It surprises me that even till this day, when asked about what application is needed to burn a DVD or CD, majority of the users still suggest using Nero! While there is certainly nothing wrong with that (as I use it myself), do you honestly expect someone to shell out $80 for the program just to burn some music CDs or to burn/create images? In this post, I will showcase some of the best free CD/DVD burning applications out there that will help you burn almost anything to your blank media all without breaking your wallet! Nero is one of the commercially most recognizable burning application suite out there. However, it’s a whole suite of application and what a lot of average home computer users fail to realize is that they most likely will not utilize 90% of what Nero offers. A similar comparison can be said of Adobe Photoshop. While it is the professionally premier photo editor out there, would you honestly purchase it just to resize your pictures or just to correct red eye exposures in photos? I certainly hope not! Point is, if you simply want to burn data, music, photos or even disk images to your blank media, there are certainly a lot of alternatives. So, the next time you see or hear someone quickly mention Nero, you’ll be the wiser.
This is certainly one of my most beloved burning application. It’s ease of use and attractive graphical interface definitely helps as well. It works on all Microsoft operating systems from Windows 2000 and up, including Windows 7. Some of their features include everything from burning data discs to music CDs, creating and burning images (ISOs) and even creating your own bootable discs, it’s all here. If all you need is to burn these simple types of discs, than look no further than CDBurnerXP. You can look at their features list to see other spectacular things this free burning application is capable of.
ImgBurn is a real treasure and everyone who is a fan of free software will definitely agree as well. This little gem literally allows you to do almost anything that relates to images! From reading, burning, and creating your own ISO from your own files, it’s all here. Plus, it has a lot of options that advance users can tinker with. However, it’s still easy enough to use for novices alike.
This nifty little burning application does pretty much all of what CDBurnerXP can. It has a simple drag and drop interface as well so it’s pretty much dead simple to use. Advance users will be glad to know that there are options that you can tweak with as well to customize it to your needs.
# BurnAware Free
BurnAware Free edition was created especially for your basic burning needs. There is nothing fancy about this application. It simply gets the job done! From creating a simple data DVD to MP3 CD, it’s all there. Heck, it even has support for burning to Blu-Ray discs! However, it doesn’t allow you to create exact DVD/CD copies so if you need that feature, look elsewhere.
# Windows Explorer and Windows Media Player
If you only need to burn a data CD or a simple music CD, you can do so right inside Windows without installing any additional software! Simply insert a blank media (DVD-RW disc might not work though, but they can be erased), drag the media to your DVD burner icon in Windows Explorer and simply select ‘Write these files to CD’ and follow the instructions.
To burn a music CD, simply insert your media, open up Windows Media Player, select the Burn tab at the top, drag your music to the Burn list and then hit ‘Start Burn’ and that’s it! Within minutes, the burn process will have finished and you’ll have your media. Although this is as basic as it gets, it gets the job done with minimal hassle.
As you can see, you don’t need to stay in the grips of Nero if you want a burning application. However with that said, if you do have a full copy of Nero installed, by all means use it. Sometimes buying a new computer or just a new DVD burner will come bundled with an OEM version of Nero.