Preferred DVD Import Software?

Brooke wrote on 12/2/2011, 5:08 PM
Is there a fairly clean and innocuous piece of conversion software out there that allows me to drop unprotected DVDs onto the VP11 timeline relatively intact?

I've played around with HandBreak and a few others, but they're more concerned with space-efficient ripping, than preserving what little quality is left on the DVD. Also, based on prior experience, I'm reluctant to put Nero on this edit system because of the way it used to take over the whole machine.

I struggle with clients thinking they can give me a finished DVD of their material to use as a master, rather that giving me something closer to the native files when they still need modifications. Now, my largest client and good friend died before I could obtain his original masters or re-shoot everything for him myself, and we want to repackage all his material from our DVD masters.

I was kind of hoping VP11 would have an improved import capability for handling VOB files when I can't get a better source, so I was wondering what some of you have been happy using lately?


John_Cline wrote on 12/2/2011, 5:29 PM
I use an old freeware program called "DVD Shrink v3.2" to copy unprotected DVDs. I load the DVD, get into the "Re-author" mode, select the stream I want and go to the "Backup" mode and save the file. In order to get the entire file in one continuous piece, you will need to get into "Preferences" and uncheck the "Split VOB files into 1GB chunks."
PeterDuke wrote on 12/2/2011, 7:30 PM
I usually just concatenate the main VOB files from a command window with say

copy /b VTS_01_1.VOB+VTS_01_2.VOB+VTS_01_3.VOB video.mpg

Sometimes the output file (video.mpg) benefits from having cobwebs swept out with say VideoReDo.
DavidMcKnight wrote on 12/2/2011, 10:10 PM
+1 for DVD Shrink ala John Cline's post.
willqen wrote on 12/3/2011, 2:35 AM
I usually just use the import camera disc files function in Vegas.

It seems to do a good job.

Has anyone had a bad experience with this function?

I lay the clips right on the timeline from the project media files section where the import function leaves them.

It will import any video files off any unprotected DVD, camera disc or regular DVD-R or whatever.

Chienworks wrote on 12/3/2011, 6:59 AM
The really *REALLY* bad thing about Vegas Import function is that it splits the files at chapter markers, and when you lay these separate files next to each other on the timeline there's a tiny audio gap at the end of each one.

Absolute fatal flaw.

What the function needs is just an incredibly simple and obvious option for "do not split file at chapter markers." Amazing oversite. It would also need to be able to "stream" over the .vob breaks as well.

It just works so much better to manually copy the .vob files and use copy /b to concatenate them.
johnmeyer wrote on 12/3/2011, 10:08 AM
I've posted about this dozens of times before. You can search on my user name and "DVD VOB".

Here is a short version from one of those posts:

1. Use the DVD import feature in Vegas, as already mentioned. However, I find that this often does not work.

2. Rename the VOB file extension to MPG. I never thought this really worked, but I was helping a guy five days ago over the phone, and I really was in a hurry to get on to something else, so I told him to just rename the file and drop it on the timeline. It worked immediately.

3. Use DVD Decrypter or DVD Shrink to copy the DVD from disc to hard drive. Make sure to first set the program to copy the multiple VOB files into a single VOB file. This usually doesn't cure the truncation issue, but is does cure the other problem you will have, namely the discontinuity (both video and audio) at the boundary between VOB files.

4. Purchase Womble MPEG-VCR or VideoRedo (I forget who makes this). Either one will take the VOB file and create a standard MPEG-2 file that Vegas will play. The first three options above often don't work. By contrast, this almost always works. I use Womble. The price is only $19.

5. Use DGIndex and VFAPIConv to frameserve the VOB (created in #3 above) into Vegas. This always works, but is very tricky to set up and use. If you are interested, I posted a "quick & dirty" tutorial on my Youtube page (search for johnmeyer77) on how to do this.

I would start with #3 above. The key thing to using that approach is that you have to change the preference that forces either of the two programs to put the entire VOB into one file. However, if your DVD has multiple tracks (more than one audio track, subtitles, angles, etc.) this approach will give you one VOB, but when you put that VOB in Vegas, you may find that it is only about two minutes in length. In this case, you must use #5 above. The approach always works (I've done dozens, if not hundreds, of DVDs this way). The only caveat is that I don't think the ancient VFAPIConv (English version) hack works under Windows 7 (well, it probably does, but I haven't had to do it, so I don't know what changes to Windows 7 have to be done to allow it to run).

Here is the YouTube tutorial on how to use this hack:

[edit]I found links to some of my previous posts on this subject:

How to edit VOB files in Vegas using DVD Shrink

VOB edit using DGIndex

Straight path for reauthoring VOB file re-authoring

[/end edit]
Opampman wrote on 12/3/2011, 10:05 PM
I have been wrestling with this problem forever. Tonight I finally tried John Meyer's version using DVD Shrink. It worked exactly as it should and created 1 VOB file. Vegas 7, 8, 9, and 10 would not even show the VOB file in the explorer window so I changed it to MPG. It would then open in any version of Vegas but was only about 10 seconds long. However, looking at the properties of the file it was exactly the size it should have been for the combined files. What is strange, is that the combined file plays perfectly in Windows Media Player and even opens in Windows Movie Maker but in 2 pieces. However, joining the pieces does not leave the gap in the audio as it does in Vegas. Any ideas on why Vegas still won't work right with the combined file. Thanks in advance.

musicvid10 wrote on 12/4/2011, 2:46 AM
If your DVDs are not encrypted, VideoRedo Plus will do the whole job from ripping the disc to fixing any errors to outputting a Vegas-friendly MPG file. You can also trim, split, and join on the VRD timeline if desired. Has a full-function free trial
Opampman wrote on 12/4/2011, 10:52 AM
Thank you! I was trying to find the cheap way but VideoRe is the way to go. Works flawlessly! And only a few clicks.

Brooke wrote on 12/6/2011, 1:38 AM
Thanks so much to all of you for your great advice and help. For something that appears so simple, it's been an experience. I appreciated seeing the 2004 requests to have this built into Vegas. I've thought Sony's avoidance of it might be more of a philosophical DRM issue than a practical one, going all the way back to the odd restrictions on Mini-Disc and DAT for fear of illegal recording.

Since my dual Xeon was stolen, my primary edit machine has been a 3GHz Intel Core-2 Extreme, 8MB 1600 RAM, VelociRaptor OS/render drives, Barracuda data drives, Pioneer DVR-218L on Vista64 with SP11 & ESET Smart Security 5 (my portable is a Sony i7/Win7Pro, VP10).

I started out thinking I could live with the 12-13 lost audio frames per section in Vegas, which opened fine, until I needed 36 clips across 9 DVDs for this project. I was surprised that the DVDShrink files seemed to lock up VP11 when I touched them, both as VOB and mpg, where so many people have had success with it, and it's such a nice little program for this purpose. The same thing happened concatenating the main VOB files directly, even though it ran smoothly. Womble MPEG-VCR also seemed to stall, leading me to think I must be doing something wrong or have a problem with my system.

I had the best success with VideoReDo Plus. All but one of the files transferred fine, and it was easy to use. The problem disc has two programs (49:00 & 1:07), divided into chapters. I worked on it from 2:0-6:00AM this morning, and the second program was even locking up VideoReDo, but when I returned to it tonight, it ran just fine?! I defrag regularly and the drive seems to be running smoothly at 60% capacity, so it's kind of odd.

At least all the discs are loaded and playing fine in VP11, now. I'm so grateful for the time, patience and commitment many of you contribute to this space to help us get our projects off the ground. It makes all the difference in the world.
Gary James wrote on 12/6/2011, 7:34 AM
Vegas allows you to open up a DVD .IFO file. This imports the entire .VOB chain for both video and audio tracks.

Click File / Open, then navigate to your VIDEO_TS sub directory and enter *.IFO in the File name input field. For a regular DVD you will see a VIDEO_TS.IFO, and a VTS_01_0.IFO. Select the VTS_01_0.IFO file and click on Open. Don't try this on a DVD disk because Vegas will try to build an .sfk file containing audio peaks in the VIDEO_TS directory.
Opampman wrote on 12/6/2011, 8:26 AM
Gary - I have been reading these post since before 2004 and started with Vegas 3. I don't recall EVER seeing the suggestion to use the IFO file to open a DVD on the timeline but I just tried it on 3 DVD's and it works perfectly. You can see the markers where Vegas normally splits the files and gets confused but using the IFO it plays flawlessly. Many thanks for the tip and I suggest that anyone who has tried other methods with varying success try Gary's approach. And, it's FREE. Free is good.

John_Cline wrote on 12/6/2011, 8:52 AM
Gary, that IFO trick is new to me as well. Works like a charm, it even includes the chapter marks. Thanks!
rs170a wrote on 12/6/2011, 9:26 AM
Gary, how long have you been keeping this secret from us :)
All I can say is thank you, thank you,THANK YOU !!
I plan to spread the word on this trick to as many Vegas forums as I can.

Opampman wrote on 12/6/2011, 10:05 AM
Perhaps all of us who have complained to SCS about the problems importing DVD's should apologize to The reason they never "fixed" it is because Vegas already did this and you don't need to use the import DVD function which is slow at best. Thanks again, Gary.

Gary James wrote on 12/6/2011, 2:48 PM
Gee guys, you're welcome! Actually I discovered this about a year ago. I'm not quit sure how it happened, but I believe it was by accident. Oh well.
dxdy wrote on 12/6/2011, 5:28 PM
We probably shouldn't make too big a fuss over this, they might take it away!
Gary James wrote on 12/10/2011, 2:46 PM
I don't think Sony would remove an incredibly useful feature like this. I'm just surprised they haven't documented it anywhere. I've never tried testing it, but I'm really curious how long this hidden feature has been a part of Vegas?

Anyone with older versions of Vegas installed might want to try this out!
musicvid10 wrote on 12/10/2011, 4:19 PM
I think if anyone from Sony knew this worked, they would have let us know by now. The topic has been discussed to death.
johnmeyer wrote on 12/10/2011, 4:30 PM
Wow, this is a really great find! I just opened the VTS*.IFO file for one of my DVDs and not only did it import it as one big event (perfect!), but it also imported all the chapter markers!! All I had to do was run the Promote Media Markers script and I instantly had markers at each chapter.

I do enjoy the "pro hints" that people in this forum bring to the table. Many thanks!
Opampman wrote on 12/10/2011, 4:50 PM
For what it's worth...I just opened an IFO file in Vegas 7 and it worked fine. I might just try to reinstall V3 and see if it works there but I know for sure it works in V7, VP8, VP9, VP10, VP11.

johnmeyer wrote on 12/10/2011, 4:54 PM
I forgot to post that -- I too tried it in Vegas 7 & 8 and was surprised to see that it worked. Interestingly, it worked in Vegas 8 the same way as in Vegas 10, but Vegas 7 did NOT import any of the chapter markers.

Also Vegas 10 did a lousy job of playing the video -- it was much slower and choppier than Vegas 7 or 8. This is consistent with what I have noticed: every version of Vegas after Vegas 7 seems to do a worse job playing MPEG-2 standard definition video on the timeline.
Opampman wrote on 12/10/2011, 9:32 PM
That's strange John. MPEG-2 plays fine is 7 and all subsequent versions for me. This is like another one of those Vegas things that work for some and not others.

johnmeyer wrote on 12/10/2011, 11:06 PM
That's strange John. MPEG-2 plays fine is 7 and all subsequent versions for me. This is like another one of those Vegas things that work for some and not othersIt plays in V7, V8, and V10, but in V10 the timeline playback is much slower (can't get full 29.97 fps, even in "preview" quality).