Windows Vista and XP burning facilities don't tell you much. It is good to be able to see what is happening, how much space is being used, whether it will all fit, organizing the CD/DVD creation structure. There are free utilities that will do this, but at a basic level, and there are commercial applications offering a much better grasp.
Two well known software houses, Roxio and Nero, offer suites of applications (both cost around $100) which include the facility to burn optical media, but not all of us want a suite of applications which take over every last multimedia file on a computer. We may just be happy with what we already use, and are looking for a good commercial grade 'burning' application.
Enter CyberLink Power2Go 6 ...
What you get is a 'burning' application, Vista compatible, that is clear and easy to use. This is the view you see when you first open the application. There is a 'quickstart' overlay above the main application area, and passing the mouse over each function and format reveals a brief description of what to expect.
This is useful for the newcomer, and can be turned off if you a more advanced user preferring direct access into the various functions from drop down menus.
So what can you expect?
A quick list for you..
- Data CD, DVD, HD DVD and Blu-Ray
- Audio, MP3 and WMA CD. Also MP3 and WMA DVD
- Video CD (VCD), DVD-Video and DVD Folder
- Copy Disc, Burn Disc Image and Save Disc Image
- CD Extra, Mixed Mode CD and HighMat CD
- Erase Disc, Rip Audio, and Audio Converter
Next, a shot of the 'burn' selection screen ...
This is the business part of Power2Go 6, and what you see is the 'Data' selection window. In the top pane is the drive directory and folder/file list.
Using the Windows drag 'n drop facility, you just drag whatever folder or file down to the lower pane. The progress bar at the base of the lower pane tells you how much space is to be taken by your selections.
Click twice on the 'name' below 'Disk Compilation' in the left lower pane, type in the title of the disc, then click on the 'flame' symbol in the bottom right corner to produce your disc.
The next window shows burn progress. It took me some 20 minutes to burn a 2.49gb ISO and two Word documents to a DVD, and the time included producing a paper label complete with ready prepared file list and title.
The CD label facility is not included in the package. CyberLink produce a program called LabelPrint 2 which, when installed alongside Power2Go 6, will allow almost seamless production from compilation selection right through to label and case insert. LabelPrint2 works well in Vista with no apparent faults. It will also support 'Lightscribe', but I can't report on that as my DVD-RW unit does not have that facility.
Vista users get a bonus too. Open your Gadgets box, and you will find a Power2Go gadget which allows simple Drag 'n Drop without the need to open the main program window.
I have used other burning software, and it has worked well enough. However, I do not like invasive suites of applications. Power2Go 6 is a good, down to earth CD/DVD burning application, and I am more than pleased to have both in my software arsenal.
For information, pricing and 30 day trials of the two applications, go to..
A quick note.. screen shots are courtesy of SnagIt. I will be doing a personal review very soon.
Mon, Nov 5 2007 13:50