Burning (Super) VideoCDs with VCDGear and BurnAtOnce

The idea and motivation for this guide is to introduce an efficient, easy and file error tolerant way of burning (S)VCDs. In this guide we are using only freeware tools for the job. In this guide we presume that the MPEG video files, or BIN/CUE CD image files are not authored by yourself, so there is not guaranty about their quality. It is actually surprising how many video files that are on the Internet are corrupted or incorrectly authored.

Step 1. VCDGear and its options

VCDGear is a compact, but a very powerful tool for authoring and manipulating (Super) VideoCDs. It can construct BIN/CUE images from .MPG files and disassemble CD images to video streams. In the process it is able to correct some of the possible errors in the files.

Check out the VCDGear options and make sure that file splitting is disabled. If you have a Philips DVD player or you have had problems in SVCD playback, then you can check "Create Philips compliant SVCD" (not shown in the picture) in the VideoCD tab. The Philips compliancy feature unfortunately has not been documented we have no 100% certainty of its function. I personally have it checked and my SVCDs have been fine on various players.

Step 2. Error checking and fixing the files

At this point you should have obtained yourself an .MPG video file or a BIN/CUE CD image. Choose conversion to MPEG and select the appropriate source file format. Check error corrections and check remove CD-i bumber (only when extracting BIN/CUEs). Click load and browse the source file. At this point VCDGear will ask you for the destination file name. Click start. The process is very fast, only few minutes. Keep on eye on the error counters.

Step 3. Authoring the (Super) Video CD image

Select the MPEG->CUE/BIN creation method. Click Add Track and browse the .MPG file created in step 2. Click Save and point the desired destination filename and path. Click start. Again VCDGear runs very quickly to author a (S)VCD image file.

Step 4. Burning with BurnAtOnce

Step 3. results a BIN/CUE which you can burn with many CD-R applications. In this guide we use the free and very handy BurnAtOnce. BAO requires a properly installed ASPI layer.

Click File menu from the top and load the BIN/CUE image created in Step 3. It is highly recommended to burn (S)VCDs to a high quality media using a slow write speed. I personally use write speeds around 4x 16x, depending on the media. In this screenshot we are burning to a 4x CD-RW, so no speed reduction is necessary. When CD-RW is used in a CD-RW compliant player, you can usually use the maximum speed available.

Check overburn and many (S)VCDs use CD-R(W) capacity to the maximum. Buffer protection enables software layer buffering, which is not totally necessary, but guarantees a smooth burning process. 32 buffers seems to be a sufficient value.

Click write and then wait for the drive to eject. Slip the burned disc to your DVD player. Its showtime.

Hopefully this article assists you in succesfully burning (S)VCDs. It also introduces you to some very high quality free software. As usual, proceed to our forums for feedback or further assistance
Written by: Lasse Penttinen