Rip a VCD

Rip a VCD

Use vcdxrip from the VCDImager tool suite to extract MPEG video out of VCDs and SVCDs.

Video comes in all shapes, sizes, and formats. DVDs are great, but the video does take up a lot of space on a hard drive and until recently backing up a DVD to another DVD required expensive equipment. Alternate formats to DVDs, including VCD and SVCD, have been around for some time. These formats squeeze a video onto a CD instead of DVD using MPEG1 or MPEG2 video, respectively. The result is a much smaller file (albeit with lower quality) that you can burn onto inexpensive blank CDs and play back in many modern DVD players (most support VCDs if not both VCDs and SVCDs).

If you happen to have a video in VCD or SVCD format and would like to change the video or extract the MPEG from the CD, the VCDImager suite of tools ( has a solution in the form of vcdxrip. vcdxrip is included in the VCDImager suite and allows you to extract the MPEG and XML files inside a VCD or SVCD, all from the command line.

By default vcdxrip attempts to rip from the default CD-ROM device. To extract the MPEG from a VCD or SVCD burned onto a CD, put the CD into the CD-ROM drive and type:

	$ vcdxrip

vcdxrip will dump the resulting XML file and MPEG file (or multiple files if the CD has more than one track) to the current directory:


This is the first video track of the VCD in MPEG format. Each subsequent track is incremented accordingly.


A VCDImager-compatible XML file that describes the VCD's structure.

If you have VCD files that haven't yet been burned to a CD, you can point vcdxrip at the .cue or .bin files with the -c and -b options respectively:

	$ vcdxrip -b videocd.bin

The -p option will provide progress output so you can see how much further you have to go in a rip. For multi-track VCDs, you can even specify a specific track to rip with the -t option. In the case that you simply want to extract the XML file and aren't interested in the MPEG, you can use the --norip option.

If you want to convert VCD files into MPEG for a video player, note that many Linux-based video players can play both VCDs and the VCD .bin files without any extra extraction. Just point the video player to the .bin file.

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