CD and DVD Help

Some computers no longer have internal CD/DVD players or the software to playback disc-based media. There are, however, several options available to help you play your CDs and DVDs on your computers.

single-perf 16mm filmstrip with XCU image of back of CD

Digital Video Disks (DVD)

To begin, plug in your external/portable disc drive. If your drive came with software to install (on a disc), be sure to install it first. After you install the software (if needed), insert the disc you want to play. If it doesn't start playing automatically, you should consult the instructions that came with the external/portable disc drive or see further instructions below.

Windows Computers

  1. Plug in external/portable disc drive
  2. Install software (if needed)
  3. Insert the disc you would like to play
  4. Open Windows File Explorer (manila folder icon)
  5. Right click on the CD drive icon and choose "Play with [the name of the software] media player"

If your computer has an internal DVD player, but no software, then there are several options for either downloading free media players or buying them.

If you recently upgraded to Windows 10, for example, the Windows Media Center that came with Windows 7 and earlier versions, was not installed with the new upgrade. You will either have to buy the latest version from Microsoft or find an alternative media player app online.

NOTE: One widely-used freeware DVD media player, VLC Media Player (any version), will not play any 2015-cycle AHA DVD produced before June 2017. The copy protection used on these DVDs specifically blocks playback on VLC Media Player. In June 2017, we changed the copy protection method, so DVDs produced starting in June 2017 will open and playback in VLC. The exceptions to this are the Heartsaver DVDs, which can take up to 15 minutes to load in VLC, but do playback after the discs load. We recommend using a different media player for the Heartsaver DVDs.

Mac Computers

If you are a Mac user and the DVD does not play automatically, try to open with a different media player app or follow the link, Play a DVD or DVD movie file in DVD Player on a Mac, for more options.

Please note that AHA DVDs cannot be played remotely by using a separate machine with a disc drive you might read about in some Apple support articles. The encryption we use to secure the DVD contents prevents this kind of file sharing.

DVD Software Options for Windows and Mac Users

Related Technical Support Articles

How to Play DVDs in Windows 10
Play a DVD or DVD movie file in DVD Player on a Mac

AHA Tested Media Players

The software players listed in the table below have been formally tested on Windows 10 with AHA course DVDs and were found to play the DVDs with few or no issues:

Player Available At
Windows DVD Player https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/apps/windows-dvd-player/9nblggh2j19w
Media Player Classic HC https://mpc-hc.org/downloads
VLC Media Player https://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html

Compact Discs (CD)

The files stored on CDs are in Microsoft Word and PDF, all of which can be accessed, opened, and downloaded.

To begin, plug in your external/portable disc drive. If your drive came with a disc to install software, be sure to follow the given instructions and install that first. After you install the software (if needed), insert the disc you want to play. If it doesn't start playing automatically, then follow the directions listed below to open the CD manually.

Windows Computers

  1. Plug in external/portable disc drive
  2. Install software (if needed)
  3. Insert the disc you would like to play
  4. Open Windows File Explorer (manila folder icon)
  5. Right click on the CD drive icon and choose "Explore"
  6. Click to open the Contents folder
  7. Look for the resource files you want
  8. Click to open the files or download them

Mac Computers

  1. Alt/click on the CD icon on the desktop
  2. Find the index.html file and click to open
  3. The CD contents will open in your default browser

Once the CD opens, you will be able to access and download the resource files by following the links. You can also click on the Contents folder to access the resource files inside.