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Sat, Apr 03, 2010 12:49 pm

Playing VOB Files with VLC

A Video Object (VOB) file is a container format in DVD-Video media. VOB can contain video, audio, subtitle and menu contents multiplexed together into a stream form. VOB is based on the MPEG program stream format, but with additional limitations and specifications in the private streams. The MPEG program stream has provisions for non-standard data (as used in VOB files) in the form of so-called private streams. VOB files are a very strict subset of the MPEG program stream standard. While all VOB files are MPEG program streams, not all MPEG program streams comply with the definition for a VOB file.

You can play .VOB files with applications such as PowerDVD, VLC media player, and WinDVD.

The VLC media player is free. It is a highly portable multimedia player and multimedia framework capable of reading most audio and video formats (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, DivX, MPEG-1, mp3, ogg, aac ...) as well as DVDs, Audio CDs VCDs, and various streaming protocols.

The VLC setup file, vlc-1.0.5-win32.exe uses the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System (NSIS) for the installation.

[/os/windows/software/audio-video/VOB] permanent link

Sat, Apr 03, 2010 11:32 am

Combined Community Codec Pack

A family member needed to play .mkv video files. The .mkv extension is used for Matroska video files. Matroska is an extensible open source, standard multimedia container. Matroska is usually found as .MKV files (matroska video), .MKA files (matroska audio) and .MKS files (subtitles). The developer home page is located at Matroska Media Container. There is a downloads link there for CCCP (Combined Community Codec Pack), which takes you to the Combined Community Codec Pack website.

The installation file uses the Inno Setup installation system. If you have any concerns about the safety of the software you might install, I've provided links to the malware scan reports for the 2009-09-09 version of the Combined Community Codec Pack below. Virustotal is a "service that analyzes suspicious files and facilitates the quick detection of viruses, worms, trojans, and all kinds of malware detected by antivirus engines." VirSCAN provides a similar service. Both sites scan uploaded files with multiple antivirus programs; none found any malware within the codec pack setup file.


When you install the 2009-09-09 version of the codec pack, you can choose from the following components. All will be installed by default unless you deselect them.

CoreWavPack 1.1.1
FFDShow Tryout r3065 2009-08-30
FLV Splitter r1264
Haali Media Splitter 2009-01-11
MPV (MPEG2) Decoder r1264
VSFilter 2.39 r1264
Media Player Classic Homecinema 1.3.1264

If you install all of the above, you will need at least 22.3 MB of free disk space. By default, a "Combined Community Codec Pack" folder will be created beneath the Start Menu with shorcuts for the codec pack.

Under Select Additional Tasks, you also have the following options:

  Set Perceived Types
  Register Extensions in Windows Media Player
Haali Media Splitter
  Enable Shell Extensions
    Enable Thumbnails

The "general" ones are selected by default, but not the "Haali Media Splitter" options. I selected those as well. You can also choose to open the settings window for the application during the installation.

The Combined Community Codec Pack provides support for the following FFDShow Video Decoders:

Flash Video (FLV1 & FLV4)
Generic MPEG4

The following FFDShow Audio Decoders are supported:

True Audio

CCCP Decoders

You can also change the file associations for various file types, such as .avi, .mkv, .mp4, and .ogm files.

CCCP General Settings

To be able to play those files by just double-clicking on them, you may need to change file associations. For instance, under Windows 7, if you want to play the files with Windows Media Player, you can right-click on a file of one of those types, e.g., an .mkv file, and choose Properties. Then click on the Change button to change the "opens with" application.

[/os/windows/software/audio-video/MKV] permanent link

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