Sent to you by Chris Hunter via Google Reader:
Optical discs are not forever, but although they are losing significance, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs are still a great medium for long term backups, given you store them right and don't use them as your only backup method. In other words, do keep a backup of your optical discs.
To burn data, videos or audio files to optical discs, create bootable media, copy discs, and back up to ISO files and subsequently burn ISOs to a fresh disc, you need a versatile utility that masters all of these tasks. Enter CDBurnerXP, a free application to burn CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and HD-DVDs on essentially all relevant versions of Windows, including Windows 8. It's one of the best tools for the job.
First Steps With CDBurnerXP
When you first launch CDBurnerXP, you can select a project from the start screen. If you are unsure or just want to have a look, pick data disc.
Burn Data Or Audio Disc
When you want to burn a data or audio disc, the next screen will be a Windows Explorer like window, with the files on your computer on top and the files to be burned at the bottom. You can drag and drop files and folders to the disc. A bar at the bottom indicates how much space is left on your target disc.
The screenshot below shows preparations for a data disc. An audio disc will look slightly different. Note that when you sort the order of files in the audio disc, this will also affect the order in which they are burned to the disc.
To burn your data or audio compilation, click one of the respective Burn buttons. Before the disc is being burnt, you can choose your burn options, such as burn speed, number of copies and what happens after the burning was completed.
If you realize you picked the wrong type of project, click the red X in the top left to return to the start screen. If you don't want to discard a selection you already made, you can save the current project and open it later.
Burn a Video DVD
To burn a Video DVD for use with your DVD Player, you will be guided through a different process. Under Burn Options, set a disc name and point CDBurnerXP to the location of the VIDEO_TS folder, i.e. the .vob, .ifo, or .bup file you want to burn. Also select the number of copies you need and don't forget to double-check burn options. Finally, click the Burn disc or Save as ISO… button, depending on what your preference is. The software will double-check whether your files are valid and proceed burning if everything looks alright.
Burn an ISO Image
You are taken through a similar procedure if you want to burn an ISO image. First you need to select the ISO image to burn, choose the burn speed and method, double-check burn options, and click the button to burn the disc.
You can copy a disc directly from one disc to another. If you only have one player, you can make a copy to your hard disk. CDBurnerXP supports saving to ISO or MDS files.
Maybe you wondered about the printer logo that appears in the Windows Explorer like window when burning a data or audio disc. CDBurnerXP can also print covers for a standard CD case, slim CD case, DVD case, and mini CD case, given you have images available.
Settings & Options
Finally, a word about custom settings and options. CDBurnerXP supports a long list of languages and you can change the program language under Options. Here you can also select a custom folder for temporary data, enable or disable different event messages, and set a range of miscellaneous settings for data and audio discs.
CDBurnerXP is an easy to use and comprehensive tool. While the data selection window for audio and data discs does look a bit cluttered with buttons, it is intuitive to use, as are the rest of the program's features. CDBurnerXP is one of our Best Optical & Disc Image Tools for Windows.
Do you still burn optical media and what is your favorite tool to do so?
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