How do I get an avi file to autoplay on a CD-ROM I burned it to? [PC only!]

Cover disks off magazines often have video snippets on and the CD or DVD autoplays when loaded into a PC.

How does this work?

The simple answer is the presence of two extra files along with the AVI video clip, one being autorun.inf and the other being a loader for the video file.

When a CD is loaded into the PC it reads the autorun.inf and does what the file tells it to do - in this case, run the loader and then play the video.

There are numerous loader programs around but a good free one is WinOpen which can be found at

The syntax of autorun.inf is simple -


open=winopen.exe \name_of_video_clip.avi

So burn WinOpen.exe, autorun.inf and your video clip to the root of a CDROM and there you are - an auto playing video.

One final point, - some users, especially corporate PCs, turn autoplay off on their systems as it is sometimes considered a security risk. If autoplay is off, then there is no way to magically play video without user interaction.