it but indicates that it has nothing to play, whereas the file actually has 10mb data (swf format). Apples recommendation is to use QuickTime player for playing VCD's. But it couldnt even recognize any of these swf files.

    Tried to copy the VCD to my local disk which succeeded. But still cant open any of these files and play them.

    Tried burning a duplicate of this disk to a DVD and then inserted the DVD on my MAC. It still cant play. Same DVD on Windows machine shows up as empty disk (although there is data written on it). The original VCD can be played on Windows though.

    Please suggest if you have seen VCD's with SWF files and how to play and convert them into avi or mpeg on MAC.
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
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    Please define what you mean by the term "VCD". VCD does not in any way, shape or form support SWF files, although I suppose you could create a special extra directory and just dump them in there even though they are not part of the format. Where did you get this disc? Why do you think it is a VCD? Do you see an MPEGAV directory on it? List all the directories you see on the disc as that will help to quickly determine if you're just dealing with a data disc or not. Asking for VCD help is useless if that's not what you really have. And burning something to a CD disc does not necessary mean it's a "VCD".

    This is a free Flash (that's what SWF is) player for Mac. I have not used it.
    http://mac.eltima.com/freeflashplayer.html

    VCD playback on a Mac is a real bitch. VLC doesn't really support it in reality, although theoretically it does. Start up a true VCD in VLC and use the time indicator bar to slide forward to a later part of the disc and you'll crash it almost every time. I used to have an old Mac PPC laptop that I would bring with me on trips to Asia and when I would want to watch VCDs i had bought I found VLC so painful that I had to resort to using QuickTime to play them by opening the DAT files directly in QuickTime. At least QuickTime didn't crash on me.

    ffmpeg might be able to convert the files, but as I don't use that program I cannot offer advice.
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  3. Thanks for your quick response. I dont see MPEGAV directory in this VCD (or may be a just a data CD). But attached is the screenshot that lists all the contents of this VCD. And the folder SWF has bunch of files with swf extension. Assuming these are all flash files which has actual video. Please let me know if you need more info.
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  4. vanished El Heggunte's Avatar
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    But attached is the screenshot that lists all the contents of this VCD.
    No, the image you posted DOES NOT list all the contents of that VCD. Remember, MAXimized windows are not evil.

    I dont see MPEGAV directory in this VCD (or may be a just a data CD).
    Probably you simply forgot to click on the vertical scroll bar.
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  5. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    This DOES look like a VCD, but a truly NON-STANDARD one if it is actually without the MPEGAV (to be standard, it ought to have at least ONE *.DAT entry in there).

    There could be a number of smaller entries in the "Segment" folder (usually reserved for VCD "menu" items).

    However, it's quite obvious that the bulk of this disk is really oriented towards Autorun-enabled SWF file playback. As such, the producers of this disc have done themselves a disservice by not just using a standard ISO9660/Mode1 Data CDROM type of CD. It currently would have a greater number of playback incompatibilities than if it had been as I suggested. Jman98 was on the right track...

    Scott

    edit:
    If I were you, I'd convert all the SWFs to standard *.AVIs / *.MOVs / *.MP4s / *.MKVs (take your pick depending on what works best for your situation - I'm guessing *.MOV since you're on a Mac).
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  6. Part of the problem is that my MAC is not able to play these SWF files. If not, I would have concerted them to avi or mpeg and created a dvd. Apple's recommendation is to use QuickTime for playing VCD's with dat files. Searched for VCD's with SWF files on the web...but found nothing. Any ideas or suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.
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    This INSANELY non-standard. I am amazed that it plays at all under Windows. It looks like some kind of half-assed home brew project where somebody knew about half of what they needed to know to do this correctly.

    The fact that you cannot play those SWF files on Mac means nothing. That doesn't mean that they cannot still be converted on Mac. I told you to look into ffmpeg. If you're not going to listen to recommendations it does make me think that maybe there's no point in my continuing to contribute here.

    I've seen a weird VCD that used files in the KARAOKE directory instead of the normal MPEGAV directory and it played OK even though it had nothing at all to do with karaoke. But this is like someone wanted something to autoplay and they figured that VCD gave them the best chance (well, maybe 10 years ago it did) and they just completely botched it. You don't say what you used to play this disc under Windows, but that could be critical. Again, VLC under Mac is very different from the Windows and Linux versions. It's not even the same code. At a minimum the Mac version trails the Windows/Linux one by several releases and may even be a highly modified separate code base for all I know.

    Finally, do note that Macs are not the easiest to use platform for disc copying and this task would be a lot easier in Windows. You could easily copy this disc under Windows using ImgBurn for example.
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  8. I tried ffmpeg and its not able to recognize the swf format either. This is what I got when I tried to encode.

    ============ Sorry, this file format is not recognized/supported =============
    === If this file is an AVI, ASF or MPEG stream, please contact the author! ===
    Cannot open demuxer.
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  9. VH Wanderer Ai Haibara's Avatar
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    jman, as far as I know, any program capable of burning discs on the Mac should have no problem with copying CDs/DVDs. I have LiquidCD and SimplyBurns on my Mac at the moment, and they both offer a copy-disc feature. I'd be surprised if commercial apps like Toast didn't, certainly. Can't remember offhand if Disk Utility does, though...

    justdoit: Do the swf files play if you run them through Adobe's own stand-alone Flash player app?
    Download

    Note that .swf files are usually NOT digital video files (like FLVs), and I think ffmpeg doesn't really support them much at all (same for Quicktime's basic SWF support). There are a number of commercial/shareware programs which supposedly allow you to convert directly from SWF to other video formats, but most of them really aren't worth it, IMHO, and your best bet for converting them is still (unfortunately) to run a screen/window capture program and capture the SWF as it's playing.
    If cameras add ten pounds, why would people want to eat them?
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  10. Ai Haibara, I was not able to play using the Adobe's flash player. I even tried VLC and Elmedia players. No luck.
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  11. VH Wanderer Ai Haibara's Avatar
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    They could be non-standard or protected SWFs, then; it's possible they'll only play if you run the presentation EXE on the disc. Your only option might be to run it on Windows and capture the videos there, then.
    If cameras add ten pounds, why would people want to eat them?
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  12. May be you are right. For the first time after being MAC user for past couple of years, I miss having a Windows box.
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  13. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    The disc could also be a standard Data CD "masquerading" as a VCD (which may be one reason why it's difficult to "play"). A "folder contents listing" is NOT going to tell it to you clearly here. You would have to use ISOBuster, or similar app which showed you the Modes as well as the tree structure, etc.

    If the SWF's are NOT standard video files, but are instead standard Director shows, you HAVE to run them with Shockwave player (never Flash player), and the only real way to capture/convert them is via screen recording...
    (BTW, this would also best be done on a Windows PC)

    Scott
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  14. VH Wanderer Ai Haibara's Avatar
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    Oops, yeah. If you've got Shockwave Flash installed for your browsers, try opening one of the SWFs directly in the browser, and see if it'll play there. I think there used to be a standalone Macromedia Shockwave player app, but I can't find it, at the moment. If Adobe has one, I certainly haven't been able to find it, yet.
    If cameras add ten pounds, why would people want to eat them?
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  15. Member
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    Originally Posted by Ai Haibara View Post
    jman, as far as I know, any program capable of burning discs on the Mac should have no problem with copying CDs/DVDs.
    That has NOT been my experience, but your mileage may differ and you also may not have the absolutely horrific Optiarc burner that came with my iMac. WORST BURNER EVER. Biggest POS burner I've ever used.
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