Creating VideoCDs using Nero - Burning Rom

VideoCDs are an excellent media for storing your video files. With modern day computers compressing a VideoCD compilant MPEG-file takes just a couple of hours. And with CD-RW -drives being standard on just about every new computer system, there's no reason for not taking full advantage of the medium.

To follow this guide you will need:
·Video file(s) compressed in VideoCD compilant MPEG format using e.g. TMPGEnc. (see our VideoCD guides for more information on creating VideoCD compilant MPEG-files)
·Nero Burning Rom CD-recording software (demo version)

Set to go? Good!

Creating a new project

After launcing Nero Burning Rom you are presented with the New Compilation dialog. Scroll down the list until you see the Video-CD -option. Choose it.

If your video files are in PAL format, choose the PAL -radio-button in the Encoding resolution tab. If they are in NTSC format, choose NTSC. The selection of encoding format also affects the format of the menu screen.

Enable the menu screen

If you want to create a fancy menu screen for your VideoCD, click on the Menu-tab and check the Enable menu -box.

Creating a menu makes it a lot easier for you, and others, to access the VideoCD. Unfortunately you cannot create the likes of fancy menus you see on DVDs, but it's still much better than nothing, don't you think?

Choose a layout for the menu

Next you should choose a layout for your menu. Don't worry. If you don't know what kind of a menu you should choose, you can change the layout later by just coming back to the menu screen. I suggest choosing one of the thumbnail -options. Just click on the Layout -selection and choose, for example, 6 thumbnails.

You can also give a title text for your VideoCD, change the typeface and colour of the fonts etc. These, of course, can also be edited later on as well.

After choosing the layout, click on the New button on the New Compilation window.

Add the video files

Now that you've got the basic interface for the VideoCD, it's time to add some content. There are numerous ways of doing this. You can drag & drop the files to the track list, use the right mouse button to Add files... using the standard Windows requester, or find the files using the File Browser on the right side of the Nero window.

After adding the files, your track list should look similar to the picture on the right.

Edit the pause between the tracks

By default Nero adds a five second pause between all the tracks. In most of the cases this is either undesirable or outright annoying. You can get rid of the pause by choosing all the tracks, clicking the right mouse button, and choosing Properties.... Of course you can also skip this step or edit the pause individualy for each track. Make sure you leave the delay for the menu screen to Infinite.

Edit the title of the track and choose a thumbnail

Next you'll probably want to edit the names of the tracks a bit. Nero uses the body of the filename as a default title. You can edit this by clicking on the track and choosing Properties.... Next click the Menu-tab and enter a title of your liking. You can also change the thumbnail picture for the menu screen by scanning to an appropriate position of the video using the slider.

Verify the contents

After editing all the titles your track list should look something like this. Altogether you can fit 74-99 minutes of video on a single VideoCD depending on the size of the CD-R media you are using. However using a medium with a capacity larger than 80 minutes is not advisable, since some DVD-players may have problems with such discs.

Preview the menu

You're probably interested in seeing how the menu looks like on the final disc. This can be done by opening up the disc properties and choosing the Menu-tab (either by right-clicking on the name of the VideoCD and choosing Properties... or opening the File..., Compilation info... from the pulldown menu).

On the menu tab click on the checkbox next to Preview first page to see what the first page of the menu structure looks like. If the menu doesn't fit on one page, Nero will automatically divide the titles on several pages. All the menu pages will have a layout similar to the first page. You can preview the other menu pages by double clicking on them in the track list.

Toast it!

The only remaining step is to write the VideoCD on a CD-R or CD-RW medium. Just open up the Write CD-dialog, and check the Write and Finalize CD checkboxes. Leave the other two boxes unchecked.

I know you're eager to click on the Write-button by now, but there are a couple of things to bear in mind before you do.
If you ever intend to view the VideoCD on a standalone player, it's highly advisable to

  1. use a high-quality CD-R medium (not those $0.05 a piece -discs)
  2. avoid using CD-RW discs for long-term storage, and
  3. limit the write speed to 4x or less

It might sound strange, but many DVD-players have difficulties with CD-Rs written at high speeds.

Okay. Now that we've got everything settled it's time to click on that Write-button, wait a couple of minutes, and enjoy the results!

If you have questions regarding this guide, VideoCDs in general or just about anything, please don't hesitate to visit our discussion forums and ask! We are here to help You!

Written by: Jari Ketola