Tutorial on how to open VOB files

What is a VOB file?

VOB is short for DVD Video Object. This is the most important file you can find on DVD-video discs and it also contains the most important data about the movie.

At its core, VOB is just a MPEG 2 system stream and contains MPEG-2 video streams, audio streams, and subtitle streams. In simple terms, this is the file you will find on every DVD-video when you want to playback the movie.

Now that we know what a VOB really is, all we need to find is a tool that can open this kind of file. We can search on Google, or we can find different answers on different forums. However, to make things easier, I will tell you here what the best tool is and where you can find it. The best tool when it comes to opening VOB files is VLC media player. Not only does it open VOB files, but it also opens almost any type of media, video, or audio file.

How to find and download VLC media player

The best way to obtain VLC media player is to go to the developer’s website. Usually, the website has the name of the developer. In our case, it should be www.vlc.com. However, some developers have different website URLs. This is just the case with VLC – the website actually is: http://www.videolan.org/. You can also search Google for “VLC". The first result it returns is the correct website. Here is how the website looks like:

VLC main page

As you can see, VLC media player is developed by VideoLAN. They have a very clean webpage, where you can see all of their products. Since they only have one major product, VLC media player, you can see details about it and where download it from. They say that “VideoLAN" is a software project, which produces free and open-source software for video, released under the GNU General Public License." VLC media player is their main software and this means that they are constantly updating it.

The latest version is VLC media player 0.9.8a and you can see the download link right on this webpage. Go ahead and click Download Now for Windows (16 MB). Here is where you will be directed to:

Downloading VLC

The download window will appear. What you see in the background is information about the mirror from where you are downloading the file. Your mirror is LeaseWeb, from the Netherlands. Click Save File and store the file in an easy to remember location on your hard drive. Before we begin with the actual installation, let's save the file on the CD or DVD for later use. Whenever you reinstall Windows, you will need this file to reinstall VLC media player.

Installing VLC media player

Once the file is safely stored on the CD or DVD, double-click it (either on the hard drive or on the CD/DVD – it doesn’t matter). Here is what you should see:

Security warning

This is a security warning generated by Windows. Whenever you download anything from the Internet, make sure that the source is secure. Secure sources are usually the developer's websites. Although there are more secure sources to download the file from, it is hard to find them, not to mention the risks. Downloaded files can contain viruses, Trojans, tracking software, or other malicious software. If downloaded files pose such a great risk, imagine what running these files can do to your computer. More information about the file you are about to open can be found in the Publisher area. However, it seems that our file has an unknown publisher. If it wasn't such a popular software (over 22 million downloads), we would have clicked Cancel by now.

We are almost sure that the file we downloaded is secure -- we downloaded it from the developer’s official website and there are millions of people who downloaded it as well. Go ahead and click Run:

Install language

In this window you can choose your language. After you select a language click OK:

First step of the setup

This is the welcome window for VLC media player. It recommends you to close all other running application before starting the setup. This makes the difference between a clean install and rebooting your computer. Click Next:

License agreement

This is the part where you must agree to everything they say. I say must because you don't really have an option. If you click cancel, the installation will terminate. Anyway, go ahead and read all the License Agreement. After reading it, click I Agree to reach the next window:

Third step of the setup

In this window, you can choose which features of VLC media player 0.9.8a you want to install. All you have to do is check the components you want to install and uncheck the components you don't want to install. I recommend leaving the type of install to Recommended. After you are finished, go ahead and click Next:

Fourth step of the setup

In this window, you can choose where to install VLC media player. If you want to install to a different folder, click Browse. It is recommended to leave the destination folder as it this. In Program Files you can find all of your programs with ease. Once you choose the destination folder, click Install:

VLC is being installed

As you can see, VLC media player 0.9.8a is being installed. Here is the window that appears after the installation is finished:

VLC is installed and ready to be used

You can choose to “Run VLC media player 0.9.8a" as soon as you click Finish:

VLC privacy settings

VLC media player will request limited information from the Internet, whenever it needs to get CD covers or to check for updates. You can choose to activate the update availability notification and choose the number of days between two update checks. It is best to leave the settings as they are. Click OK:

VLC media player

This is what VLC media player looks like. The installation and customization of the software are complete. Congratulations!

Testing to see if we can now open VOB files

It's time for the big test! Let's see how our new software handles VOB files. Click on Media and select Open File, like in the image below:

Open a VOB file

As you can see, VLC media player can open VOB files. If you also notice, it has an impressive list of files it can open. And what you see in the picture above is just part of it.

You have found, downloaded, installed, configured and ran VLC media player. You have also managed to open VOB files. Congratulations! Our tutorial is now over; I hope you had a pleasant lecture!

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