DVD burners have been around for many years, and the Windows operating system includes native DVD burning capabilities. However, the built-in DVD features are limited and not always intuitive. Fortunately, a number of third-party tools are available to help with DVD burning. This article lists five such tools.
Note: This article is also available as an image gallery and a video hosted by TechRepublic columnist Tom Merritt.
1: Express Burn Plus Edition
Express Burn Plus Edition (Figure A) is a multi-purpose DVD authoring tool from NCH Software. It can burn audio CDs, MP3 CDs, MP3 DVDs, data CDs, data DVDs, video DVDs, video Blue-Ray, and data Blue-Ray.
Express Burn uses a simple drag-and-drop interface for disc authoring and lets you create optional ISO files if you don't want to burn a physical disc.
2: Cheetah DVD Burner
Cheetah DVD Burner (Figure B) is another tool that lets you burn data to DVD. The best thing about this app is its interface, which is clean and simple and leaves no doubt as to the product's functionality.
You can burn a disk simply by dragging the files to be burned and clicking the Burn Disc icon. It doesn't get any easier than that.
3: DVD Power Burner
DVD Power Burner (Figure C) is a full-featured DVD authoring tool. As with Express Burn Plus Edition, DVD Power Burner can create a variety of audio, video, and data discs.
As a bonus, this tool contains wizards to help with such tasks as copying a disc, mastering audio, and erasing storage medium.
4: Any Video to DVD Converter and Burner
Any Video to DVD Converter and Burner (Figure D) is a bit different from the other tools on this list, as it's not a general purpose DVD authoring tool. Instead, this app is designed specifically for burning videos to DVD or to other common formats such as ISO files.
The best thing about this tool is the number of video formats it supports. Along with the ones you would expect, such as Flash, QuickTime, and Windows Media, the app supports many of the more obscure video formats, such as .NUT, .NSV, or .MOD.
5: BurnQuick Data/Audio CD/DVD Burner
BurnQuick Data/Audio CD/DVD Burner (Figure E) is an extremely lightweight tool for performing quick and dirty authoring of data DVDs. Its interface simply requires you to drag data files to the application's window and click the Burn icon.
It would be easy to dismiss this tool as being way too basic, but it does have one redeeming quality: BurnQuick is quite flexible with regard to burner use. If your DVD burner is not automatically selected, you can perform a custom hardware definition to allow BurnQuick to use your DVD burner.
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Do you have a burner of choice that didn't make this list? Share your recommendations with fellow TechRepublic members.