The introduction of large hard drives and increasingly cheap USB-drives did not weaken the popularity of optical drives. Most computers sold today are still equipped with universal CD / DVD recorders. They are affordable and help to archive large amounts of data. We tested several programs for recording discs. When choosing applications for testing, we were mainly guided by the criterion of popularity. We are not limited to free solutions. One goal was to check whether free DVD burners could compete with commercial colleagues. We refused to test the little-known and poorly priced services.
Select a program to burn CDs and DVDs.
Ashampoo Burning Studio
Ashampoo Burning Studio is a CD burner and powerful multimedia tool - speed, ease of use and high performance that it has won over a large group of supporters. For years, Ashampoo programmers have compiled the program into a complete package that can handle all types of audio and video recordings, without compromising its already notorious ease of use. In the latest versions, another part of the new functions and modules was added, but the program is still surprisingly intuitive - everything is explained while working.
In the latest version, developers focused primarily on improving the processing capabilities of multimedia files to create audio and video discs using popular formats. All file processing tools have been reworked, and the video file coding quality is better than before. Now the program also runs much faster and is easier to use. In addition, the program includes the Autoplay Editor module, with which you can create data disks with the autorun option and interactive menus — for example, a set of programs. Ashampoo Burning Studio also includes an audio player for playing audio CDs without exiting the program.
Ashampoo Burning Studio - the perfect multimedia software for burning DVDs. It allows you to easily record, duplicate and backup. Also ideal for creating a list of songs that will be played in the car. Simply select songs, select a radio and select a storage location. Additional benefits - perfect appearance and incomparable ease of use. The main functions of the program are:
- additional compatibility;
- perfect slideshow;
- the ability to listen to songs anywhere, anytime;
- the use of new technologies;
- security (password protection);
- support for audio files of various formats;
- secure and flexible data recording;
- faster video encoding with support for Intel Media and many other cards;
- Native MPEG-4, H.264 and AAC support;
- smart wizards for perfect slide shows;
- Record comments directly in the slideshow;
- convenient functions for sorting images in a slide show;
- more than 140 slide transitions;
- professional I / O effects and audio transitions;
- completely redesigned interface for transparency and unmatched ease of use;
- advanced sound module for the car;
- great sound with its own settings for many types of car stereos;
- Import playlists from Windows 7 Media Player and iTunes.
New in Ashampoo Burning Studio:
- Separation of media in safe mode;
- Improved clean media detection;
- Creation of CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs;
- Creating a slide show;
- Improved selection of recorded items;
- Use your own background images;
- Automatic loading of covers in audio tracks;
- Create and record audio CDs from a playlist;
- Sound support up to 96 kHz;
- Improved ISO viewing through preview;
- View multimedia images;
- The ability to create a backup in 1 click.
Nero multimedia suite
The main module for recording ISO images in Nero is quite cumbersome to use. Nero is one of the most popular programs for recording video CDs. In recent years, it has turned into a real combine that allows you to create covers or recover data from damaged discs. However, the wealth of options has its price. The application requires up to 1.5 GB of disk space.
In addition, you must download several additional Windows components from the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 in the foreground. This makes the installation last on older computers for up to an hour. Nero also loads the operating system heavily. Nero is a good program for recording video files for people who need advanced features. Copies with images on a disk, quickly erases rewritable discs, creates mixed CD and CD compilations. It has built-in cover design software and diagnostic tools.
The CDBurnerXP interface is similar to Windows Explorer. CDBurnerXP is a free utility for burning disks in newer versions of Windows. The application is available in any language, offers a transparent and modern panel that allows you to quickly create a compilation of files. Its biggest drawback is the relatively high system load.
CDBurnerXP is great for burning classic CDs / DVDs, audio CDs and DVD videos, as well as images (unfortunately, it only supports the ISO format). It also offers several additional features — for example, the ability to copy from disk to disk (if you have two disks) or to design covers. The application also quickly and efficiently provides basic information about media and installed CD / DVD devices.
One of the best programs for recording images in our list. It combines high performance, ease of operation and many additional features. The free version of the program is reduced compared to the paid version. However, only some less used functions are missing.
BurnAware Free offers several useful wizards. They make it easier to burn audio CDs, MP3 discs, DVD movies or disc images (unfortunately, the only supported format is ISO). The program offers a very good recording time - especially for DVDs. Also works great with erasing RW discs. Wizards are provided to the user for creating bootable system CDs and DVDs, as well as basic diagnostic tools. The ability to copy data from disk to disk is available only in the commercial version of BurnAware.
Alcohol 120 - a module for copying data from disk to disk. The program combines the advantages of an application for burning CDs / DVDs and an optical disc emulator. Alcohol 120% does not allow to directly write files from the hard disk. It supports a large number of image formats, copes well with copying data from disk to disk. The benefits of the program include a professionally prepared version of the language and low loading of the operating system. Alcohol 120% contains several helpful wizards that help you manage images and other data. With it, however, it is impossible to create a DVD-video based on VIDEO_TS files or create an audio CD from MP3.
Among the additional functions of the program is to highlight the diagnostic module, which collects basic information about the drive or the disk inserted into it. The application allows you to create installation or boot CDs and mixed audio CDs, provided that the user has the corresponding source disk.
CloneCD / CloneDVD
At first, CloneCD seems complicated. However, you can quickly get used to it. CloneCD and CloneDVD are two specialized programs for recording discs. They do not allow to write individual files directly from the hard disk. They also allow you to transfer files between two discs or copy data from discs to discs in ISO or CCD format, and then burn the images to discs.
CloneCD and CloneDVD offer fast interfaces with zero exposure to the operating system. Their configuration runs quite smoothly, but the number of options is not too large. CloneCD cannot create audio CDs from MP3, AAC or WMA files. Also in CloneDVD it is impossible to erase media. CloneCD and CloneDVD cannot record data on the fly, they do not offer built-in diagnostic tools or a label design module. They achieve good results in write speed tests.
ImgBurna is characterized by a simple interface, this program to burn CDs and DVDs. After installation on a hard disk, it takes only a few megabytes and minimally loads the computer, has a simple and intuitive interface. First, the user must choose whether he wants to burn disk images (IMG formats, ISO, etc.) or regular files. It supports almost all standards of disk images, provides a very good recording time for CD and DVD. ImgBurn also has several drawbacks. Erasing disks is quite tedious. This procedure is performed immediately before recording new files, so it is difficult to get an empty disk (you need to cancel the data after cleaning the media). ImgBurn creates bootable system disks, provided that the user has a corresponding image on the hard disk.
Easy to use, the program is available in both free and paid versions. DeepBurner offers a simple, even somewhat primitive interface. He tends to hold on for a few or tens of seconds when performing various operations. Therefore, the use of the program is quite tiring. Some interface elements are not translated at all. The program includes several dedicated wizards that facilitate the recording of CD or DVD-images. It offers a relatively high write speed, but it takes a long wait to erase the RW media. Not all saved data can be read without any problems. DeepBurner contains a small number of additional functions. For example, the user has a simple cover editor and tool that informs about drive parameters. The functions of copying data from disk to disk and DVD recording are available only in the paid version of the product.
Commercial or freeware recording software
Ashampoo Burning Studio won the test. It offers easy work with a large number of wizards, does not load the operating system, and has many useful additional functions. Maintains an even level in all of our test categories. This is really the only program on the list worth spending money on. Nero has the greatest potential for this. This program, which recently is not very happy, as in the group of basic and additional functions. This gives her second place. The user suffers from inconvenient operation and installation, as well as an excessively heavy system load.
For users for whom price is the most important, CDBurnerXP is the best program. They do not need to be afraid that they will receive an application that is not very functional. This free program for recording discs is not inferior to the capabilities of commercial competitors and exceeds the ergonomics of use. She can not boast of a long list of additional tools. Free BurnAwre Free is also worth the attention - it has fewer functions and loads the operating system much less.