Disc Burning Freebie
July 20th, 2010 by Ionut Ilascu (Softpedia)
Choosing a disc burning utility these days should not be too difficult considering the amount of options available on the market. Depending on your needs, there is quite a number of freebies you can use to write data to disc, and even Windows 7 offers an alternative in this regard (especially with the progress made through native support for ISO image type).
Among the list of freebies you can rely on if you want to burn CD, DVD or even Blu-ray media there is also BurnAware. The application is available in three editions: Free, Premium and Professional. For the paid versions you get a 10-day testing period during which no limitations are enforced except for a nag screen. The free edition is somewhat limited in options as it brings only the basic functionality with it, but this should be sufficient for the great majority of users.
The free edition installs with no effort, but you have to pay attention during the procedure unless you want it to push Ask toolbar on the system. Once you get past this bump, it's smooth sailing till the end. At the end of the procedure a simple interface awaits, displaying all the tasks that BurnAware Free can accomplish. The four categories available cover jobs like burning data discs (CD/DVD/Blu-ray), creating multimedia discs (Audio CD, MP3 disc, DVD-Video), disc images (burn ISO/CUE, create ISO) and erasing rewriteable media.
BurnAware Free has modular architecture, which means that each task opens with its own process and in a new interface. The benefits of this are drawn the moment you want multiple different tasks to be executed at once. Of course, for this to happen you need multiple recorders and a system that can support the entire load, which should be no problem (in our case a simple DVD-Video job cost the system an average of about 11% CPU usage and about 24MB of RAM).
Regardless of the type of job you choose, they have a common set of settings you can tinker with; and it's no tough nut, even if you are a beginner user. Matters like setting disc burning speed, labeling the disc or choosing disc type are basic options for such an application. More complicated choices are available in the Options menu of each of the tasks. This menu is adapted to the type of task you choose and, as such, you'll have different options when creating a DVD-Video than when you prepare to bake an Audio CD or a Blu-ray disc.
The common ground, however, is enable/disable buffer underrun protection, ejecting disc after burn process completes, run a test write before the actual procedure initiates or verify the data on the disc after burning finishes. In the case of Audio CDs, BurnAware Free offers the possibility to write CD-Text as well as pick the write method (track-at-once or disc-at-once) and the pause duration between tracks.
One feature rarely used by the average user, but fairly important for advanced users is creating boot discs. The application does not complicate things in this case, either, offering a neat stack of easy to understand options. All you need to do is point the application to the right boot image file and adjust the settings to your needs: select emulation type (floppy or hard drive), choose the platform, define the total number of sectors and load segment as well as customize the boot message.
Building up an Audio CD with BurnAware requires minimum effort as the program provides drag and drop support to easily add the audio files and supports a wide range of sound formats. We tried to create a mixtape using OGG, FLAC, WAV, WMA and MP3 and our attempt was a total success as none of the audio formats we added was rejected. Furthermore, before starting the burning process you can arrange the tracks in whatever order you want as well as add CD-Text for each of the items or listen for them with the help of the built-in audio player.
BurnAware has no progress bar to show you how much data can fit the media, but you are still provided such information as the application estimates this in numbers. It will display the total time of the elements already added if we're looking at an Audio CD or the total size of the items if we're talking about data burning operation. It will also automatically calculate the amount of space left on the media.
As far as the image formats go, BurnAware Free allows you to burn ISO and BIN/CUE types, create ISO from any file or folder on stored on your computer, build a boot ISO or copy disc contents directly to ISO archive. Support for a wider pool of image archive would be a big plus and maybe this will be added in the next versions.
Under "Utilities" menu there is the disc erasing option. It does not matter the type of rewriteable disc you insert in the optical unit because the application will instantly recognize it. All you have to do is pick between a fast superficial job, which does not erase contents physically or a thorough one that formats the media completely and will take longer to complete.
Information about the inserted disc and drive details are also within BurnAware's reach. If you need to see the amount of free and used space on the inserted disc or number of sessions written, check out Disc Info section under "Utilities"; it will also offer details about the optical drive you're using.
BurnAware Free is designed as a handy solution to write data on discs and it does a great job. It keeps everything as simple as possible and it manages to offer more than just the basic functionality a users needs from such a software.
The easiest recipe to bake optical disks
August 30th, 2011 by Mihai Matei (Filecluster)
The time of the floppy has been long gone but along with it so has the ease of use which unfortunately can't really be found in today's disk technology, regardless if we're referring to CD/DVD or Blu-Ray. The reality of the matter is that we tend to make things slightly more complicated whenever we take a step forward in our technological development. Perhaps this is just a byproduct of having more possibilities at our disposal, which happens most of the times.
Nevertheless, sometimes we witness a phenomenon where we tend to overcomplicate things that should be all about practicality, and in this case we're talking about the ability to write data on optical disks. Undeniably we now have huge amounts of storage at our disposal, compared to what we had in the floppy era but the question is, does the software has to be so complicated, or is it just a trend? Sure, there is the built-in disk burner that comes bundled with the Windows OS, but even if it benefits from a certain degree of user-friendliness, the reality is that it doesn't always yield great results.
Not to worry because the answer to these questions has been answered by one particular piece of software called BurnAware Free, a disk burning utility that focuses mainly on high functionality and ease of access.
BurnAware Free is a freeware disk burning utility developed by Burnaware exclusively for the Windows platform. As far as system requirements go, the following versions of Windows are fully supported by the program: Win2000/Win2003/NT/XP/Vista/Win 7.
As stated before, BurnAware Free is all about simplicity, high functionality and as less headaches as possible, so in order to achieve this we are obviously witnessing a clean, minimalistic but perfectly functional user interface.
In a nutshell, BurnAware Free is absolutely perfect for those who merely wish to write data on a CD, DVD or even a Blu-Ray disk without having to spend extra time to search every function needed, in a jungle of options. The top menu is a simple and Windows Explorer inspired list from where you can access all of the program's features. Right below lie two windows that allow selecting the optical drive and burning speed, continued with small icons for a few basic operations.
The main window displays all the files you added to be written on disk and under it you can view the number of files, disk size and free space remaining for the current project.
A strong asset of Burnaware Free is that each time you wish to burn a disk you will receive step-by-step guidance under the form of a wizard. This feature is useful for beginners as they don't need to have any prior knowledge but also for advanced users because it provides all the settings eliminating the need to navigate to various menus and perform neccesary settings.
All things considered, BurnAware Free has a clean and neat-looking interface that makes disk burning a piece of cake for any kind of user.
BurnAware Free might not be the only pebble on the beach, however it is a high-quality disk burning program that will most likely please you, especially when it comes to reliability, ease of use and functionality.
Top notch free CD/DVD burning utility
November 28th, 2011 by Softworld
BurnAware Free is a CD/DVD burning software. The utility, beside being capable to burn data on CD/DVDs can also burn files on a Blu-ray Disc.
The interface of the program looks nice and is excellent organized. You have displayed 4 categories such as Data, Multimedia, Disc Images and Utilities and in each you are provided various burning functions.
Lets begin with Data. In this section you are in the position to burn content from your Windows computer on a CD, DVD or Blu-ray Disc. For the purpose of this test i decided to pick Data DVD. Adding files is an extremely easy process as you just need to press on the new interface the plus button, which is located near the top in the right side of the window. After finishing adding content, basically all that is left to do is to press the Burn button. I have to say that the burning process was very smooth and was accomplished in a good amount of time.
Some other burning functions that can be found in Data: Boot Disc and Bridge Disc.
Going to the Multimedia category, here you are provided three useful burn utilities: Audio CD, MP3 Disc and DVD-Video. Each of this functions are extremely easy to be used.
Disc Images allows you to create an ISO image, a boot ISO and also to burn an image and copy to image.
When clicking on Make ISO, you find yourself in the position to pick from three file systems: ISO 9660, Universal Disk Format and ISO 9660+Universal Disk Format.
Utilities, the last category, contains Erase Disc and Disc Info functions. As you can probably guess, the Erase feature can be used to remove the content from a rewritable disc.
On the interface accessing the Compilation field, you are provided access to the software's main features.
I have to say that BurnAware Free is an excellent CD/DVD burning utility. It has a nice looking and easy to use interface and provides numerous useful functions. And a very important aspect about this program is that it is completely free to be used.