CDBurnerXP: A free disk burning utility

0
106

The ability to store data on optical disks is vital to anyone who uses a computer. Whether it’s about storing your finest pictures and movies or making backups to your documents and programs, burning disks is the cornerstone which enables us to coexist with our electronics.

It doesn’t take much time to realize this but in order for hardware to run properly, there is always the need of good software. The software and the hardware are like the Yin and Yang of technology, and this is a valid point when it comes to burning optical disks as well. There’s not much of a hassle to buy a decent optical drive or to pick a good brand for optical disks, but it’s somewhat troublesome when it comes to finding a good burning software that can yield great results without too much effort.

Fortunately there is a huge array of disk burning utilities, meaning we have a fair list of high-quality applications for optical disk authoring to choose from.

Such is the case with CDBurnerXP, a disk burning software that offer a good selection of key elements such as the ability to burn CD/DVD and Blu-Ray disks, create bootable disks or convert bin/nrg images to ISO.

Installation & Requirements

The CDBurnerXP installation process is quite smooth and contains no adware, but it presents an unusual request. Just before the setup begins you are given the option of installing SpeechGrid, a small program which enables the user to donate part of the computer’s processing power (when the machine is idle) to a company that focuses on building speech recognition software. In a nutshell, you could say that CDBurnerXP is a rare breed of donationware, the difference being that you’re not contributing with cash but with your CPU.

CDBurnerXp is available only for the Windows platform and supports the following versions: 2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/Win 7.

Interface

Although CDBurnerXP aims to be a straightforward program, the user interface is where things tend to get a bit fuzzy. On short the program offers a decent looking design and all the key features you might need from a disk burning utility, but you get the feeling that the developers spend a good amount of time on thinking what type of features they should implement into CDBurnerXP, while leaving little to no time for deciding where to place them all. It’s not that the user interface is hard to comprehend for a newcomer or that there is a redundancy of features, it’s just that almost every element tends to feel crowded, and it emanates this feeling regardless of the user’s skill level.

CDBurnerXP offers little in terms of customization as well, but overall, once you manage to familiarize yourself with the user interface you will most likely appreciate the large number of useful features it provides.

Pros

– Freeware
– It offers a decent selection of disk burning features

Cons

– The user interface seems clumsy and unpolished

Alternatives

As mentioned a bit earlier, there are basically dozens of similar disk burning utilities out there, some that are good and others that need a bit of work in order to make it in the real world so let’s have a brief look at a couple of programs that proudly reside on the “better” side of the fence.

InfraRecorder is a freeware Windows exclusive disk burning utility that is abnormally similar to CDBurnerXP in terms of design. InfraRecorder also offers a decent variety of key features so choosing between it and CDBurnerXP is basically just a matter of taste.

A second alternative to CDBurnerXP is Brasero, a disk burning tool which can be described in a word as “unique”. Fact of the matter is that Brasero is a rare breed simply by the fact that it comes as a Linux exclusive piece of software. Brasero was designed and built with “simplicity” in mind, and that’s undeniably reflected on the modern, neat looking user interface.

Conclusion

CDBurnerXP is a more than decent disk burning utility which, for good reasons, manages to make a name for itself amongst the similar programs in this category. It offers a decent array of features and a certain degree of friendliness, but it does present a somewhat flawed user interface. Overlook these small problems and you’ve got your hands on a reliable, free disk burning utility.