In 2006, I had recorded a disc on my Sony RDR-GX7 DVD recorder from VHS tape. This was a home movie approx 45 mins long. Now I would like to copy this recording to my Windows 7 computer. When I put the disc in my computer, it comes up as 6 files:
VIDEO_TS.BUP - 14 KB
VIDEO_TS - VLC media file(.ifo) -14 KB
VIDEO_TS - VLC media file(.vob) - 30 KB
VTS_01_0.BUP -26 KB
VTS_01_0 - VLC media file(.ifo) - 26 KB
VTS_01_1 - VLC media file(.vob). - 979,832 KB
Then I tried entering the largest .vob file into windows movie maker. That only produces a 23 second video. I have tried to convert the large file into WMV file, same result. How do I go about using movie maker to save this 45 min video to my computer ? This disc plays on my computer and in another Magnavox DVD player with no problem except the "menu" comes up first and you have to select the only file. Please help.
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Are you sure you finalized it?
Either way....stop using Movie Maker. Just transfer the largest file to you computer HDD first.
This has nothing to do with finalizing, and little to do with the program you use to play the file. The issue is that, depending on their structure, VOB files sometimes (not always) won't play on a NLE timeline because of all the "extra" stuff they contain, beyond just video and audio. I have experienced exactly the same thing you report, and have had it happen dozens of times.
There are several solutions.
The best is to use software like Womble or VideoRedo. Import the VOB, edit it, if you want, and then output as an MPEG-2 file. These programs will strip all the other stuff from the VOB (navigation flags, multiple audio tracks, subtitles, and more). The resulting video will be unaltered (i.e., not re-rendered).
You also can use the features in most ripping software (DVD Fab, DVD Decrypter, DVD Shrink) to transfer the VOB file to your hard drive. When you do, set the program to only copy one audio file and the video, while stripping everything else. While you are at it, change the program settings to create a single VOB file (if the source has multiple VOB files from the same titleset).
You can also frameserve from a program that will play the file correctly into your NLE.
A VOB is a DVD-Video container file, not a video file. You must extract the video to work with it.
VideoRedo or Womble. They have no problems playing the VOB structure. After all, when you watch the DVD, the DVD player plays both the audio and video contained in the VOB. So, if the software is designed to deal with the VOB's more complex (compared to native MPEG-2) structure, it can play (without having the video truncated to a few seconds) and edit the video.
So if you want, you can edit the VOB in either of those programs without the problem you described.
Having said that, when I edit VOBs (which I do at least once a week), I always convert them first to MPEG-2 using Womble. Actually, FWIW, here is my normal process for taking video delivered to me on a DVD, and which some client wants restored (I do work for collectors).
1. Rip the video to my hard drive using DVD Shrink. I use DVD Shrink's "re-author" mode and I set DVD Shrink to deliver one single VOB file. This lets me get each titlset into a single VOB, stripped of subtitles, and with just one audio channel (which is usually what I want).
2. Once that VOB file is on my hard drive, I put that into Womble and "extract" the MPEG-2 file. This step goes very quickly because it is nothing more than a form of de-multiplex, re-multiplex operation. The video and audio are not altered in any way (i.e., no re-encoding).
3. I take the resulting MPEG-2 file, put it into my NLE (Vegas Pro) and edit. If my edits do not involve altering the video, but merely doing cuts (sometimes the collector just wants a compilation of existing clips, without any restoration), I transfer my Vegas edits back to Womble with a little utility Womble created over a decade ago that takes the Vegas cut list and converts it to a Womble cut list. I then cut using Womble, which does "smart edits," meaning that it does not re-encode.
I used to do a slightly simpler workflow where I would open that VOB files directly in Womble using one of its features which was supposed to combine the VOB files (the DVD spec limits them to 1 GB each, although they can be larger, such as when you tell DVD Shrink to create a single VOB file). However, Womble didn't always do a proper job combining the files, and I sometimes had to go back and re-do the process. I then realized that I'd never once had a problem with the slightly longer (by a couple of minutes) two-step process I described in #1 and #2 above, so I quit trying to be too clever and just do what I described above.
Videoredo also has a feature that will combine the VOB files. That works better, but I've never been comfortable with the Videoredo interface.
Dvdshrink can also extract raw streams, so you could completely bypass Womble if you were re-editing or re-authoring. And Btw, if your cuts are not on I frame boundaries or with closed GOPs, womble and others must also re-encode (though if really smart, they just re-encode those affected frames).