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Steve Anderson wrote in about an underused feature of our favorite open source video player, VLC.

I discovered yesterday that the wonderful VLC media player has the ability not only to mount a DVD directory that’s been ripped to the hard drive, but also to play a .iso image of a DVD. Seeing as I’ve been using it for ages without knowing this was possible, I figured a lot of other people would be ignorant to this feature!

Maybe you want to test an ISO that you’ve created before burning it to a disk. Perhaps you’d like to store your DVDs to your harddisk without transcoding them, retaining all the menus and special features. Using VLC, you should be able to do either by entering a “dvd:” url in the Open dialog box.

Example URLs to Open and play a DVD ISO:

Windows - dvd://c:/somedirectory/dvdimage.iso
Linux - dvd:///home/username/dvdimages/dvdimage.iso

Example URLs to Open and play a ripped DVD folder:

Windows - dvd://c:/somedirectory/DVDFOLDER
Linux - dvd:///home/username/dvdcopies/DVDFOLDER

Resources:
VLC DVD Trick – Link
Get VLC – Link


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Comments

  1. GitarGr8 says:

    Another option is to just use Daemon Tools and mount the iso image as a virtual drive. It’s cool though that VLC supports ISOs directly…

  2. usul_of_arakis says:

    I personally think Xine does this better under Linux.

    xine dvd:///home/username/dvdimages/dvdimage.iso

  3. Sprinx says:

    I recently started ripping DVD’s to hard disk folder instead of ISO because I got a new HTPC w/ Vista Media Center on it. I was trying to find out how to use my other non-VMC PC’s to open the folders as a navigable DVD. So, I opened two sites from Google with “open in new tab.” The first one provided the solution “Open DVD” (I was trying “Open Folder,” which kinda worked, but not really). So, I opened the folder (as a disc) of the latest MI-5 Vol. 4 disc from Netflix that I’ve been ordering, and it worked great. Then, I closed it and looked at the other page that I had opened (this page). And it seems that I had been watching the exact same episode as the picture on this page, where Fiona gets spotted by someone who shouldn’t have seen her (I still haven’t watched the rest of the episode). I just couldn’t believe that happened, and I’m sure the two people that read this post will be amazed at my story =)

    Anyway, I’ve definitely enjoyed using VLC, especially for playing mp4′s without having to install QuickTime (and iTunes, and Safari, and 5 constantly running services and updaters for the iPods and iPhones I will never buy).

  4. Derek says:

    I have exercise DVD’s that I have backed up to my hard drive in ISO format and use them regularly. I created simple batch files for each disc to automate this process. I have the file call up VLC and then input the exact commands from the “Customize” line as shown above. No more switching back slashes to forward slashes, and I don’t have to manually input dvd:// anymore!