Home > Uncategorized > A quick way to make Windows Media Player play a Video-CD (VCD)

A quick way to make Windows Media Player play a Video-CD (VCD)

Some versions of Windows Media Player aren’t playing Video-CD disks by default, unless you install some DirectShow filters like the ones from codecs.com, like the DScaler MPEG filters package. However, since Super Video-CD [SVCD] is practically a MPEG2 file with some menus etc., you can trick Media Player to play it anyway, either by copying the .DAT file from the CD’s MPEGAV folder and renaming it to a .MPG file extension, or by creating an .ASX file that references that .DAT file.

Create a file named PlayVCD.asx (or whatever name you want with .ASX file extension) on your desktop using Wordpad or similar text editor (better use Wordpad rather than Notepad cause the later tends to append the .txt file extension so you may end up with a text file named PlayVCD.asx.txt and you would then have to tell Windows Explorer to show registered file extensions in order to rename the file to just .asx, or rename it from the command-line)

<ASX Version = "3.0">
<Entry>
  <Ref href = "G:\MPEGAV\AVSEQ01.DAT" />
</Entry>
</ASX>

Assuming G: is your CD/DVD drive letter. BTW, AVSEQ01.DAT seems to be the name of the first video file (the rest are found automatically by the player) to be played, but if you find elsewhere for some specific SVCD, you can edit that name as well.

More advanced users could also customize the right click menu for the CD/DVD drive, adding a "Play VCD" action that issues say the command "cmd /c start c:\PlayVCD.asx" assuming the "PlayVCD.asx" file has been placed at the root folder of disk C: (or can even try "start c:\PlayVCD.asx" in case it works directly without launching it via the command line interpreter).

Now if you’re making your own SVCD, if the user has autoplay enabled and installed the DScaler filters, it should play. However in case the user doesn’t have those filters installed or they’ve disabled autoplay for security reasons and WMP is the default media player, you can also add a PlayMe.asx text file at the root folder of the CD like above, but remove the drive name:

<ASX Version = "3.0">
<Entry>
  <Ref href = "MPEGAV\AVSEQ01.DAT" />
</Entry>
</ASX>

For users who have autorun enabled and they don’t have DScaler filter installed you can add apart from the PlayMe.asx an autorun.inf file with the following contents at the root folder of the CD for convenience, telling Windows to open the PlayMe.asx file automatically upon CD insertion.

[autorun]
ShellExecute=PlayMe.asx

Now if only we could similarly trick XBox360 to play Video-CD disks (or even better if Xbox360 supported playback of VCD disks out of the box) it would be extra nice…

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