2 minute read

I’ve been trying to make a VCD (a CD that’s playable in some DVD players) lately. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much success. My parents (back in California) wanted to see a video of my house. I didn’t really want to take a video and record it on a VCR tape. So, I thought that it would be kind of cool to make a slide show of all of pictures we had taken and put it on a DVD. Since I don’t have a DVD burner, I figure that a VCD was the next best thing.

It took me less than ten minutes to make my sample movie (using Microsoft’s Movie Maker), but it took me well over an hour to get it onto a CD. At first, Windows stopped recognizing my CD-RW drive. The problem was a corrupted driver. It only took me a minute to find the drivers online. However, the driver program was supposed to be unpacked to a floppy disk. I’ve got floppy drives on all of my systems, but I don’t have floppy disks anymore. Ugh. I tried making a virtual drive on my computer (using SUBST), but the driver program couldn’t be fooled. Ten more minutes of searching got me a usable driver.

Movie Maker was able to burn the movie to the CD. But, Movie Maker doesn’t burn using the VCD format. I tried using Easy CD Creator to burn the movie, but it couldn’t recognize Movie Maker’s output (WMV). After ten minutes of searching, I finally found a program that would convert from Movie Maker’s format to format that’s suitable for a VCD (MPEG). Well, at least that’s what the program said it would do. Easy CD Creator wasn’t able to read it correctly, so I had to find another converter.

After finally getting the movie converted, Easy CD Creator kindly informed me that it couldn’t recognize my CD-RW drive. Ugh. After spending another twenty minutes downloading the necessary patches I was eventually able to burn my movie in VCD format. It worked on my computer’s DVD drive without any problems. It didn’t work, however, on my DVD player. I knew that was going to be a possibility so I wasn’t too worried; my DVD player is fairly old (as far as DVD players are concerned).

I went to my parents-in-law’s house to try on their player. The movie started the first time! So, I stopped the movie so everyone could come into the room and watch. It never played again. Sometimes it would recognize the disk as an audio disk. Sometimes it would recognize the disk at all. After a half hour, I finally gave up. I’ll try again another day.

Tagline for today: “Electricity can be dangerous. My nephew tried to stick a penny into a plug. Whoever said a penny doesn’t go far didn’t see him shoot across that floor. I told him he was grounded.” –Tim Allen