Wed Jul 22 19:02:54 PDT 2015

How to Create VCDs

Almost all DVD players can also play VCD format disks. VCD format disks are made with normal CD media and so are less expensive than DVD disks. VCD cannot store as much information as DVD (which translates to shorter movie lengths). But if you are making DVDs which do not run for hours - you can probably use VCD instead of DVD and save money. Here are the commands necessary to create a VCD disk from a flash (flv) file. We will take the example flash file 'example.flv'. First you need to convert your flash file to mpg, and at the same time we will also use ffmpeg to convert the flash file to the standard required by VCD (using the -target ntsc-vcd option). I found that it was also necessary to make sure that there were two audio channels (the -ac 2 option).

ffmpeg.exe -i example.flv -target ntsc-vcd -ac 2 temp.mpg

The next step is to create the VCD image. The tool to use for this is "vcdimager". The following command line takes the temp.mpg file and converts it to a disk image/cue file pair that can be used to burn the VCD disk.

vcdimager -t vcd2 -l "Example" -c vcd.cue -b vcd.bin temp.mpg

(If you have multiple mpg files to add to the disk just replace 'temp.mpg' with 'temp1.mpg temp2.mpg temp3.mpg' etc.) For the burn operation, use cdrdao. Here is the command line that I used on Cygwin on Windows XP.

cdrdao write --device 1,0,0 --driver generic-mmc-raw --force --speed 4 vcd.cue

Getting cdrdao working on Cygwin took a minor amount of effort - I will post a note on how to do that in the near future. On Linux you should have no problems whatsoever. If you follow these directions, you'll be able to save and share VCDs of anything that starts life as a flash movie file (flv) - or any other format that ffmpeg can deal with.

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