Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Best Free CD / DVD Burning Software

Locating quality freeware burning applications for this review proved to be a challenge, even though there were plenty of contenders. Our short list included:

  • AVS Disc Creator
  • burnatonce
  • Burn to the Brim
  • CDBurnerXP
  • CDR Tools Front End
  • CommandBurner
  • DeepBurner Free
  • Easy Burning
  • Express Burn
  • HT Fireman CD/DVD Burner
  • IsoRecorder
  • Burrn 1.14
  • CreateCD
  • DVDShrink
  • ImgBurn

We were also attracted to two other programs, Burn4Free and Artisan (a.k.a. Sun), but they were packaged with adware and/or spyware and were discarded.

Editor's Choice
Of all these products, the most impressive was CDBurnerXP. It possesses all of the core features you need, including:
  • an intuitive interface
  • the ability to author data discs
  • create audio CDs playable in a regular CD player
  • create bootable discs
  • copy discs
  • create and burn image files (e.g. ISO)

It passed every test we were able to throw at it: it added to a multi-session disc created on another drive with another burning application, and created a functional slip-streamed Windows XP installation CD! In addition to the core features, CDBurnerXP also has several additional features: customizable boot disc options (lacking in DeepBurner), integrated cover printing utility, integrated audio player and audio, the ability to rip audio CDs to various formats (including MP3 with CDDB lookup), and support for Double layer DVDs, Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs. Those of you who are familiar with Nero will feel right at home, because the interface is very similar.

Recommended Products:

All up, CDBurnerXP is a good choice for both basic and advanced users. DeepBurner Freeis a close second to CDBurnerXP. If you don't author bootable CDs or care about the additional multimedia features, then DeepBurner Free might be the one for you. It has all of the core functionality, but is a much smaller download package and has a smaller installation footprint. It also offers a portable version that can be executed as a stand-alone application from a USB drive.

In addition to these products, there are several free burners that are extremely small and specialize in just one or two features. For example, Burrrn is for authoring audio CDs, CreateCD and CommandBurner offer command line burning capabilities, DVDShrink is designed for creating DVD backups, and ImgBrn and ISO Recorder are for burning images to disc with a couple clicks of the mouse. For the average user, though, CDBurnerXP or DeepBurner Free are the clear winners. Editor's note: many thanks to regular contributor Craig Vollmar for taking the time to prepare this excellent review.

Product Specifications:
CDBurnerXP
Website: http://www.cdburnerxp.se/
License: Freeware
Download File size: 2.48 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Server, Vista
64 Bit Capable: Yes
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0

Deepburner
Website: http://www.deepburner.com/?r=products&pr=deepburner&prr=provsfree
License: Freeware
Download File size: 2.73 MB
Windows Operating Systems Supported: 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP, 2003 Server
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: Yes (2.83MB)
Additional Software Required: None

Burrn 1.14
Website: http://www.burrrn.net/
License: Cardware
Download File size: 2.02 MB
Operating Systems Supported: 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: No

CreateCD
Website: http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/CreateCD.htm
License: Freeware
Download File size: 50 KB
Operating Systems Supported: XP/2003/Vista
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: None

CommandBurner
Website: http://www.commandburner.com/
License: Freeware
Download File size: 2.71 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows NT and later,
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: None

DVDShrink
Website: http://www.dvdshrink.org/ Download link removed
Download link: http://www.softpedia.com/get/CD-DVD-Tools/CD-DVD-Rip-Other-Tools/DVD-Shrink.shtml
License: Freeware
Download File size:1.04 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: None

ImgBurn
Website: http://www.imgburn.com/
License: Freeware
Download File size:1.5 MB
Operating Systems Supported: 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP, 2003 Server, Vista
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: None

IsoRecorder
Website: http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm
License: Freeware for non commercial use
Download File size: 378 KB (32bit ), 398KB (64bit)
Windows Operating Systems Supported: XP/2003 Server/Vista
64 Bit Capable: Yes
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: None

3 comments:

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