Extracting a DVD file from a DVD

Software name : Avidemux
Software version : 2.4

This is something you might want to do if you are creating a compilation DVD or adding language support to a DVD. You'll need to extract an MPEG-2 file from the DVD in order to use it in a DVD authoring program. If the DVD is encrypted this will not work and you will need to decrypt the DVD first (we will not look at how to decrypt DVDs here).

If you want to save a video file of a different kind (mp4 or xvid avi) then you should follow the first part of this chapter and then follow the instructions in other chapters.

Opening your DVD file

To extract the MPEG-2 file we need to import one or several VOB files that make up the content of the DVD.

To see more clearly what this means have a look at the structure of a DVD. If you insert one into a computer and use a file browser to look at what is on the disk you will see a VIDEO_TS directory and some files of various names inside of it. For example, you might see something like this :


It is the large VOB files that we are interested in. VOB means Video OBjects, so it might sound like these files are just video files but they also contain audio and subtitle information. To make it a little more confusing, VOB files can actually contain more than one video file - this would be the case for a DVD that lets you switch perspective (camera angle) for example.

Some of the VOB files also contain menu information. The first VOB file we see in this example that is likely to contain a Video is VTS_01_1.VOB. To test if it is the one you want you might try to open the file in a player like VLC player.

The other thing we are likely to see when opening a DVD VIDEO_TS file is several large video files of the same size followed by a smaller one. This is likely to be a large film, as there is a maximum filesize on DVD's of just over 1GB.


However sometimes there might be several films that are divided up by 'chapters'.

To import these VOB files into Avidemux Select 'File' from the Avidemux top menu and choose 'Open' :

avidemux open

You will now see a file browser and you must locate the DVD and open the VIDEO_TS folder :


Now you need to locate the VOB file you wish to extract. Just highlight it and press on the 'Open' button at the bottom left - we will choose the VTS__01_0.VOB file in the example above. This will open up a small window which will ask you if you wish to index the file:


Its a good idea to index the file so press 'YES' (infact Avidemux won't open MPEG files that are not indexed). If there are more than one VOB file in the directory then Avidemux will ask you if you wish to append the files :


You can press 'Yes' if you wish to append (join) the files together.  If this doesn't happen (or if you click on 'No') then you can add the files manually by clicking on selecting 'File' from the top menu of Avidemux and clicking on 'Append'.


Using the 'Append' will enable you to choose one or more additional VOB files to join together. This adds the contents of the other files without disgarding the first one you opened. However we are not going to do this in this example, instead we will just press 'No' and then we will see a box telling us that the VOB file we have chosen is being indexed :


This might take a while depending on the size of your file and how fast your machine is. When this process is finished then Avidemux will open the file, this will take a while also. While this is happening you should see a dialog like this :


When this dialogue box has finished you are ready to change the settings to save your file. If you don't want to create an Mpeg2 (DVD compliant file) then you should follow instructions in other chapters.

Changing settings and saving as Mpeg2 file

We don't want to re-encode the Video and Audio as they are already compatable for a DVD but we do want to change the container to a VIDEO - PS. To do this click on 'Format' on the front of Avidemux and choose MPEG PS :


Then choose 'Save' :


You will be presented with a pop-up browser window


In the top text field you need to type a name for the file you will save (make sure it ends with '.mpg') and then press 'Save' at the bottom right of the above window. You will see a progress bar displaying how the save process is going:


When the process is finished you will not receive any feedback but you will find the file where you told Avidemux to save it.