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What are .VOB, .VRO, .IFO, and .AOB files? And how to play them?

So often we saw .VOB, .VRO, .IFO, .BUP, and .AOB files, yet we don’t have a clue what they are. Let me explain them to you one by one.

The .IFO files contain menus and other information about the video and audio. The .BUP files are backup copies of the .IFO files. The .VOB files (for DVD-Video) and .AOB files (for DVD-Audio) are MPEG-2 program streams with additional packets containing navigation and search information. How audio and video data are stored in specialized files is defined by the specifications of DVD-Video and DVD-Audio.

A .VOB file is just a specialized MPEG-2 file, most MPEG-2 decoders and DVD players software can play them. You may need to change the extension from .VOB to .MPG. However, any special features such as angles or branching will cause strange effects. The best way to play a .VOB file is to use a DVD player software to play the entire volume (or to open the VIDEO_TS.IFO file), because this will make sure all the DVD-Video features are used properly.

Most DVDs are encrypted, which means the .VOB files won’t play when copied to your hard drive.

If you try to copy the .IFO and .VOB files to a recordable DVD it may not play.

.VRO files are created by DVD video recorders using the DVD-VR format. To some extent it is the same as .VOB files, but in many cases they are fragmented and can not be played. Newer version of DVD X Player, InterVideo WinDVD, and Sonic Cineplayer can play them. Otherwise you’ll need a utility such as CloneDVD or Panasonic DVD-MovieAlbum to copy them to a hard disk in available format. You also can use DVD disc creation software such as InterVideo WinDVD Creator can import from -VR discs and write out standard DVD-Video discs.

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