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  1. I've heard of India's protected VCD, but I have one from Hong Kong and it seems to be protected too.

    The disc plays fine with my DVD player. VLC sort of plays it, but the audio jumps, cuts and isn't synced.

    I made a copy of the disc with Alcohol just to be safe and not damage the original disc.

    Inside the disc, the folders "EXT", "MPEGAV" and "VCD" are impossible to browse. When I click on them, it says "The file or folder is corrupted and unreadabl". It's obviously not, since the thing plays properly with VCD/DVD players.

    The only accessible folder is "CDI" and a bunch of TXT files that list Philips copyrights and stuff. I believe this is a special CDI VCD with Philips protection?

    Not even VCDGear can access the MPEGAV folder. And X-VCD Player can't play it either. And IsoBuster doesn't even see the disc track(s).

    Does anybody know how to make an MPG backup of such a disc?
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    have you tried dvdfab ??
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  3. I'd rather not install that program. Installer showed a simplified Chinese screen and I've had enough of Chinese programs leaving around pieces and files that can't be deleted (I'm looking at you, QQ).

    By the way the obvious copy/paste of those folders doesn't work. Nothing seems to work! God knows how they protected these VCDs.
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    I used to collect Hong Kong VCDs and never came across one that I couldn't copy. Even Hong Kong DVDs never had any copy protection.

    What's the movie? The vast majority of Hong Kong movies from the '70's to the '90's have been released on DVD or Blu-Ray.
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  5. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Soundslike it's got a rootkit that's obscuring the tracks. Reboot your computer without the disc in the drive, then hold down the SHIFT key before/while you insert & load the disc. Keep it held down until the disc stops its read spin.
    Then open ISOBuster. You should see some, or at least 1 track, now.
    Possible the disc has had its TOC modified to further obfuscate, but you should still be able do a sector-by-sector copy to hdd. With that you should be able to walk past the 1st track (which is the mode2form1 type), and get to the mpeg track(s). You should be able to recognize them by their signature (though you will have to filter out the mode2form2 error correction crap).


    Scott
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  6. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Silly Q. time.


    Are you trying to browse the original disk or the 'copy' you made (or thought you made) ?
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    Re-reading the OP's post, I realized he/she wasn't just guessing it's a CD-I disc, it is because of the additional CDI folder.

    A quick search brought up this article from ISOBuster about CD-I VCDs and possibly explains why the tracks aren't where the OP expects them to be.

    Also, as DB83 asked, be sure to work with the original disc as it's possible because of the non-White Book standard, the copy may not be 100% accurate. Same way some copy protected game discs can't be accurately copied or ripped.
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  8. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Actually I have at least one VCD with a CDI folder. And it is fully readable in Windoze.


    VLC does not like it but it plays fine in a standard VCD player or PowerDVD


    Many moons ago I acquired another type of video on a CD. Not sure if I still got it (probably not since I could do zilch with it) since the single video track was eventually released on dvd.
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  9. i've been playing around with the MDF/MDS image i made with alcohol, not with the original disc. will try with the original disc and isobuster, and then will try the same, on my other laptop which has a different cd/dvd drive.

    so it may be that it's just because of the green book format, and there is in fact no copy protection.

    i wonder why they made this vcd with the cdi toolkit, it makes no sense since it's just a short 20m movie....

    thanks for your help
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    Many moons ago I acquired another type of video on a CD. Not sure if I still got it (probably not since I could do zilch with it) since the single video track was eventually released on dvd.
    Sounds like a CD Video. A short lived, odd hybrid CD sized mini Laserdisc with CD audio. I have a Jeff Beck one somewhere and was able to play it my Laserdisc/CD combo.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CD_Video
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  11. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    The cd-i thing is a non-issue. All WhiteBook-compliant/compatible discs must also be compatible with GreenBook spec, so a CDI folder & files/apps is required (this is also true for CD-PLUS/CD-EXTRA, and supposedly also for PhotoCD). And it shouldn't affect playability on PCs, as it is a bridge design that also has mode2form1 1st track with ISO9660 filesystem

    Scott
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  12. I am going to suggest something insane, something that I never would have suggested a few days ago to try and resolve this sort of thing, try a Linux distro and see if it is able ot bypass whatever is giving you a hard time in Windows.

    I know how it sound but here's the thing: I have a Linux desktop, Windows 10 laptop, Win 7 work lap top and Win 10 work AIO, both work systems have security policies that require than any thumb drive or external drive connected to the system be encrypted with Dell's encryption softwrae before you can copy any data to them.

    I had copied a bunch of Excel spreadsheets to a thumb drive so I could work on them at home but when I tried to access them I realized that the password I though I had chosen for the drive must have been miss-typed or misspelled or something, because I couldn't unlock the drive. I tried every combination I could think of and then I thought I would try and brute force the drive using my Linux desktop. The funny thing is I plug the drive in and MXLinux was able to read the supposedly encrypted disk no problem. I tried to access it from other Windows systems, but they all failed, requiring a passkey, but I don't know how, Linux is able to see disks and their contents that are locked for Windows systems.

    I though about telling my IT department, but then it will get into a whole big stink of how I know, how I came about discovering this, why was I trying to access a supposedly locked drive on a non-company system, and it can't end well for me.

    It may be a long shot, but you never know.
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    The cd-i thing is a non-issue. All WhiteBook-compliant/compatible discs must also be compatible with GreenBook spec, so a CDI folder & files/apps is required (this is also true for CD-PLUS/CD-EXTRA, and supposedly also for PhotoCD). And it shouldn't affect playability on PCs, as it is a bridge design that also has mode2form1 1st track with ISO9660 filesystem

    Scott
    According to the article I linked to, Greenbook used for CD-I predated Whitebook:

    "A lot of 'Video CDs' were created in this Green book (CD-i) standard. These Video CDs are not according to the White Book standard which became THE Video CD standard. So, these CD-i Video CDs don't tend to work on PC (for all the reasons above) but IsoBuster tends to be able to get to the content because in most cases the CD-i discs are finalized as CD-i and the contain Data only. These CD-i Video Discs do tend to work in standalone Video CD players.

    If you extract the mpg from a whitebook VCD 2.0, the mpg will be accepted by all VCD creating Write Software. If you extract mpg that is not conform VCD 2.0 (e.g. from a CD-i), a lot of VCD creating apps will complain. However, some of them still allow you to create a VCD from the stream (Yippee) (e.g. WinOnCD, Adaptec VCD Creator 4.0).
    Downside is that CD-i players check for CD format and then determine how the mpg format should look like. Resultantly, the CD-i player will most likely freeze on this kind of mpg on a CD-ROM. HOWEVER ... The whole intention of converting to CD-ROM is for the benefit of being able to view the mpg on PC ... And PC Mpg decoding soft has NO problem with this !!"

    Source: https://www.isobuster.com/help/cd-i_and_vcd

    Edit: Green Book was established in 1987 and White Book in 1994. PhotoCDs do fall under the Whitebook standard:

    "The White Book refers to a standard of compact disc that stores not only sound but also still pictures and motion video. It was released in 1993 by Sony, Philips, Matsushita, and JVC. These discs, most commonly found in Asia, are usually called "Video CDs" (VCD). In some ways, VCD can be thought of as the successor to the Laserdisc and the predecessor to DVD. Note that Video CD should not be confused with CD Video which was an earlier and entirely different format.

    Several extensions to the White Book were published in later years: VCD 2.0 in 1995, VCD-Internet in 1997, and Super Video CD (SVCD) in 1998.[1] The standard is not freely available and must be licensed from Philips.[2]

    The White Book also defines the more general CD-i Bridge format (also called CD-Bridge or simply "bridge discs"), which are CD-ROM XA discs with an additional Green Book CD-i specific application program.[2] The CD-ROM XA information in bridge discs can be obtained through CD-ROM drives, while CD-i players can use the CD-i program to read bridge discs as well (hence the "bridge" status between CD-ROMs and CD-i discs). Bridge discs must conform to both the CD-ROM XA and Green Book CD-i specifications.[3] VCDs and SVCDs fall under the category of bridge discs, as do Photo CDs and Karaoke CDs.[4]"

    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Book_(CD_standard)

    Edit 2: Unless I'm missing something, I believe the issue as stated in the article, is that the Green Book standard uses a completely different pre-WhiteBook standard that makes it it different from VideoCDs or any other WhiteBook compliant disc format.
    Last edited by lingyi; 28th Sep 2020 at 16:25.
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    Yes, @lingyi, GreenBook (CD-I, 1987) pre-dates WhiteBook (1993/1994), and OrangeBook (1990, but not original YellowBook).
    True CD-Is are labelled as such and contain a full RTOS application which is used to "run" the disc in a CD-I player (the player runs RTOS, similar to a Java VM setup in BD players).
    True CD-Is are *RARE*.

    All WhiteBook discs as well as "Beige Book" and BlueBook, of which VCD, PhotoCD, and CD-PLUS/CD-Extra respectively belong, must maintain bridge (CD-ROM-XA) compatibility with GreenBook, and to do so, they contain a very basic stub of a CD-I application, along with a few other things. VCD, etc players do not actually run this application the way a CD-I player does, but they do expect the application to exist on the disc for compliance.
    This includes VCD 1.0, VCD 1.1, and VCD 2.0, and subsequent versions and forks.

    99% sure that wherever the OP got this disc image, it is from a WhiteBook bridge disc.

    Also pretty confident that the TOC entries for tracks >1 (the MPEG m2f2 tracks) have been manipulated so they don't match the true sectors, thus not able to easily RIP. Hardware VCD players, OTOH, read the entries in the VCD/ENTRIES.VCD, VCD/LOT.VCD, etc index files and those probably have NOT been messed with. Thus, HW players will go to the sectors pointed to by them instead and all will play properly. HW players know to look there as they are always in the same absolute sector (at least ENTRIES is, IIRC). TOC misdirection was very common form of quick & dirty, quasi-copyprotection.

    Some of that info on both ISOBuster and Wikipedia sites is a little bit off. I've got the actual specs, as well as some in-depth reference books which greatly clarifies the CD landscape.


    Scott
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 28th Sep 2020 at 18:23.
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    Thank you for the info and clarification.

    You say true CD-I's are rare. I'm assuming you mean officially licensed and produced discs, which makes sense.

    I seem to recall that Phillips released the CD-I toolkit and officially or unofficially, it got into the wild and early developers, especially in Asia started using it, but not following the full CD-I specs, resulting in discs like the OP may have. I didn't get on the 'net until '95, and started collecting VCDs right after that, but the stories stick in my mind. Maybe from VCDHelp?
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  16. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    The Philips CD-I toolkit was a right PITA, requiring RTOS emulation hardware, and I'm betting that almost nobody developed for that spec while unlicensed.

    There is also a Philips VCD toolkit. ALSO a pain to work with (but a little bit better, as it was developed later). It created VCD 1.1-compliant (and thus bridge-CD compliant) VCDs. VCD toolkit was made available to the public in a roundabout way - I happen to still have a copy of it and have created a few titles. However, while it was helpful to use to confirm 100% compliance to WhiteBook, the reverse-engineered VCD tools command-line app (GNU VCDImager), and the spate of GUIs that were built on it (incl. VCDEasy, TSCV) along with other simple commercial offerings from Adaptec/Roxio, Cequadrat, Nero, Gear, and a bunch of others, made it a waste of time to try to wrangle with the finnicky Philips app. They were compliant 80-99% of the time (Cequadrat's VideoPack was the best, followed by WinOnCD and VCDEasy), and that was good enough. They also supported both VCD 1.1 and 2.0 (with menus & hotspots, etc). I authored a couple of dozen VCDs using VCDEasy, as well as a few others, for commercial distribution. For those in the corporate world who at the time were still too cheap to upgrade to DVD, it was a good & welcome stopgap.

    Scott
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 28th Sep 2020 at 20:08.
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  17. IsoBuster 2.0 (a very old version) did the trick. The contents of the disc showed as Track01, but the MPEGAV folder was still empty. Below Track01 was Track02 which included 2 files, and the 2nd one was the video of the disc. Extracted as mpg and works fine with sound.

    Thanks!

    p.s. did this with the image i created with alcohol, so the image was created properly.
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  18. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    In a properly made VCD, track02 shouldn't show up as a file at all, but just as a (single) datastream. But you are correct in expecting the *.DAT files to be in the MPEGAV folder (1 per subsequent track), which are filesystem links to those streams. Meaning this disc would likely not play properly in a software player. I hate that kind of CP BS.

    Glad you got it ironed out.


    Scott
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  20. sooo just curious, is it intentional protection to make it hard to copy? or just someone who doesn't know how to make a vcd properly?
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  21. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    The former - it would have to be deliberate to make it not be (easily) rippable AND still be able to play in a hardware player.


    Scott
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  22. Makes sense, thanks.
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