Unfortunately, VOB files can contain more than just the muxed MPEG files - a lot more. Depending on exactly how they were authored, they can Import easily, or be a real pain.
Though written for Adobe Encore, a DVD authoring program, this ARTICLE by Jeff Bellune gives some background and some tips on ripping from DVD.
I would guess that your DVD went through some round about authoring and that is the problem. I'd look into ripping it, and then Importing the resulting files into PE.
Here is an excerpt from a reply on VOB's from another forum:
Let’s go back to the basics just a bit. As has been stated, a .VOB file is a "Video Object File." As such, and by the DVD-specs., it can contain quite a bit of stuff. Some of this is beyond just the Audio & Video contained in the usually present MPEG-2 file, which is hidden inside the VOB. This VOB can contain subtitles, Menus, and ROM content, to name but a few. With simple VOB’s, one can often play them, if they are just renamed to .MPEG, though not always. In the case where this works, one does not need a DVD software player. Any player program that can handle MPEG can play the file.
The structure and elements of a DVD-Video DVD-5 (4.7GB, single sided, single layer) will be in most cases:
AUDIO_TS folder (usually empty, as it’s really a carryover from the never fully implemented DVD-Audio). May also not be present.
VIDEO_TS folder, which contains VIDEO_TS.IFO (Video Manager.info), VIDEO_TS.BUP (VMGI.backup), VTS_01_0.IFO (Video Title #1.info), VTS_01_1.VOB (Video Title #1.video), and more of these, incremented by 1. Depending on the number of "titles" on a particular disc, the numbers can range up to the limit of 99. For Projects from most NLE/authoring programs will only have one "title," so you’ll likely not see more than 4 VOB’s and their accompanying IFO’s and BUP’s. The VOB’s will be approximately 1GB in size.
The title of the "movie" inside the VIDEO_TS folder will be contained in the .IFO and the BUP files. If you open up a DVD-Video in Windows Explorer, you’ll see just the folders, and no name, or anything else. The same is for the file names inside the folder(s). They will look the same for all DVD-Videos, though the exact number of these will differ, depending on the structure and number of discrete titles on the disc. It’s not until one opens the DVD-Video in either a software player, or in a set-top player, that the IFO files will play, allowing the player to then access and work with the .VOB’s, via the instructions that are contained in the IFO and BUP files.
Editing a VOB can be a tricky, as it can contain all those different things. Ripping the MPEG-2 file from the VOB is usually the best approach. That is what PE, or other NLE’s (Non Linear Editor) attempt to do. Sometimes, it works fine, but sometimes it does not. Another problem can be when there are multiple VOB’s, as the MPEG-2 files can span multiple VOB’s, as they cannot contain more than about 1GB of data.
Once one has edited the Audio & Video contained in the .VOB(s), the process to get the resulting Project back into DVD-Video form is to Burn to DVD. This is the authoring process.
Three things happen:
1.) The edited file is Transcoded to MPEG-2. If you were working from a VOB already, the Audio & Video material has already been Transcoded to MPEG-2, in which there will already be compression of the data. If you do this again, there will be more compression of the data, resulting in a loss in quality. Some NLE’s can do "smart rendering/encoding." None of the programs from Adobe can do this, as they are designed to work with material captured from a miniDV tape camera. While they can handle other footage, there will be compromises. When designed, DV-AVI Type II was chosen as the base workflow, because that was what most miniDV tape cameras produced. The introduction of flash memory, miniDVD, and hard drive cameras, plus the introduction of HD, has changed things a bit, and will continue to change them over the next versions of the programs.
2.) The folder structure and the necessary files are created.
3.) The above material is then physically Burned to a DVD-Video, or is copied to a folder on the computer in the required, and necessary form and structure.
In the case of the former, one can then play the DVD-Video via a software player on a computer, or on a set-top player hooked to a TV or display device. In the case of the latter, one needs a software player to play the files in the VOB, with the instructions coming from the IFO, or the BUP files.
ok, so all of the info in your post is true in my situation. i have .VOB files, along with .BUP and .IFO files in other folders. it sounds like my answer is to rip the MPEG-2 from the DVD, but I will be honest, I have no idea how to do this. Buying PE was my first venture into video creation/capture/editing of any kind. Well, that's not entirely true. I have tinkered with Microsoft Movie Maker which came on my PC. But that's about it.
I hope you are going to tell me that there is an easy (read: free) way to rip the MPEG-2 from the DVD with all necessary components attached. It will be a serious drag to have to purchase MORE software just to get PE to work the way I always imagined it could.
This is great, Paul! With your permission, I'm putting this in our FAQs!
Of course Steve.
I have the same problem as Karen. My source disk was also created on a DVD recorder.
Following your tip I was able to combine the VOB files using the Command Promt, but unfortunately it doesn't solve my problem. When I import this new file into PE, the video seems to be 4 minutes long again (instead of 120).
PrPro CS4.1 has just added VOB Import, so there are several discussions on that forum. With reports coming from the field, it seems that many such devices play fast and loose with the DVD-specs, and often ruin the VOB by sticking in their own menuing scheme. So far, everyone using PrPro 4.1 with VOB's created by Adobe Encore and Burned properly, have had 100% success. To date, no one with any of the DVR, or VHS-DVD units has had any success. It's all about the DVD-specs., to which Adobe adheres 100%, and the way that some of these machines, and other authoring software do not.
About the only help that I can offer is in this FAQ from the Encore forum. It lists Encore, but really PE's authoring capabilities is based on the same Sonic Authorcore, as Encore's. Paul_LS has offered a more direct PE solution up-thread. You will just have to rip the DVD's produced by your machine.