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Best Free CD-DVD Burning Software

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Go to details...  Go straight to the Quick Selection Guide
 
Introduction

When looking for the best free software program for either CD (Compact Disc) or DVD (Digitally Versatile Disc) I think it is worth the effort to consider your exact requirements.

Keep in mind that CD & DVD burning programs are designed for you to author CDs and DVDs for: music, photos, movies, games, data, or other digital files that will hopefully stimulate your creativity. As well as CD and DVD burning software, this category also includes Lightscribe software which enables you to produce laser-etched labels with text or graphics, as opposed to stick-on labels and printable discs.

With new software (particularly new free software) don't be afraid to experiment and try a few different options before you decide on the right one for you.

 
Discussion

ImgBurnImgBurn is the product I decided is the most powerful free burning tool, as no other software comes close to its advanced features and options.

ImgBurn includes support for:

  • every modern optical disc from CD to Blu-Ray
  • more than 10 image formats
  • authoring rewritable discs
  • producing images from file compilations or discs
  • building audio CDs from a variety of file types
  • creating video discs on DVD, Blu-Ray, and HD-DVD
  • enabling access to drives for restricted users
  • endless tweaking of all aspects of the burn process.

ImgBurn has several 'Modes', each one for performing a different task:

Read - Read a disc to an image file.
Build - Create an image file from files on your computer or network or you can write the files directly to a disc
Write - Write an image file to a disc
Verify - Check a disc is 100% readable. Optionally, you can also have ImgBurn compare it against a given image file to ensure the actual data is correct
Discovery - Put your drive/media to the test! Used in combination with DVDInfoPro, you can check the quality of the burns your drive is producing.

ImgBurn's advanced features may confuse you if you just want to do a basic burn. The welcome menu provides quick access to some common tasks, but other basic features such as erasing a re-writable disc are not immediately visible. Try playing around with ImgBurn for a while. Exploring the menus will certainly reveal most of what you need. However, if you simply aren’t interested in advanced functionality  you may wish to check out my other recommendations. Although ImgBurn is primarily aimed at advanced users, I still feel that it deserves top spot in this category. Caution: ImgBurn is now bundled with the OpenCandy wrapped installer.

 

BurnAware FreeBurnAware Free is probably the prettiest in the interface department for this collection and offers a step-by-step procedure for your burning projects. It is now probably one of the most popular free CD, DVD, Blu-ray Disc burning software available for Windows. Using BurnAware Free Edition you can easily create and burn Audio and MP3 CD, Data and DVD-Video disc, ISO and Cue Image, erase or format rewritable disc, copy your CD or DVD to ISO image. This software is for personal home use only.

A launch window lets you choose the type of project you want and leads you through the process to completion. Navigating your directories is easy with BurnAware's file management system and adding files is as simple as highlighting them and hitting a button. BurnAware offers enough features for most burning projects including burn data, bootable and multi-session discs, burn audio, video and MP3 discs, create and burn ISO/CUE/BIN images, copy discs to ISO images and erase rewritable discs. Sometimes you just need a simple program for your burning needs and don't need all the extra features of a paid application. Caution: BurnAware Free is now bundled with the OpenCandy installer. See this information page for details.

Supports:

  • All media types (CD/DVD/Blu-ray Disc) including Double Layer
  • All current hardware interfaces (IDE/SCSI/USB/1394/SATA) including AHCI
  • UDF/ISO9660/Joliet file systems (any combination)
  • On-the-fly writing (no staging to hard drive first)
  • Verification of written files
  • Multi-session DVD-RW/DVD+RW
  • Unicode CD-Text (tracks and disc)
  • Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista/7 (32 and 64 Bit), .Net framework is NOT required.

 

CDBurnerXPCDBurnerXP is a another wonderful free tool. It is especially brilliant if you are accustomed to using Nero.

Big picture - CDBurnerXP is a quick and easy solution for creating audio CDs, video discs (DVD and Blu-Ray) and has extra features for ripping your audio CDs and finding track info on the Web.

It adds sessions to multi-session discs; burns on-the-fly and verifies burns; erases rewritable media; creates audio discs and video DVDs; command line version; LightScribe cover printing support with very basic designer supporting custom background images; enables access to drives for restricted users; multilingual; some advanced features and options.

I like CDBurnerXP's clean user interface. The four-paned interface makes it easy to find what you are looking for. You can then drop-and-drag files to your chosen media. Also, the audio player, which is included, helps you ensure you have captured the tracks you want. You may find the dropbox window handy as it allows you to browse your files using Windows Explorer and then quickly drop-and-drag files to your burn list as you go. Judging from other user reviews, some people had trouble with CDBurnerXP when burning data DVDs although I did find I was able to use this function without too many hassles.

Once again, CDBurnerXP supports common types of optical discs like CD, DVD, and Blue-Ray including double layer mediums. You will find creating Audio CDs, Video Discs, DVD or Blue-Ray, very easy. I found dealing with re-writable media is also very comfortable with this program. ISO files can be created and burned as well with support of converting BIN/NRG file formats into ISO.

CDBurnerXP is multilingual and natively supports 32 and 64 bits version of Windows 7.

Editor's Advisory Note: CDBurnerXP is now bundled with OpenCandy. See this article for more information.

 

InfraRecorder I consider a review of free burning software must include InfraRecorder so I am listing it as my fourth choice. InfraRecorder is a stable project that has been popular for quite a long time. It supports all of the common features that a good burning application should have, and it works with all types of CDs and DVDs including dual layer discs. It even includes full command line support like CDBurnerXP. With InfraRecorder, you can burn and create images with support for bootable discs, author rewritable discs, and create audio CDs and video DVDs. The interface is clean and simple without a lot of extras to make things confused.

InfraRecorder is a respectable burning program, but it has a few disadvantages as well. It does not support Blu-Ray discs or HD-DVDs. It also does not include many advanced options for tweaking the burn process to perfection like ImgBurn. Its interface isn’t as nice as that of BurnAware Free, and it doesn’t have any extra features like CDBurnerXP. Aside from these possible downsides, it feels like a solid program that definitely deserves a chance at becoming a part of your favored software collection.

 

 

 
Related Products and Links
 
Quick Selection Guide

ImgBurn
5
 
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
A free tool that enables you to burn CD/DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-Ray images with ease. Very flexible application with several advanced features not available in other tools.
Bundled with OpenCandy - see information link in review text. Probably more suited to advanced users who will appreciate the extent of its configurability.
http://www.imgburn.com/
2.5.8.0
3.39 MB
32 bit only
Unrestricted freeware
A portable version of this product is available but not from the developer.
Win 9x/ME/NT/2K/XP/2K3/Vista/7. If you use Wine, it should also run on Linux and other x86-based Unixes.

Although no official portable version exists, Googling "ImgBurn portable" returns several results showing how to run it from a flash drive.

BurnAware Free
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
BurnAware Free is a free CD, DVD, Blu-ray Disc burning software
Doesn't have the option of a floating window that features in programs such as CDBurnerXP. Installer bundled with OpenCandy (see information link in review text).
6.8
11.0 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Free for private use only
A portable version of this product is available but not from the developer.
Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista/7
InfraRecorder
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
supports CD-R/CD-RW/DVD+R/DVD-R/DVD+RW/DVD-RW/DVD-RAM (double layer mediums included); burns discs from images or files, creates bootable discs, creates images from files or discs, copies discs to discs (does not seem to bypass copyright protection), adds sessions to multisession discs, fixates discs, burns on-the-fly, verifies burns, erases rewritable media; creates audio discs, creates video DVDs; command line version; multilingual; simple, easily accessible interface
does not support HD-DVD, Blu-Ray; lacks advanced features
http://infrarecorder.org/
0.53
3.96 MB
32 and 64 bit versions available
Open source freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Windows 2000/ XP/ Vista/ 7
CDBurnerXP
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Clean user friendly interface. Multi-session functionality.
Requires Microsoft .NET Framework.
http://cdburnerxp.se/
4.5.2.4291
5.04 MB
Unrestricted freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003/Vista/7

Caution: Now bundled with OpenCandy - see note above. An OpenCandy free version is available by clicking the "More download options" link on the downloads page.
Microsoft .NET Framework and Microsoft Windows Media Format 9.0 Update are required

 
Editor

This software review is copy-edited by Ian Richards. Please help edit and improve this article by clicking here

 

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Comments

by Anonymous on 23. May 2009 - 5:41  (22184)

Ashampoo free version,CD Burner XP and Infrarecorder(multisesion,dual layer,cd-dvd,my language) this are the best.

by Anonymous on 24. May 2009 - 8:51  (22236)

Ashampoo Burning Studio Free is the best, ever. Everything that I need is there.

by Anonymous on 25. May 2009 - 11:09  (22284)

I don't like programs that do many things BUT
do these things in an inefficient way.
They are the 'Jack of all trades, Master of none'...

by Anonymous on 25. May 2009 - 11:18  (22285)

-Why use Ashampoo Free when StarBurn Free is better?

-Why use InfraRecorder when ImgBurn is better?

-CDBurnerXP is Great BUT it requires .NET Framework.
Many Windows XP users do NOT want to overload their PC(s)
with .NET Framework.

I'm an WinXP Pro user.
Until now, StarBurn Free and ImgBurn have been working fine!

by Anonymous on 25. May 2009 - 11:19  (22286)

Did you try

-StarBurn Free

and

-ImgBurn ?

by Anonymous on 25. May 2009 - 11:22  (22288)
by Anonymous on 25. May 2009 - 11:24  (22289)
by Anonymous on 25. May 2009 - 11:26  (22290)

Can The FREE version of Ashampoo Burning Studio edit .ISO files?
I don't think so.

by Beev on 25. May 2009 - 19:27  (22309)

Ive been using ImgBurn for a while, but have found it lacks the ability to create audio CD's from mp3 and a few other functions, but as far as burning images and data Discs it does a good job. I didnt try Starburn, but im curently thinking that BurnAware free is a good program. It lacks the straight disc to disc copy in the free version, but I can use ImgBurn for that function, so I am not lost. I also use AnytoISO for when I have a problem with a disc image format not recognised by ImgBurn, Im able to either mount it with MagicISO or convert with AnytoISO, these are not burners granted, but useful additions to programs like ImgBurn.

I might check out Starburn free if I start getting problems with BurnAware free, but for now that is working well for me.

Yours,
Beev

by Anonymous on 26. May 2009 - 6:32  (22328)

Nothing is perfect!And definitely neither Ashampoo or Starburn are an exception.Both are missing some very important(for me at least)options:

1)Ashampoo does not give you the choise to give a name to your movie disc(the
name that appears on the drive icon when you insert your disc in the dvd
drive), when you're trying to 'burn a video dvd from a prepared folder'.
Nonetheless Ashampoo is a very robust and easy to use choise with excellent
burning results.

2)Starburn lack's the option to remove the 2 sec gap between your songs when
you're preparing to write an audio cd.
(By the way I think EAC is the best for burning audio cds)

Taz (Greece)

by mjt328 on 26. May 2009 - 23:53  (22409)

I recently came across a very simple CD/DVD burner called Totally Free Burner. Used it to burn an audio CD and an ISO image without difficulty. Not very fancy or feature-laden, but simple and effective.

Since I started using it, it has been written up by the folks over at Downloadsquad.com, and I think their review is probably better than anything I could write, so I'm quoting it below.

PLEASE NOTE: There are two links embedded in this review that did not copy properly, so I'm putting them here:

Link 1 [to publisher's site]: http://www.sabsoft.com/TotallyFreeBurner.htm

Link 2 [to other Download Squad article mentioned at the end]: http://www.downloadsquad.com/2009/04/28/5-great-free-cd-and-dvd-burning-...

================================

Totally Free Burner offers uncomplicated CD and DVD burning
by Lee Mathews May 26th 2009

I'm always on the lookout for good, free applications I can pass along to the customers I support. Over the years I've learned that - in general - the simplest solution is usually the best. For CD and DVD burning software, it doesn't get much more straightforward than Totally Free Burner. [See Link 1 above]

As you'd expect from a minimalistic app like this, it's also tiny (under 2Mb download). Unlike Nero's popular-but-cluttered SmartStart, TFB presents only four options: audio CD, video CD, data, and image/video DVD.The interface is kept simple throughout.

Make your file/folder selections, click burn, and press start when the burning status box appears. Advanced settings are available, but they're hidden by default. One feature I particular like is that if you accidentally close a data project window, TFB remembers its contents as long as you don't close the project selector. Re-click data DVD/CD and your selections will instantly reappear.

If you're looking for other options, here are five more free apps you can download. [See Link 2 above]

by Anonymous on 5. June 2009 - 23:40  (23138)

Here is a simple little app called JetBee Free 4.0.5

by Anonymous on 8. June 2009 - 17:49  (23334)

In free CD/DVD Burning solutions, you have to find softwares who will continues multisessions discs burned in bestselling Nero, to copy disc, to support all formats of disc and blu ray, to burn Image files, erase rw discs...
There just two all in one burning solutions with that feauters:
CDBurnerXP
Ashampoo Burning Studio 6 Free (looks like Nero, better than CDBurnerXP, but i using disc burner as alternative because is older version):
http://download.cnet.com/3001-2646_4-10776287.html?spi=27246485766ba8e8d...
Second solution is InfraRecorder, has similar interface to Nero and all feuters:
http://sourceforge.net/project/downloading.php?groupname=infrarecorder&f...

For Image files, Img Burn is best solution, but in Ashampoo, InfraRec and CDBurnXP you have support for burning Images, this is alernative...

Slobodan Rašić,
Zaječar, Serbia

by Anonymous on 8. June 2009 - 18:24  (23342)

CDBurnerXP requires .NET to install.
That is a total deal killer for anyone looking for a small footprint program.

by Anonymous on 10. June 2009 - 3:27  (23473)

The best one for me is infrarecorder. I'm surprised it's not listed here.

by rKAnjEL on 11. June 2009 - 22:06  (23630)

I'm getting fed-up with people complaining about .NET framework!
ANY application will require SOMETHING, whether it's .NET, JRE, GTK+ or something else, you can't expect all programmers to use the same tools/languages.

And most importantly if you don't like the .NET framework then you're you shouldn't be using Windows OS at the first place!

by Jojo Yee on 12. June 2009 - 3:09  (23652)

You've got the right point. .NET Framework (Version 3.0) has already been pre-installed by default in Vista, and the same (Version 3.5) will also be pre-installed in Windows 7. From here I see this will be the trend. See also .NET Framework.

by peter on 13. June 2009 - 4:46  (23747)

We've people still using 95, Win 2000, Me etc. We try to help all users. However, I agree that if you have the space & use MS products, why not?

by phughes699 on 13. June 2009 - 6:53  (23754)

I have just tried Ashampoo Burning Studio to burn a CD. It took nearly 40 minutes to burn a CD. Far too slow.

by rKAnjEL on 13. June 2009 - 11:27  (23774)

That's most certainly a problem at your end, not the software, I never had any problems with it.

by Anonymous on 14. June 2009 - 8:28  (23839)

Ashampoo Burning Studio is a lousy performer!!!
This software Sucks!!!

by Anonymous on 20. June 2009 - 9:26  (24173)

100% Agree!
Ashampoo Burning Studio is a shampoo...

by Anonymous on 20. June 2009 - 9:28  (24174)

My system is 100% spotless!
I NEVER had any problems with
other CD / DVD Burning Software!

A-shampoo is just for Washing...

by Anonymous on 27. June 2009 - 6:13  (24413)

Win XP users of old PCs want a light setup and stay away from
.NET Framework related software!
ImgBurn does what I need.

by Anonymous on 27. June 2009 - 6:20  (24414)

What about the Win XP users who have NOT pre-installed
.NET Framework (v2.0, v3.0, and v3.5)?
They will need to add (185MB + 170MB +28MB)= 383MB in their system.
Especially old/weak PCs cannot stand it.

Not .NET Framework Applications,
like ImgBurn, InfraRecorder, StarBurn etc.
will do the job Without the Burden of .NET Framework!

by Anonymous on 1. July 2009 - 21:47  (24556)

Wrong! Most applications won't require anything. Besides that, there are light runtimes like GTK+ which i don't really care about (it's very small), and heavy & bloated runtimes, that i will NEVER install, like JRE or .Net!

by Anonymous on 3. July 2009 - 10:53  (24596)

then update your pc rookie!! ashampoo is ok app. those who claims otherwise are some kind of nero freaks most of them any way i burn dvd with ashampoo 4.3 GB of data betwen 8-10 min
its your lousy pc then not ashampoo to burn music CD 40 min.
get life!

by MidnightCowboy on 3. July 2009 - 11:24  (24598)

Please remember that there are huge differences between the ability levels of people posting here and in the forum. Insulting them or their equipment contributes nothing to their problem or the wider ranging subject here. Ashampoo does not profess to be a top end burning suite but it's simplicity does make it a valid choice for many users.

by MidnightCowboy on 3. July 2009 - 11:28  (24599)

Hi
My guess is there are other factors in play here. If you wish, please post this again here in the forum with some more details about your PC and what you were doing and one of us will attempt assistance.

http://www.techsupportalert.com/freeware-forum/general-computer-support/

by Anonymous on 5. July 2009 - 10:11  (24656)

I agree, it's stupid that people should just write off a program because it requires .NET Maybe they should cut down on the number of simultaneous programs they are trying to run, or upgrade their hardware?