Best Free CD-DVD Burning Software

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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.

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.

 

ashampoo navigation pageAshampoo Burning Studio  When trying this software I was relieved to find it  is still simple and intuitive to use. For power, simplicity and file backup  I suggest you try the new Ashampoo Burning Studio 9.24 FREE which contains numerous small improvements that make the program easier to use and more effective as well.

Anybody who is struggling with the ever increasing complexity of CD and DVD burning applications then Ashampoo 9.24 may be the answer you are looking for. If you want a program that focuses on burning discs quickly and easily with quality and a minimum fuss then this could be the program may well suit your needs.

This version retains all the advantages of previous versions as well as adding multi-disc file backups and restores on CD, DVD and Blu-Ray. The program creates compressed backup archives with powerful password protection as well as splitting archives automatically across multiple CDs, DVDs or Blu-ray discs. I loved the fact it restored the archive contents to their original locations

Ashampoo Burning Studio 9.24 FREE also features, an integrated audio CD ripper which stores your audio tracks as WMA or WAV files with an option across all formats to set the number of copies you want to burn. All discs can now be verified without ejecting first.

What's new:

  • Multi-disc file backup and restore on CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs
  • Create compressed backup archives with powerful password protection
  • Split archives automatically across multiple CDs, DVDs or Blu-ray discs
  • Restore archive contents to their original locations
  • Integrated Audio CD ripper - store your audio tracks as MP3, WMA or WAV files
  • New option for setting the number of copies you want to burn (available for all disc formats)
  • Discs can now be verified immediately without being ejected first (if the drive supports this feature).
 
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. Be wary during installation to avoid the bundled Toolbar. The toolbar will also try to install when you upgrade the program to a later version. Installing the free version of WinPatrol on your computer will help you to avoid these unwanted items.
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

Ashampoo Burning Studio
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Full featured CD/DVD/Blu-Ray burning suite that enables you to create data, music, video and audio discs
Tries to install toolbar. Need to deselect during installation if not wanted
www.ashampoo.com
11.0.6
77.7 MB
32 and 64 bit versions available
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows XP/ Vista/ 7 and 8

Requires registration within 10 days

 
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Comments

by Anonymous on 5. January 2009 - 9:23  (13148)

ImgBurn is the best lightweight CD/DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray burning application according to my experiance.It is feature rich,reasonably fast and does not create any problems.ImgBurn supports a wide range of image file formats and can burn Audio CD's from any file type.The Automatic Write Speed feature gives you good control over burn speed settings for each of your drives.Read more at Great free software utilities

GFSU.png

by u-ultima on 7. January 2009 - 2:44  (13282)

it would be great if cd burner xp replaces the not for good windows cd writing tool integrating to common folders.

by Anonymous on 7. January 2009 - 10:26  (13319)

Try Amok ( http://amok.am/en/freeware/amok_cd-dvd_burning/ ): it is free, burns everything (icl. ISO, CUE, BIN), no registry base entries, supports SCSI, IDE, EIDE, USB and Firewire CD or DVD writers, etc.

by Anonymous on 13. January 2009 - 13:03  (13811)

Try Starburn free.

by Anonymous on 17. January 2009 - 7:35  (14060)

I found Ashampoo 6 free recently, too. Yep, very nice. Looks to do pretty much everything, AND with a simple interface. I know ImgBurn can do a little more, and with a difficult interface, but few people need that little more.

I also like InfraRecorder quite a bit.

by Anonymous on 31. January 2009 - 18:17  (15032)

ImgBurn does not cd/dvd copy disc-to-disc. You have to create an iso to hdd then burn that iso to disc, then go back and delete the iso off the hdd. What silly unnecessary steps. This is 2009 for cripes sake, not 1989! Does anyone know how to copy disc-to-disc?

by Anonymous on 1. February 2009 - 8:26  (15052)

there is another open source program, besides infrarecorder, who uses cdrtools. the name is cdrtfe, and in fact it is a cdrtools/Mode2CDMaker/VCDImager Frontend :).
from the developer site: cdrtfe supports the following features:

* Data CDs
* Audio CDs (including CD-Plus)
* XCDs (with optional error protection)
* Video CDs
* Audio track extraction (wav, mp3, ogg, flac, userdefined)
* Project files
* Can be used with commandline options
* Windows Explorer integration
* Multi language support
* DVD support: Data and Video DVDs
* Remote drive support via RSCSI

honestly, i am a little astonished that nobody ever mentioned this program. i think this software deserve a chance to enter in your attention.
http://cdrtfe.sourceforge.net/

by Anonymous on 1. February 2009 - 8:31  (15053)

actually i don't need disk to disk copy and i consider ImgBurn the best burning software there is.

by Anonymous on 1. February 2009 - 10:06  (15059)

Looks really good, damn I always thought that cdrtfe is also some command line utility so I never bothered checking it. I like the gui more then Infrarecorder has, but cdrtfe currently doesn't support unicode. Btw jean.denis have promised some testing few months ago and never did, so ...

by Anonymous on 2. February 2009 - 13:12  (15122)

The best? Ha! Not if it can't even disk copy it isn't!! http://cdburnerxp.se is!

by Anonymous on 2. February 2009 - 13:13  (15124)

It's very limited, it's only 32-bit and we live in a x64 world!

by Anonymous on 9. February 2009 - 16:55  (15669)

CDBurner XP has a known issue with VBR mp3's as a result of the use of a particular component from Microsoft. I suggest Ashampoo 6 Free.

by Anonymous on 14. February 2009 - 11:18  (16017)

hi get convertxtodvd and all you do is click convert, and it will convert the movie and the burn to a dvd all in one i never use any thing else and you can set the speed it burns at to 4 speed as i allways do that and you get better quality, and there is another one that i use its called dvd flick ths one does big files like 6gb or 7 gb but you have to send it to a destation were you want it to go when its finished then you can covert it and burn it to a4.7gb dvd with convertxtodvd ok i hope you can get these if you have any movie sites you might get them there or browse the net i could tell you but i migh break the rules on this site ok

by Anonymous on 20. February 2009 - 22:04  (16451)

The most impotant is the drive.But if you look for the best burning software - GEAR Pro 7 Master Edition.The copy is just like original.Believe me.

by 4einc on 22. February 2009 - 20:10  (16600)

I see many people mention AShampoo Burning Studio well apparently version 9 is now free:
http://majorgeeks.com/Ashampoo_Burning_Studio_9_FREE_d5937.html
and it's on a legit site known as Major Geeks.

I'm hoping that'll do the burning that I need.
- Shane -
http://4einc.co.cc

by Anonymous on 28. February 2009 - 1:05  (16905)

Ashampoo Burning Studio 2009 available FREE from here: http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/downloads/2235230/ashampoo-burning-studio-2009
BdH
Sat 28-Feb-09 12:05

by Anonymous on 2. March 2009 - 22:09  (17065)

I, like a previous poster, prefer to avoid anything that requires the .NET framework. Microsoft is trying to avoid DLL-hell, by giving us several not-entirely-compatible versions of .NET, so that if an app doesn't work with one version, we must install another. .NET hell. All so we can have the pleasure of just-in-time compilation to slow down our once fast PCs.

I usually use CDRTFE or InfraRecorder, which is another front-end for CDRTools.

by Anonymous on 4. March 2009 - 20:49  (17220)

For the ones who do NOT want to use .NET Framework software,
like CDBurnerXP,

- ImgBurn is a light and very powerful application!
- Another software, which is NOT mentioned here (I wonder Why?),is

*** StarBurn Free ***
http://www.rocketdivision.com/starburn.html

-Download Link
http://www.rocketdivision.com/starburn.html

by ma_t on 8. March 2009 - 12:49  (17423)

Technically it can... But not in a single click. I personally work more with image files so ImgBurn suits my needs perfectly. You don't need to be sarcastic when it is obvious you know nothing about the specific program. ImgBurn is the successor of the good old but now discontinued DVD Decrypter. It uses an improved and updated version of its burning engine excluding the decrypting features. It is also actively developed by the original author.

by mjt328 on 18. March 2009 - 1:58  (18067)

Have personally used this several times in the past two months to burn both CDs and DVDs and it has performed flawlessly so far.

by Anonymous on 23. March 2009 - 18:19  (18421)

Yup. I dont get it. I have tried all the other ones listed and Ashampoo is BY FAR the easiest to use and the most similar to commercial apps like Nero.

I do use image burn for iso's.

-J

by Anonymous on 23. March 2009 - 20:10  (18430)

***CDBurnerXP is the worst piece of crap around***

Agree 100% with you man!!!

Also agree with everybody who said infrarecorder!!!
portable, clean interface , simple (my 5 years old sis can burn a cd lol), stable, fast, under GPL license!! It does the job. In other words ... is working! You forget about burners! godsend!

* Create custom data, audio and mixed-mode projects and record them to physical discs as well as disc images.
* Supports recording to dual-layer DVDs.
* Blank (erase) rewritable discs using four different methods.
* Record disc images (ISO and BIN/CUE).
* Fixate discs (write lead-out information to prevent further data from being added to the disc).
* Scan the SCSI/IDE bus for devices and collect information about their capabilities.
* Create disc copies, on the fly and using a temporary disc image.
* Import session data from multi-session discs and add more sessions to them.
* Display disc information.
* Save audio and data tracks to files (.wav, .wma, .ogg, .mp3 and .iso).

by rKAnjEL on 30. March 2009 - 8:45  (18905)

I was just going to suggest it, I been using it for a while now and it's excellent, VERY user-friendly, lots of features, and works like a charm. What more do I need :)

by Anonymous on 9. April 2009 - 9:32  (19572)

Download.com recommends either Burnaware Free or Ashampoo Burning Studio Free! No mention of CD Burner XP or any of the top picks on this page.
http://download.cnet.com/2300-19409_4-31-10.html?s=0&o=31

by chrisgiz on 11. April 2009 - 19:06  (19699)

It's always good to look at other options, but I've followed Download.com for years and that site does not come close to Gizmo's in terms of the quality of its recommendations. Nor does it have a community as rich and productive as this one. In terms of its independence from commercial interests it's far worse, needless to say.

In this particular category, I've been using Imgburn for several months and I'd say it's exceptional software. It's actually quite incredible that it's freeware.

by Anonymous on 15. April 2009 - 11:51  (19907)

My prefered cd/dvd burner software and a good alternative to Nero is Ashampoo Burning studio. When I try to post link the site tell me the content is spam, so try to google for this:

Ashampoo Burning studio free
or
Ashampoo Burning studio 2009

Enjoy
Best wishes from a happy user of this site.
Jonas

by Anonymous on 17. May 2009 - 8:53  (21716)

Yes I agree Ashampoo Burning Studio is really easy to use and is enjoyable to use. I downloaded Ashampoo Burning Studio 2009 through Gizmo's.

by rKAnjEL on 17. May 2009 - 10:25  (21724)

It's definitely one of the best I tried and my current favorite, and I still can't believe it's not included in the review!

~Yaser

by Beev on 22. May 2009 - 18:28  (22158)

Well I was very happy with InfraRecorder until recently it as started to build images of the stuff I want to burn and then just spits the disc out without burning anything. It seems to work well when burning DVD Videos but always has problems with any other disc type.

Based on a few of the reccomendations here, I am looking at BurnAware Free at the moment.

Yours,
Beev

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