Best Free CD-DVD Burning Software

Other Language?
  Read this article in Spanish
  Read this article in Chinese
 
In a Hurry?
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.

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

 
Editor

This software category is in need of an editor. If you would like to give something back to the freeware community by taking it over, check out this page for more details. You can then contact us from that page or by clicking here

 

Share this
4.2168
Average: 4.2 (369 votes)
Your rating: None

Comments

by PB (not verified) on 14. June 2012 - 6:19  (94827)

There is a program called DVDStyler. It is pretty easy to use. But it very good. Simple for beginners right up to Advanced users. It is a bit slow. But it can use just about any format of video file you can throw at it. Here is the web site for it dvdstyler .org.

by Anupam on 21. March 2012 - 15:01  (90936)

You actually need a DVD authoring software, which will make video DVDs, using one or more videos. Please look here :

http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/best-free-dvd-authoring-software...

by Paul B NZ (not verified) on 12. March 2012 - 8:22  (90266)

Interesting to read the comments. I have an issue whereby I have installed adobe photoshop elements 9 on my computer but have found that it does not seem to have a DVD burn capability. You simply cannot go in and burn photos from it to a disc. So it looks like one would need a third party burner. The question thus is that if I installed a freeware program such as ashampoo would that then allow me to easily burn a disc using photographs stored within the elements 9 organiser. I guess you would need to copy the photos to a folder and then burn them. Any helpful advice would be most appreciated.
Thanks..Paul.

by jlamarre (not verified) on 10. March 2012 - 22:08  (90202)

Hi, I bought a hp computer last december & had them install a DVD burner(LG burner).Now i can`t use it,I am told I need to download software to access it & I don`t have to use their stuff. can I download any free software or how does this work?? help

by Anupam on 11. March 2012 - 5:53  (90215)

Please post the query in the forum :

http://www.techsupportalert.com/freeware-forum/

by Beeginner (not verified) on 6. March 2012 - 16:55  (90007)

having just purchased a new Windows7 64bit loaded notebook and
discovering that Windows package no longer inc's burning
ripping for conversion to mp3,it was recommended that I load up Nero 9.... wonder why this features nowhere in your user/experts opinions?....I just want simple easy use software...it does'nt have to be 'free'..so what is recommended please?

by Anupam on 6. March 2012 - 17:12  (90009)

This is a freeware site, and we won't provide help with suggesting commercial software. We only talk about freeware here. If you want a commercial solution, you will have to get help from some other site.

That said, the freeware listed here, are very much capable of doing the job that you want.

Ripping is a different thing than burning, and requires a different software.

by Beeginner (not verified) on 6. March 2012 - 18:18  (90013)

....thank you

by Remah on 6. March 2012 - 19:33  (90017)

Nero does have a free version (it used to be called Nero Essentials) but it is feature-limited and only allows you to burn data to disc and copy discs. Therefore it is not much use to most people. So it does not provide the wide range of features offered by the products recommended here.
http://www.softpedia.com/get/CD-DVD-Tools/Data-CD-DVD-Burning/Nero-Free....

by Lisa (not verified) on 6. March 2012 - 11:55  (89991)

I just tested BurnAware in Windows 7, burning a DVD in UDF format. Unfortunately, BurnAware produces only garbage discs. After finishing the burn process, discs are unreadable. So I switched to ImgBurn, which was able to reformat the disc and burn a readable DVD. Technically, I think that BurnAware does not deserve its rating. The interface is very easy, yes. But the results by far are not satisfying. I do not recommend it for users who are dealing with sensitive data.

by Andrew Baker (not verified) on 6. March 2012 - 20:18  (90022)

Opposite situation on my Win 7 64-bit (Pioneer). ImgBurn killed my UDF DVD+R, switched to BurnAware and everything went smooth.

by Remah on 6. March 2012 - 19:35  (90018)

Thanks for that info.

I have started testing the products and will be updating the review when I get the time.

by Lisa (not verified) on 6. March 2012 - 11:12  (89990)

ImgBurn is 64-bit compatible. Please add this information.

"ImgBurn supports all the Microsoft Windows OS's - Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT4, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 2008 and Windows 7 (including all the 64-bit versions)."

by Mr Hughes (not verified) on 29. February 2012 - 5:10  (89677)

BurnAware screenshot differs from screenshots from official website. Great tool!

by Remah on 2. March 2012 - 3:57  (89787)

Of course the screenshots differ. We take our own when we review an application.

by Anupam on 2. March 2012 - 9:34  (89801)

It also differs because the present screenshot is for a very old version of BurnAware. Its because no editor was for the category for a long time, until you took over. I think you will update the screenshot when you update the review.

by Anupam on 29. January 2012 - 10:10  (87974)

This one looks quite good :

http://www.deskshare.com/dvd-authoring-burning-software.aspx

Although its termed as DVD authoring software, but it has all capabilities. Apart from creating video DVDs, it is able to write to data CDs/DVDs, copy disc, erase disc, create image, write image etc.

by TopHi (not verified) on 24. January 2012 - 1:18  (87667)

Thanks, you saved my presentation. After clean install of winxp x64 I was unable to find any working burning program for free. Here I found a few :)

by n01paranoid on 8. January 2012 - 9:55  (86811)

Ashampoo Burning Studio goes ahead and installs the Conduit search engine even if you deselect it.

by Anupam on 24. December 2011 - 9:10  (85865)

Good to see you take over this category Remah. Its in a need of an update, and I will be quite interested in the review. My choice of burner is BurnAware free. It has a great interface, and works well.

ImgBurn is also good, but its confusing.

by Remah on 24. December 2011 - 22:30  (85927)

You're right; ImgBurn can be confusing. I initially avoided it because the reviewer said other products were easier. When I first used it I found it frustrating but eventually got used to its exacting interface but effective operation.

by Anupam on 25. December 2011 - 5:38  (85937)

Yes, I will say its very effective. For normal use, I like BurnAware which has a clean interface. But, when I come across a bad CD, or some problem while writing the CD/DVD, I turn to ImgBurn.

by Blue (not verified) on 24. December 2011 - 8:34  (85862)

I understand that CDBurnerXP has suffered negative points due to it being bundled with OpenCandy. I just tried download and I saw that in allows you to download a file that is free from OpenCandy. Click on download options to select. It also comes with a portable version, so no need to install.

by Remah on 24. December 2011 - 8:55  (85864)

Thanks for the info.

by John Ferrier (not verified) on 20. December 2011 - 19:51  (85486)

I don't understany why ImgBurn is so favored here! Because it dosn't have multi-session capability?

by Remah on 24. December 2011 - 8:54  (85863)

I agree with you that multisession would help many people but I remember the developer being obdurate on this saying to use a rewritable disk (http://forum.imgburn.com/index.php?showtopic=3433) which I do.

My personal experience with ImgBurn has been very positive. It has been so reliable that I'll even use it to troubleshoot an optical drive that is having problems.

I've just taken over this review so I can't second-guess what the results of my evaluations will be in the New Year.

by mmtsuchi (not verified) on 7. December 2011 - 23:44  (84609)

Attention : BurnAware FREE does not have "on the fly writing". It is clearly seen here : http://www.burnaware.com/products.html

by SunnyJay (not verified) on 1. February 2012 - 20:54  (88149)

Burnware FREE does have "on the fly writing". It clearly seen here (First "key benefit"): http://www.burnaware.com/burnaware_free.html

by mmTsuchi (not verified) on 27. February 2012 - 17:49  (89595)

Then the burnaware's site is confusing.
Could anyone confirm the "on-the-fly" ability of Burnaware Free ? (No time to verify myself)

by Anupam on 27. February 2012 - 18:22  (89597)

Two people, including the editor of this category has confirmed that the software does have on-the-fly ability.. and its on the page there too, the link of which has been shared above. Its the first point under "Key benefits". What more do you want?

Gizmos Needs You

Gizmo's Freeware is Recruiting

 We are looking for people with skills or interest in the following areas:
 -  Mobile Platform App Reviews for Android and iOS
 -  Windows, Mac and Linux software reviews       Interested? Click here