How to play VOB files is a question we’ve heard over and over again. And today, we’ve taken out the time to compile an entire guide to deliver step-by-step instructions for viewing content encoded in this format. The possibility of stumbling onto such a file is likely if you’ve directly copied contents of a DVD without ripping them or downloaded a movie online. So this brings us to the question – What are .vob files and why is it such a headache to get them to play? Video Object is basically a container format used in DVDs and is accompanied by IFO and BUP files. It encompasses video streams normally in MPEG-2 encoding, along with audio, subtitles, menus and other content in a single package. In short, to view these files, you’d simply need the right codec or software that has the necessary codec.
1. View Video Object files through Windows Media Player:
Support for such files is included with the default Windows Media Player application. However, the software still seems to be unable to play this sort of content. And that’s most likely due to the lack of some necessary codecs which generally result in partial playback of either sound or video. To address this issue, you’re going to need to download software capable of encoding and decoding Video Object streams. While these are available in plenty on the internet, you could pick one from our list of codecs. We highly recommend the K-Lite tool, although XP and Windows 7 codec packs are equally capable.
To play VOB files in WMP, first launch your web browser and navigate to the codecguide.com website. Once there, search for K-Lite Codec Pack which can be found on the left panel of the page.
Now, the next page will present you with a few variants of the software. From the list, select the desired pack you wish to download, excluding the Basic version as it doesn’t have an MPEG-2 decoder for DVD playback. Standard or Full will do the job, but the choice is up to you.
Note: If you’re on a 64-bit version of Windows, we recommend that you download both 32- and 64-bit editions for better compatibility with different applications.
If for some reason your download doesn’t start or nothing shows up after you’ve clicked on the download link, you might have a pop-up blocker enabled. So head to your browser settings and disable it for a while.
Once the transfer is complete, install the program by following the onscreen instructions after agreeing to the terms and conditions specified. Also, applications of these sorts have a tendency of compiling add-on software like the Ask toolbar or Yahoo. Installing these applications is optional and not necessary.
Hang in there – we’re almost done. To finalize the installation, you’ll have to restart your computer for all the changes to take place. Once the PC has booted up, access Windows Explorer and navigate to where the concerned files are stored.
If you’ve got multiple media player apps installed, the file might open in one of them instead of WMP. So right click the appropriate video, select the Open With option and finally, the WMP tool.
Another way to play VOB files with Windows Media Player is to change the default program associated with the format. For that right-click on the video file, select Properties, then under the General tab click on Change and finally select the WMP application.
2. View Video Object files through third-party applications:
If the entire procedure of downloading and installing the appropriate codecs appears a bit troublesome, there are a few alternative methods you could take into consideration. Various third-party applications out there come with the ability to play files encoded in the said format, natively. Not only that, they also tag along various other features that could be useful in the bargain. Read on for a few suggestions.
i. Media Player Classic
The Media Player Classic application is a lightweight tool to play VOB files along with a wide variety of other formats. Designed based on the Windows Media Player version 6.4 that made its debut with the Windows 98 SE OS, this software packs in a wide catalog of options and customizations. Being an all round player, it allows you to view videos, play music and even record live TV through a TV tuner card. And most importantly, it’s available for free.
If you want one of the best media players out there, VLC could just be the right pick. It not only presents itself as a convenient tool for dealing with such files, but also for viewing various other content including MPEG-2, DivX, H.264, MKV, WebM, WMV, MP3 and much more. Designed around a simple interface, this application runs on most popular platforms such as Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and Unix, making it highly flexible. Being an open source project, you can grab a copy for free through the VideoLan website.
So now that you’ve learnt how to play VOB files, do share with us which movies you have lined up. If all methods fail, it’s either that you’ve done something wrong or the file you’ve acquired is damaged. However, there’s still another alternative you could use. At times, renaming the concerned file to a .mpg extension tends to work, but not for all cases. If our guide was helpful, let us know by leaving a comment below.