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  1. Member
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    Years ago I bought a $25 Apex dvd player that played EVERYTHING I threw at it, including a ton of cheap vcds (on cd) bought off ebay.
    Eventually the player crapped out and I had a few hundred discs that no other player can read, including a Phillips dvd player that I bought specifically because it said it played vcds. (it does, sort of... it plays maybe 20 of my stack)
    My LG bluray player spits them out without hesitation. My laptop just keeps spinning the discs or brings up folders that it says "windows cannot open, disc may be corrupt etc etc"

    I know the discs the Phillips will play were bought from a different seller... maybe it's just a question of the media used?
    Can anyone recommend a cheap dvd player or some alternative for playing these discs?
    Is there a way for a noob like me to convert them or copy them onto dvd so they can be played? maybe a free program for reading them?
    I'd love to not have 200+ coasters
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  2. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Isobuster. Helps particularly with compromised media quality.
    Extract *.DAT files, using the "filter Mode2Form2 sectors" option. End up with *.MPG mpeg1 files.
    Demux to m1v video and mp2 audio. TmpgEnc, Imago, etc.
    Video might be able to be tweaked without re-encoding onto dvd, but may want to re-encode anyway. HCEnc, etc
    Audio will HAVE to be re-encoded, as 44.1kHz samplerate is not supported by any DVD or BD. Since you are doing that, go ahead and convert to AC3 or something else commonly used & supported.

    Then author from scratch using these as raw assets.

    Scott
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 10th Mar 2016 at 19:02.
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  3. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    Try looking on ebay for an apex player that still works,i remember having one and hacking the bios to be macrovision free and having buffy the vampire logo as the main screen picture.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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  4. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Good for the short term, but you may still want to rip the discs for long term usage.

    Scott
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  5. Member DB83's Avatar
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    If that Phillips - and if any brand would play VCDs then it is Phillips - does not play all of them the issue is the disks and not the player.

    I made several VCDs in the past and later they refused to play in drives. Ripping/re-authoring is really the only practical solution.
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    Isobuster. Helps particularly with compromised media quality.
    Extract *.DAT files, using the "filter Mode2Form2 sectors" option. End up with *.MPG mpeg1 files.
    Demux to m1v video and mp2 audio. TmpgEnc, Imago, etc.
    Video might be able to be tweaked without re-encoding onto dvd, but may want to re-encode anyway. HCEnc, etc
    Audio will HAVE to be re-encoded, as 44.1kHz samplerate is not supported by any DVD or BD. Since you are doing that, go ahead and convert to AC3 or something else commonly used & supported.

    Then author from scratch using these as raw assets.

    Scott

    thanks guys for the responses!
    but maybe you missed the part where I said "noob?"

    is this isobuster something I can figure out? I'm really hoping for a walk-me-thru-it program if one exists.

    you're probably right about the media- I bought from several sellers and only this one seller's discs wont play in the phillips. unfortunately I bought the bulk of them from this person!

    tried ebay, got a player "in great condition" except it didn't work.

    I like the idea of turning them into dvds, but don't have a good grasp on the process, or even how to do it since my laptop doesn't seem to be able to play them either.
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    Originally Posted by ghola View Post
    thanks guys for the responses!
    but maybe you missed the part where I said "noob?"

    is this isobuster something I can figure out? I'm really hoping for a walk-me-thru-it program if one exists.

    you're probably right about the media- I bought from several sellers and only this one seller's discs wont play in the phillips. unfortunately I bought the bulk of them from this person!

    tried ebay, got a player "in great condition" except it didn't work.

    I like the idea of turning them into dvds, but don't have a good grasp on the process, or even how to do it since my laptop doesn't seem to be able to play them either.
    ISOBuster's trial version seems able to show what files and folders are present to recover, but it lacks the ability to recover anything but disk images.

    ISOBuster's paid version can recover the files and folders, but it would be useful to inspect your discs with the free version first to see what is visible before investing in the paid version. This will give you an idea of what files and folders might be present on a VCD https://www.videohelp.com/vcd#struct

    If you can recover playable files, AVStoDVD is a good DVD conversion and authoring program you could use to create DVDs with simple menus or no menu.
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    By chance are the discs that don't play from India or Pakistan? If so, they may be widely out of VCD specs as a form of "copy protection" that AFAIK has never been fully cracked.

    Ironically, a cheap player like an Apex may perform better with these discs than a major brand (i.e. Philips, Sony, Samsung, etc.) because their adherence to VCD specs isn't as tight.

    Edit: Re-read your first post and your comment "windows cannot open, disc may be corrupt etc etc" sounds like a type of VCD copy protection that purposely includes some corrupt files that can't be opened in a PC.
    Last edited by lingyi; 11th Mar 2016 at 23:09.
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  9. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Check old posts. I cracked it years ago.

    Most likely these are scratched.

    Scott
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    Use VCDGear to go from daqt to mpg. It's free and works well.
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    Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
    By chance are the discs that don't play from India or Pakistan? If so, they may be widely out of VCD specs as a form of "copy protection" that AFAIK has never been fully cracked.

    Ironically, a cheap player like an Apex may perform better with these discs than a major brand (i.e. Philips, Sony, Samsung, etc.) because their adherence to VCD specs isn't as tight.

    Edit: Re-read your first post and your comment "windows cannot open, disc may be corrupt etc etc" sounds like a type of VCD copy protection that purposely includes some corrupt files that can't be opened in a PC.
    it was years ago but I don't recall any of the sellers being outside of the US. (of course that doesn't mean the discs didn't come from somewhere else)
    one of the "unplayable" discs made my laptop VERY confused, but I think I recall seeing something like "TOX" as a description of the disc???
    all of these terms are new to me so I admit I have little to no idea what is actually going on...
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    Originally Posted by ghola View Post
    Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
    By chance are the discs that don't play from India or Pakistan? If so, they may be widely out of VCD specs as a form of "copy protection" that AFAIK has never been fully cracked.

    Ironically, a cheap player like an Apex may perform better with these discs than a major brand (i.e. Philips, Sony, Samsung, etc.) because their adherence to VCD specs isn't as tight.

    Edit: Re-read your first post and your comment "windows cannot open, disc may be corrupt etc etc" sounds like a type of VCD copy protection that purposely includes some corrupt files that can't be opened in a PC.
    it was years ago but I don't recall any of the sellers being outside of the US. (of course that doesn't mean the discs didn't come from somewhere else)
    one of the "unplayable" discs made my laptop VERY confused, but I think I recall seeing something like "TOX" as a description of the disc???
    all of these terms are new to me so I admit I have little to no idea what is actually going on...
    AFAIK, there are no USA manufactured professionally manufactured VCDs (i.e. pressed vs. burned), so they had to come from overseas if they're pressed. What are some of the company names and titles? This would help determine where they originated and if they have copy protection or not.

    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    Check old posts. I cracked it years ago.

    Most likely these are scratched.

    Scott
    The OP posted about not being able to play these VCDs almost four years ago https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/347553-can-someone-recommend-dvd-player-for-vcds?p=...56#post2173456. So they're probably copy protected or were bad back then (possibly always bad) and the APEX was somehow able to play them.

    @Ghola

    What have you been doing with your VCDs these past 4 years? Did you get another APEX or just didn't play them? Either way, the best advise is to convert them to DVDs or other digital format as it will only get harder to find something to play them in the future.
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    I posted about this before?
    sucks gettin' old! these discs were bought over ten years ago and played in my apex for years.

    they are not "pressed" as in professional looking, they are clearly "hand made" by someone who stuck labels on the discs. I tried to read what brand of disc they are and can't find any indication, although there seems to be some kind of maker label underneath the applied labels.
    the other sellers' discs (which do play in the phillips) are memorex brand and another type of media that is utterly without any brand stamp- they are completely blank.

    for the last 4 years they have been packed away. I looked into getting them on dvd (which wasn't an option then) but that route would cost me well over $100. I bought the same model apex off ebay and got burned by a dishonest seller.

    converting them myself would be great but I know nothing about the process. some of you have suggested different free programs. I will look into those options.

    what did you mean by "scratched?" the discs themselves might be scratched? they aren't.

    dumb question time: assuming I use one of the suggested programs, how will I use them when my laptop won't even play the discs? is there a way to use the program to access the disc without my laptop endlessly spinning the disc? I apologize for my utter lack of knowledge here. the most I could get my laptop to do was present me with several folders, but when I tried to open one of them it said "cannot open, may be corrupt etc etc"

    I appreciate all you guys trying to help.
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    If the maker applied paper labels with adhesive backs, those can warp discs, rendering them unreadable.
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  15. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    @lingyi, I own at least 3 pressed American VCDs, one of which is from NASA, so the point about them only being asian doesn't hold true.

    Scott
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    @lingyi, I own at least 3 pressed American VCDs, one of which is from NASA, so the point about them only being asian doesn't hold true.

    Scott
    Interesting. Thank you for the info!

    I'm curious, is the NASA disc only video or a video/image combo?
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    If the maker applied paper labels with adhesive backs, those can warp discs, rendering them unreadable.
    Possibly, but the label only covers about 1/5 of the surface.
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    Originally Posted by pepegot1 View Post
    Use VCDGear to go from daqt to mpg. It's free and works well.
    old guy question:

    I downloaded vcdgear.
    it has a manual, I've looked thru it, but I'm a bit lost.
    the vcd has these folders on it: CDDA, CDI, EXT, MPEGAV, SEGMENT, VCD.
    I assume I will use the "cue/bin -> mpeg" function, but which folder do I want to open?
    when I tried opening the VCD folder previously, I got the "windows cannot open etc" message.
    I guess I'm wondering how the vcdgear program will be able to open a folder that the laptop doesn't seem to be able to.
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  19. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Been forever since I used VCDGear for that process (I always preferred VCDEasy, or alternately ISOBuster). If you use CUE/BIN, that is referring to a disc image, NOT an actual disc. You may have to image the disc first with that process.

    I suggested ISOBuster before because it not only supports VCDs but it is much better at iffy/scratched discs than the other 2 apps mentioned.

    Where you'd be getting the *.DAT files from are the ones in the MPEGAV folder (occasionally some stuff is in the SEGMENT folder). You do NOT want anything from the VCD folder, that is just binary Table of Contents sector location sort of info. See Videohelp's: What Is | VCD page, for filesystem listing.

    This has been discussed ad nauseum on this site. Just do a search on "VCD to DVD" or similar. Plenty of info.

    Scott
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  20. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    Unless these vcds are precious memories or videos that can't be found i would say forget about ever playing/converting.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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  21. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    That's it though, most stuff on VCD isn't on many other sources...

    Scott
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    Originally Posted by johns0 View Post
    Unless these vcds are precious memories or videos that can't be found i would say forget about ever playing/converting.
    Ouch!
    are you saying that because of my obvious lack of knowledge of the processes involved
    or because the chances of success are low?

    I could re-buy () these things on dvd but that's more money spent...

    the reason I tried vcdgear was the explanation for using isobuster made my head spin!
    the "cue/bin" was the default option in vcdgear, not a preference or choice of mine.
    I was really hoping for a free program with a simple "what do you want to do?" interface... (wishful thinking?)

    I will try to educate myself more about this process.
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