All About VCD on Mac and Windows


What is a VCD?

A Video CD (VCD) is a video format that uses ordinary recordable CD media to store movies instead of using a DVD or a VHS tape. VCDs use the MPEG-1 file format, so you get about 60 minutes of video on a CD, with about the same quality of playback as a VHS tape.

How to Play VCD on Mac

VCDs can be played in almost anything, including: both Windows and Macintosh computers, with VCD Player software VCD player hardware a DVD player many video game machines (consult your owner’s manual) VCDs are fairly platform-independent and easily played by most people with their existing hardware. When we first developed our player, MacVCD X, we were the only player that supported the VCD format on Mac OS X. When looking for a player, find one that supports automatic file chaining. VCD content is frequently stored on a number of smaller files. If your player doesn’t automatically find, load and play them for you in sequence, you’ll have to find each file yourself and press play – very annoying, especially in the middle of an exciting action sequence.

How to Play a VCD using QuickTime Player (Mac)

QuickTime Player will play a Video CD (VCD), but doesn’t recognize the VCD format, so it will not find the video files on the disk and play them in order. You have to find each of the videos files for it and then open them. To play a VCD with QuickTime Player:

  1. Launch QuickTime Player.
  2. Insert the VCD in the CD Drive.
  3. From the menu bar, open the MPEGAV folder on the VCD you want to play (File>Open File>”Video CD” Name>MPEGAV
  4. Select the first file and click the “Open” button. On the Player window, click the play button (>).
  5. Adjust the screen size. For full screen playback, upgrade to QuickTime Player Pro ($29.99).
  6. When QTP has played the file, open the MPEGAV folder again, open the next file and click the play button. Repeat this step until you have played the entire movie.

How to Play a VCD using MacVCD Video Player (Mac)

MacVCD video Player will play Video CD (VCD), and it recognizes the VCD format, so it will find the video files on the disk, chain them together and play them. To play a VCD with MacVCD Video Player:

  1. Launch MacVCD X (Mac OS X)
  2. Insert a VCD in to the CD drive. It will play automatically.
  3. Adjust the screen size. When it’s finished, the VCD will automatically eject. Insert the next VCD.

How to Play a VCD using Windows Media Player (Windows)

A newer version of Windows Media Player recognizes the Video CD (VCD) format, finds the video files on the disk and plays them in order. With an older version of Windows Media Player, you have to find each of the videos files for it and then open them.

  1. Launch Windows Media Player.
  2. Insert the VCD in to the CD Drive.
  3. From the menu bar, select the VCD you want to play.
  4. If it doesn’t begin playing automatically, press the Play (>) button.
  5. Adjust the screen size.
  6. (Using an older version of Windows Media Player): When WMP has played the file, open the MPEGAV folder again, open the next file and click the play button. Repeat this step until you have played the entire movie.

Other Players

How to Convert video to VCD on Mac

To make a VCD, you need to

  • Convert the video files from their current format to VCD
  • Create the disk image
  • Burn the disc

When looking for software, make sure you get both converter software and burner software.

More Information about VCD