Tuesday, 3 March 2015

CDBurnerXP: Great Disc Management Tool



Although Windows offers a basic CD/DVD burning tool, it does not offer most of the features you'd probably hope for. The first application one thinks of when referring to disc burning tools is Nero. There are few others who use Roxio, but Nero is pretty much a standard these days. OEMs bundle it with their computers, and sometimes, you'd find it bundled with the brand new optical drive you bought. Nero is a great tool, but it offers a whole lot of features most people wouldn't really use. This also adds to its already large size. For everyone who doesn't need the heavy duty functionality of Nero, but still want a decent, functional, free disc burning tool, we have CDBurnerXP.
 

General Information:

  • Distribution Type: Freeware
  • Developed by: Canneverbe Limited
  • Reviewed Version: 4.5.4.5306 (21st December, 2014)
  • Available for: Windows 2000 (SP4) or better 
  • Download Size: 5.4MB
  • CDBurnerXP Official Website




Design:

CDBurnerXP uses a more or less simplistic design, giving its users only as much information as needed. On start up, it presents a simple selection menu to select which task you need to perform. Most of the windows and prompts you encounter follow the same simple design principle. Nero users should feel right at home here. 





Adding data to a disc uses a tried and tested, drag and drop interface. You can drag and drop all your content from Windows explorer straight into the compilation window, or else, you can use the provided file explorer within the windows itself. Library structures from recent versions of Windows are also supported, so navigation from within the application shouldn't be a problem.



A bar at the bottom of the screen shows the amount of space available on the disc for burning, as well as the amount of space already used. It scales automatically depending upon the type of disc inserted.
Toolbars on the screen provide access to most of the functions you would use, while more advanced options would need some digging.

Overall, the design should please novices and experts alike. Novices have all of the commonly used functions at easily accessible locations, whereas experts can choose to dig through the standard drop-down menus to access to more advanced features.


Features:

Most of the tools anyone would need for managing and burning CDs/DVDs/BDs are provided within the software. It also contains some advanced tools which can be tweaked to your liking.Creating standard data discs, or MP3 discs.
  • Creating standard data discs, or MP3 discs.
  • Creating DVD player compatible video discs
    Note: The software does not convert videos for you, you must convert them into a compatible format yourself before attempting to burn them.
  • Creating standard Audio CDs compatible with all audio CD players (not MP3)
  • Burning image files (ISO images) to a disc
  • Copying discs
  • Saving a disc on your PC as an image (ISO or MDS) file.
  • Erase a rewritable discs.
Some of the more advanced features present are:
  • Creating bootable discs
  • Spanning data across multiple discs
  • Changing file-system of discs (ISO 9660 or UDF)
  • Adding CD-Text data to Audio CDs
  • Converting disc images into ISO format.
You can click here for a complete list of features provided on the website.

Performance: 

CDBurnerXP performs quite solidly on almost every machine. I tried using it on a laptop, desktop, and even a netbook. I did notice some minor slowdowns when navigating through files from within the compilation window on a netbook, but otherwise, I didn't have the application crash even once. CD and DVD burning works flawlessly as long as you make sure that you have selected the correct burning speed for the disc inserted in your drive.

There were some inconsistencies regarding speed detection with certain blank discs that I tested. It will still allow you to burn, but, you might have to select the burning speed manually.


Conclusion:

Although it may not offer some of the more comprehensive features of its paid counterparts, CDBurnerXP provides a solid set of tools for most of your disc burning needs. Support for additional platforms is sorely missed, but there are other great tools available for them as well.

Support for older operating systems also means it covers a wider base of users. Although the official system requirements are not listed on the website, you can safely assume that it should work on all systems less than half a decade old.


Please feel free to leave a comment in case you think I've missed out anything, or you have any corrections to mention.

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