Repair non-compilant VCD MPEG-videos

Every now and then you find one of those MPEG-1 files that is otherwise OK -- resolution, bitrate, etc match to the VCD specs -- but your VCD authoring tool (whether its Nero or VCDEasy) complains about the file. Normally the complains relate to invalid stream info in the MPEG-1 file.

In this guide we try to make these files VCD-compliant by re-generating the MPEG stream. Please note that if your file is really, actually broken, following these instructions wont help you in any way.


First of all, you obviously need to have free HDD space -- if the file you plan to "fix" is about 600MB in size, you need 1.2GB of free space (so, double the size of the file).

In addition to this, you need to have couple of tools:

Spot the non-compliant stream

One of the easiest ways to spot the non-compliant VCD stream is to open Nero and select VideoCD format and add the .mpg file to the layout. By default, Nero will then scan through the file and try to determine whether the file is VCD-compliant or not.

In this picture you see a typical error message caused by a non-compliant VCD stream.


TMPGEnc is the main tool here, it can demux and multiplex MPEG-1 streams easily.

First, go to MPEG Tools menu.

Simple De-multiplex

Now, go to the Simple De-multiplex tab and click the Browse button next to the Input textbox. Now, locate the non-compliant file and select it.

By default TMPGEnc will use the same directory for outputting the demuxed files -- if this harddrive is short of free space, simply change the Video output and Audio output folders to something else.

After that's done, click the Run button and wait for couple of minutes (depends on your system speed and harddrive speed) for demux process to finish.

Simple Multiplex

Next step is to go to the Simple Multiplex tab and change the Type to MPEG-1 Video-CD.

Then, click the Browse button next to Video input line and select the .m1v file the demux process generated for you in previous step. Then click Open.

Now, if the audio file was stored in the same directory, the Audio input selection is now also done -- if not, select this one separately from the folder where you saved it in previous step.

Finally, make sure that the Output folder has enough space to rewrite the new VCD-compliant MPEG-1 file. Also, if you don't want to overwrite the original .mpg and you're using the same directory as a working folder, please rename the Output filename to something different.

Then, simply click Run and TMPGEnc starts multiplexing the new MPEG-1 stream for you that has VCD-compliant stream data.


At the end of the multiplex, you might see some errors about stream underflow, etc -- these errors can cause the stream to be unwatchable on DVD player, but in most cases, they will work just fine. If your multiplexing finished without errors or warnings, you can be confident that the videos will work.

Now you're ready to author and burn the file to VideoCD. We recommend that you take a look at our guides and articles -- we have plenty of VCD-related guides available that describe burning and authoring processes as well as various other VCD-related topics.

Version history

v1.0 - 11th March, 2003 - dRD - First version online
Written by: Petteri Pyyny