Sunday, October 21, 2007

Burn, baby, burn - Need advice on DVD burning software (Nero, DeepBurner, Ashampoo, etc.)

As previously announced, I'm issuing a plea for advice. To make a short story shorter, I lost the CD with the complimentary Nero Express 6 software that came with my replacement writable DVD drive, and need to replace it.

It turns out that Nero Express (6, 7, whatever) is only available as part of a bundle with other Nero software. For example, offers the Nero 8 Ultra Edition 8.1.1 as a 15 day trial (about $80 to buy it). The download itself is a whopping 180 megabytes, and seems to have everything but the kitchen sink.

The installation file is massive; also, once Nero is on your machine, it consumes a hefty serving of memory.

Just what I need. As for the applications, I have to get more than just little old Nero Express:

The following applications are included in Nero 8 Ultra Edition:
Nero Mobile – Media Center for Mobile Devices*
Nero Home 3 – Media Management System
Nero Scout – Database Technology
Nero StartSmart 8 – One-Click Project Launcher
Nero Burning ROM 8 – Expert CD and DVD Burning
Nero Express 8 – Easy Interface CD and DVD Burning
Nero WaveEditor 4 – Audio Editing and Recording
Nero SoundTrax 3 – Professional Audio Mixing
Nero Vision 5 – Video Editing and Authoring
Nero Recode 2 – The World’s Fastest Video Converter
Nero ShowTime 4 – DVD and Multimedia Player
Nero MediaHome 3 – UPnPTM Streaming Solution
Nero ControlCenter – Simplified Customization and Configuration
Nero PhotoSnap – Photo Editing
Nero PhotoSnap Viewer – Photo Viewing
Nero CoverDesigner 3 – CD and DVD Label Design
Nero BackItUp 3 – Complete Backup Solution
Nero ImageDrive 3 – Virtual Drive Setup
Nero DiscSpeed 4 – Improve Optical Drive Performance
Nero DriveSpeed 3 – Complete Optical Drive Control
Nero RescueAgent – Improved File Recovery
Nero BurnRights – Easily Deployable Burning Rights
Nero InfoTool 5 – Drive and Disc Analysis
InCD 5 – Packet Writing Solution
SecurDisc Viewer – View SecurDisc protected files
Nero Photoshow Express --Experience photo management in a whole new way!

Kind of like asking for a hamburger and getting a turkey. And stuffing. And pumpkin pie.

So I'm checking out some other options. Astonsoft offers DeepBurner Free, which was highly rated by editors and users, but which does not offer disk-to-disk copy or video DVD burning. DeepBurner Pro does for about $25 and less than 6 MB, but I'm scared off by the poor reviews.

So far I've been impressed by Ashampoo Burning Studio 7, available for about $40 and about 22 MB. It rated well at and at It doesn't give me professional audio mixing, but I think I can live without it.

So, do my readers recommend

  • Nero 8 Ultra Edition?

  • DeepBurner Pro?

  • Ashampoo Burning Studio 7?

  • something else?
Look forward to your feedback.

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Ontario Emperor said...

While getting ready to duplicate my plea on Technorati, I ran across an Ashampoo review (mostly positive).

Ontario Emperor said...

After posting my WTF, I ran across another review via Technorati - this one for CDBurnerXP 4.

Ontario Emperor said...

Trying to find info on the fast food chain Sonic, ended up at a DVD burning site.

Anonymous said...

CD Burner XP 4 and DVD video disks you should strictly use finalized disc in ISO 9660/UDF file-format, otherwise some players would reject the disc. However, CDBurnerXP can't produce this. Even if you select Disc > File system > ISO9660/UDF, the resulting disc is in ISO9660/UDF/Joliet format, so it's just a coaster

Ontario Emperor said...

Excerpts from some negative reviews of Ashampoo Burning Studio:

Just will not burn to cd or dvd, comes up with error messages about the hardware, yet the hardware works fine with BurnForFree, guess it is not compatible with my Burner with is only 2 months old

I have burnt hundreds od DVD's using Nero Burning software, I downloaded the Ashampoo Burning Studio 7.1 trial to give it a go. Very hit and miss affair, failed miserably on over half the video files I tried to burn, Nero, on the otherhand, burnt everything with ease, as it always has done!

I recommended the program to my girlfriend. She backed up everything on one CD and it wouldn't restore at all.

didn't work , had problems with it from the start , didn't manage to burn a single disk

Program has been downloaded three different times, but it will not launch. I have requested help from Ashampoo on three different occasions and all requests have been ignored. I paid for the program before I had installed or tried it. Big mistake on my part.

if (God Forbid) you should accidently try to copy a cd or dvd that is copyrighted, it doesnt just warn you, it crashes your computer!!!!! This flaw makes it worthless to me. Not that I need to make ilegal copies, it just *****es me off that this software will crash my computer for it.

Support is hopeless. Ashampoo have gone down hill of late. They seem to have lost sight of quality and service which used to be first class.

Ontario Emperor said...

I tweeted my decision.

Ontario Emperor said...

I tweeted the results of my initial tests. And, of course, incorporated a hashtag (what did you expect?)