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Creating Video CD's (VCD)

The Video CD (or VCD) is a very flexible medium for digital video, It has been around since 1993, and is supported by most high quality DVD players. The VCD typically holds about an hour of television quality video and audio. This page shows you how to create simple VCD's with a single track, or a simple VCD with multiple tracks but no fancy menu screen. For more advanced VCD authoring, see the excellent tutorial at the vcdimager guides page.

Note: You need to have the videos in MPEG format, not AVI or MOV. To convert an AVI to MPG, see the AVI->MPG Conversion Page.

Preliminary, One-time Setup
Before you can create VCD's, you must make sure the vcdimager and the cdrdao packages are installed. With over 200 Linux distributions out there, you are pretty much on your own. SuSE, Red Hat, and Mandrake uses need only to use RPM to ensure these packages are installed.

Next, ensure the cdrdao binary is suid root. Do this by issuing the chmod command as root as shown:

# ls -l /usr/bin/cdrdao
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 616830 Sep 23 2001 /usr/bin/cdrdao
# chmod 4755 /usr/bin/cdrdao
# ls -lc /usr/bin/cdrdao
-rwsr-xr-x 1 root root 616830 Nov 17 22:36 /usr/bin/cdrdao
#

Note: If your cdrdao binary is already suid root, you can skip this step.

Simple One Track VCD
Create a working directory, say vcd in your home directory. Then issue the magic comamnds assuming you are making a VCD from the file my_test_movie.mpg. Are you ready for this?

$ ~/vcd> vcdimager my_test_movie.mpg
$ ~/vcd> cdrdao write videocd.cue

That's it. I removed all of the messages that will be displayed, but that's it! Enjoy!


Simple Multi Track VCD
This one is just as tough. Assume you have three movies named my_test_movie_intro.mpg, my_test_movie_act_1.mpg, and my_test_movie_finale.mpg:

$ ~/vcd> vcdimager my_test_movie_intro.mpg my_test_movie_act_1.mpg 
my_test_movie_finale.mpg
$ ~/vcd> cdrdao write videocd.cue


Enjoy your Video CD's!

Content Copyright 2003-2014 George Toft