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Step-by-step Guide to Play ISO Files With VLC Media Player

Most of you already know that ISO is a CD or DVD image file, also commonly referred as disk image. It is actually an archive file which is used to backup CDs or DVDs. You can mount it into virtual drive using various ISO mounting tools and also burn it. But what if you have backed up your DVD movie into an ISO image and want to play it directly without mounting it? VLC Media Player, the application that "plays everything," opens ISO files, allows you to preview ISO file in less than one minute by following the steps below:

Use VLC to Play ISO Files on Windows

There are several different methods to play ISO file with VLC Media Player on Windows.

Method 1: 

Step 1: Launch VLC Media Player and go to Media > Open File. Then a browser-like dialog will open where you can select the ISO image you want to open.

Step 2: Click on the “Open” button and the movie will start playing your ISO file immediately.

Method 2: 

Another way to open not only ISO images but any other media file is to open a Windows Explorer window and drag the file into the interface of VLC Media Player.

Method 3: 

And a third way would be to make VLC your default program to open ISO files by right clicking on the ISO image and selecting Open with... > Choose default program.

Then click on More programs if it does not appear in the first instance and select VLC from the list. If you want VLC to always open ISO files then check the corresponding check box which is under the programs list.

Play ISO Files With VLC Media Player on Mac

Step. 1 Right click on the ISO file and select Open with/Disk Utility.

Step. 2 Click on the icon that shows under the ISO in the Disk Utility.

Step. 3 Click the “Mount” button in blue color.

Step. 4 This process mounts the image in the readable disk format.

Step. 5 Open VLC Media Player.

Step. 6 Select File > Advanced Open File > Disc tab.

Step. 7 In the Disc tab, choose Video_TS Folder radio button.

Step. 8 Click “Browse” and choose the most expected ISO Image.

Step. 9 Select the Video_TS folder on this image and click “Open”.

As you can see opening and playing movies stored in disc images in the ISO format is dead easy with VLC and you have a bunch of options to do it, however, more than a few people found that VLC media player won’t play their ISO files. 

Why VLC won't play certain ISO files?

As we know, ISO is actually an archive file which is used to backup CDs or DVDs. VLC can play ISO files as long as the DVD structure is intact (it also means that the ISO file must have the exact same folders that are in your DVD such as Video_TS folder). If the directory structure of ISO image is not similar to that of DVD, you will fail to play the file on VLC.

Professional VLC Assistant (Recommended)

If you happen to can't play your ISO files in VLC media player, a professional VLC assistant comes to help you: Pavtube BDMagic. This program can easily transcode Blu-ray/DVD ISO file to almost 250+ video formats for playback on VLC and other devices like: iPhone 8, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Apple TV 4K, PS4 Pro, Gear VR, and more. To get the better playback effect for VLC, you can flexibly adjust the output video codec, bit rate, frame rate, resolution and audio codec, bit rate, sample rate and channels.

Free download and install:

Mac version is available here: Pavtube BDMagic for Mac, well supports macOS High Sierra, macOS Sierra, Mac OS X El Capitan, etc.

How to Play ISO Files With Pavtube BDMagic?

The detailed steps to play ISO file with Pavtube BDMagic on Windows and Mac are almost the same. Remember to get the right version for your computer.

Step 1: Load ISO image file to the program

Launch Pavtube BDMagic, click "File" > "Load IFO/ISO" to add your desired ISO files. Or you can directly drag an ISO file and drop it in the program window.

Step 2: Choose format for VLC

Click "Format" bar, from its drop-down option, select VLC most playable digital file formats such as "H.264 HD Video (*.mp4)" under "HD Video" main category.

Tip: If not satisfied with the default video/audio quality, you can hit “Settings” button on main UI to adjust bitrate, frame rate, resolution, etc.

Step 3: Start ISO to VLC media player converting process

Click the big red “Convert” button on the bottom-right corner to process conversion from ISO Image files to MP4 for VLC. After finishing conversion, hit “Open output folder” to locate the ripped video.

With this professional VLC assistant, you not only can play ISO with VLC, but also transfer the converted ISO to smartphone and tablet to play on the road. 

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