Frustrating DVDs that won't play

Aziyade

Well-known member
So I'm going back through my insanely huge catalog of bellydance videos and dvds, trying to digitize everything so I can store everything in the cloud. Now it's my fault for not watching a dvd the second I bought it, but I'm finding a disturbing number of these will not play AT ALL, because they were home-burned or something. Now I expected this of the Saut Wa Soora dvds, since they were as back-alley as you can get, but the Turquoise dvds aren't working, nothing from Yasmina Ramzy, my ONLY copy of Alexandra King's dvd volumes 3 and 4, and a couple of the $60 Little Egypt dvds are DEAD.

I'm looking for suggestions, but I also want to vent.

That said, the VHS tapes still look great. Inferior technology my butt.
 

Tourbeau

Active member
Sometimes disks that won't play in a DVD player will play on a computer and vice versa.

If you're trying to upload stuff to the cloud, I assume you're already on a computer, but can you browse the disk? Is the problem the disk won't read at all (disk failure/data corrupted) or that your media player doesn't know what to do with the data (downloading another player program might help)?

If the media originated outside the US, it might be a region code issue, but that wouldn't explain problems with home-burned domestic DVDs. Is there anything useful here for Sawt wa Soura https://www.hedden.org/DVD_video_standards.html?
 

Daimona

Moderator
Both CDs and DVDs have a maximum life time. Producers often give a quite high numer for life time, but in reality it is much shorter. After 10-15 years, I'd say it is pure luck if they still work - particularly the home burnt versions.
 

LibraRaqs

Member
I am so sorry you've had this experience! :( Much sympathy. I'm not very "tech-y" so I have no advice, but how disappointing!

That said, the VHS tapes still look great. Inferior technology my butt.
Ditto for some cassette tapes, they may fade but they're awesome!
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
Its the difference between digital and analog technologies. Digital is binary, not only in how it works, but *if* if works. When it fails, its DONE, nothing left (so to speak). Analog can fade/degrade horribly, and still be usable.
 

Greek Bonfire

Well-known member
One time I burned a CD that was pretty much burned out - and it worked! Now I have a new CD of the same old one! Something that didn't go 2020 on me!
 

Aziyade

Well-known member
Sometimes disks that won't play in a DVD player will play on a computer and vice versa.

If you're trying to upload stuff to the cloud, I assume you're already on a computer, but can you browse the disk? Is the problem the disk won't read at all (disk failure/data corrupted) or that your media player doesn't know what to do with the data (downloading another player program might help)?

If the media originated outside the US, it might be a region code issue, but that wouldn't explain problems with home-burned domestic DVDs. Is there anything useful here for Sawt wa Soura https://www.hedden.org/DVD_video_standards.html?
I WAS able, on a few of them, to copy over the video_ts folders to my hard drive and burn new dvds from the data, but on most of them, I get the dreaded pixelation during playback, where it goes to all squares and then won't play anymore. The data must be damaged, because that's where the ripping software chokes too.

I'm most bummed about the ICMED Nagwa Fouad workshop with Mohamed Khalil, because I really wanted to see how he broke down Amar 14. I haven't even tried the ones from Suzy Evans, which were some of the most expensive, but all the World Dance New York ones seem okay.
 

Tourbeau

Active member
I don't have any experience with them, but I believe there may be recovery programs out there that could be worth a try. Some of them are free, and as long as you download them from a reputable site, it might waste a little time but it shouldn't make anything worse.

If there are videos that you really want to recover and you can't easily replace, a last resort to would be to contact a computer repair specialist. They have better tools and more expertise (which you'll be paying for), but it's another thought.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
Recovery programs *can* help, certainly worth trying. They work by trying over and over and over again - "never say die" - until they get an error free read. If the data's really gone, its gone, but if its marginal, a program might get it...
 
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