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Convert VideoCD DAT Movies To MPEG


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January 2nd 2007
February 23rd 2009






The easiest way to convert the DAT movie files within a VideoCD disc to a common movie file format like MPEG is to use a free application called VCDGear. You can download a copy of VCDGear here...

Remember to download a version for Windows -- however, if you want to use this tutorial for a Mac version of VCDGear, you can still make it work with a few differences.

Installing VCDGear is simple since it's a single EXE file that you run -- most of the time, it's called vcdgear.exe

Thereafter, follow these instructions:

  1. Place the VideoCD in your CD or DVD drive, and if you are prompted with an autorun option that offers to play the VideoCD for you, just click Cancel.

  2. Now, open the MPEGAV folder within the VideoCD, as shown in Figure 1.

    mpegav
    Figure 1: The MPEGAV folder

  3. Depending upon your VideoCD, you'll find one or more files with a DAT extension within this folder. Copy any of these DAT files to your hard disk.

  4. Launch the VCDGear application by double-clicking the EXE file. Soon, you'll see the VCDGear interface that provides a bewildering arrays of options as shown in Figure 2 -- for reasons of simplicity, we'll only explore the options that are required for this tutorial.

    interface
    Figure 2: The interface

  5. Click the vcdgear button. Then, access the Extraction/Conversion drop down list and choose the dat -> mpeg option, as shown in Figure 3.

    dat to mpg
    Figure 3: Choose the conversion option

  6. Several check boxes are available for this conversion -- but they are all optional. You might want to try working with them.

  7. Click on the Load button, which summons a dialog box that allows you to navigate and choose your DAT file.

  8. Immediately thereafter, another dialog box prompts you for the name and location of your MPEG output -- provide these details, and click the Save button to get back to the VCDGear interface.

  9. Finally, click on Start button -- and wait and watch as VCDGear creates a MPEG file from the VideoCD DAT file.

Note: Some VideoCD DAT files can be very long -- so you might want to make smaller movie clips of the MPEG output file -- but that's something I'll cover in another tutorial.

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