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What is a VOB File and What Opens It?


If you are an avid movie fan and sometimes rent or buy DVDs to watch at home, you probably stumbled upon a special file format that left you wondering: What is a VOB file? Well, this is the reason we created this website: To spread knowledge on the wonders of technology.

Here’s everything you need to know about VOB files:

What is a VOB File?

The term “VOB” is short for Video Object – a metafile format you typically find on a DVD. It is more complex than other video files and provides a better experience for users by including several other file types, hence the name “metafile”.

what is a vob file and how to create a vob file

But What is a VOB File Extension and How is it Different from Others?

Unlike .avi, .mkv, .wmv, or other video file extensions, several file types are used to render a .vob file: video, audio, and often times subtitles in many languages. If you ever played a DVD on your computer or TV, you might have noticed they are more complex and user-friendly – you can choose a language for subtitles or navigate through all the contents of a DVD.

This is where .ifo files come in: They provide navigation and playback info to your DVD player or computer so you can properly enjoy the benefits of a .vob file. This includes where each chapter starts, the location of each file needed to display the content, and other menu functions. Another important file in a VOB metafile is the .bup, or backup file for a .vob’s .ifo. They are meant to supply all the info on navigation in case the .ifo file becomes corrupted.

How Large are VOB Files?

VOB files are never larger than 1GB, which makes them available for more operating systems and computers with low RAM. However, given the large amount of data needed to play a high-quality video with all the other benefits a .vob brings, a DVD usually contains two or more .vob files.

When compared to other video file types, they are almost always larger – but it is almost always worth it since navigating through a movie’s chapters is infinitely easier with a .vob.

Where Can I Find the VOB File?

VOB files are usually stored at the root of a DVD, in the VIDEO_TS file.

Collections of DVD video files are stored in a .vro file, which can be played the same way. If you stumble upon a .vro file when searching for the .vob one, you can open it with the programs listed below and access a library  of your movies. It works the same way as a .vob file and also makes use of an .ifo to ensure better navigation.

What Plays VOB Files?

If you have a DVD player, playing a VOB file is easy: just pop it in and follow the usual steps when trying to watch a movie.

movie night at home

If you don’t, you can use your computer or laptop to watch a movie stored on a DVD. Here’s how to play VOB files on your computer, no matter your OS:

Note: bolded entries also play .vro files.

VOB Players for Windows

  • Windows Media Player;
  • Media Player Classic;
  • VLC Media Player;
  • GOM Player;
  • File Viewer Plus;
  • VobEdit;
  • CyberLink PowerDVD 14, 14 Ultra, 15, or 16;
  • CyberLink PowerProducer 6;
  • Roxio Creator NTX Pro 3.

VOB Players for Mac

  • Apple DVD Player;
  • VLC Media Player;
  • MPlayerX;
  • Roxio Popcorn or Toast 14;
  • ShedWorx Smart Converter;
  • Eltima Elmedia Player.

VOB Players for Linux

  • VLC Media Player

what is a vob file and how to open it

You can also play .vob files on your smartphone if you have an iPhone:

VOB Players for iOS

  • VLC for iOS 2;
  • OPlayer by Olimsoft.

What Else Should I Know About VOB Files?

Every commercial DVD comes with copyright protection, which prevents users from copying files to their hard drives. They use Content Scramble System encryption to require decryption or authentication keys before editing or copying a .vob.

What is a VOB File Creator You Recommend?

Ok, we know what a VOB file is – and it sounds great; But what is a VOB file creator you can use?

If you want to construct an interactive video metafile that contains video, audio, navigation information, and subtitles you can use one of the following programs. Although a bit confusing at first, they become intuitive and easy to use after a few minutes of going through settings and menu options.

VOB Creator Software for Windows

  • Windows DVD Maker;
  • Cyberlink PowerProducer & PowerDirector;
  • Aimersoft DVD Ripper.

VOB Creator Software for Mac

  • DVDFab DVD Ripper.

All in all, the VOB file format revolutionized the way we watch movies by enabling us to enjoy the movie theater experience from our comfortable living room couch. We hope this article clears up the big “What is a VOB File?” question and others that might derive from it – but if it doesn’t and we omitted something, please let us know through the comment section below.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3.


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