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How To Play A VCD (Video CD) On a Computer

You may have a VCD (Video CD) but you don't have access to a DVD or iCD set top player to play it on, or it might be in a different television standard than yours (PAL vs NTSC). However, the VCD can still be played on any standard computer if you know how, using Windows Media Player with one of the 3 methods below.


Method 1

To play this VCD movie on a PC, place the disc in the CD-ROM player (wait 20 seconds), open Windows Media Player & menu under File/Open. In the space where it says "Open" type the drive letter for the CD-ROM followed by :MPEGAV\AVSEQ01.DAT   Now click OK & the movie should load & be ready to play. If that doesn't work, click on browse & locate the AVSEQ01.DAT movie on the CD-ROM (it's in the MPEGAV folder).

Note: To open Windows Media Player double click on it's icon if you have one on your desktop. If you don't have an icon on your desktop for WMP, menu under Start/Programs/Accessories & locate the Windows Media Player (in Windows ME it in the "Entertainment" folder, in Windows NT it's in the "Multimedia" folder). Windows Media Player is built in to Windows 98, Windows ME & Windows 2000, but it is also a free download for Windows 95, Windows NT & Mac users at link


Method 2

Download the small AutoVCD.exe (58k) file from the Free Effects, Utilities, & Test Clips page. Once downloaded to your computer, double clicked on this file & it will find & launch the Windows Media Player on your computer (if installed) & load up the AVSEQ01.DAT MPEG1 movie on the VCD (Video CD) from the first CD-ROM drive it sees. If this doesn't work & you have more than 1 CD-ROM drives, place the VCD in the other drive (wait 20 seconds) & try double clicking on the AutoVCD.exe file again. This method saves you having to manually look for the Windows Media Player & the AVSEQ01.DAT movie if you don't know where they are located. The AutoVCD.exe file usually launches the movie to full screen size, but if you prefer to see it in the smaller native 100% size, simultaneously press the ALT & 2 keys on your keyboard. The original zipped version of AutoVCD.exe is available at link


Method 3

If you have enough hard drive space, copy the AVSEQ01.DAT movie to your hard drive, then rename the file suffix from .DAT to .MPG   Now if you double click on the AVSEQ01.MPG movie it will automatically launch your default MPEG1 movie player (Windows Media Player or QuickTime 5 player).

Note: The QuickTime 5 player on the PC, or QuickTime 4 or 5 on the Mac can play an MPEG1 movie but only if it has a .MPG suffix (not if it has the .DAT suffix used on VCD discs). You can download the free QuickTime 5 player at link

By Doug Hembruff.
Last updated June 22/2001.

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