The LG Nero 12 is our pick for the best DVD burning software, which has a writing speed of up to 24x for superior speed. It is a DVD-R type for the device and comes with the Nero 12 essentials. It is also compatible with CDs as with standard ones and has a buffer memory of up to 0.5 MB.
Our step-up pick is the NCH Suite RET-BSW001 and it can be used to convert media files in various formats for CDs or for digital video discs, as well as the new Blu-Ray system. It can also be used for backing up important files or data and to design custom disc labels.
The budget pick is the Ulead MovieFactory 5 and it is mainly a program that can be used for recording movies, even HD videos, into your digital video disc. There are also preset menu styles so you can easily select chapters from your video sets within the disc itself.
A Little Background
Any DVD burning software or digital video disc file recording program has the purpose of saving or recording files such as documents, data, audio, videos and the like to a DVD or digital vifeo disc.
It is capable of holding up to 4 GB or gigabytes of data so that you can put in a lot of files in your disc using the digital video disc file recording program, such as music files, video clips and so much more. Some can be formatted to play with disc players.
Like most programs, the digital video disc file recording program can either be free or you have to pay for it to access all of the features. The free ones are usually made only with limited amounts of features that can be used, and will usually have a watermark embedded on the videos produced.
On the other hand, if you have a digital video disc file recording program that is most notably a full version, you may have a choice of a myriad of features to use.
Oftentimes, the digital video disc file recording program may be already bundled with an optical recording device, which can be installed on your unit near the hard drive. This optical device can be labeled as RW or R, meaning that it can either be rewritable or only suitable for recording. RW machines are pricier because this means that the disc can be rewritten, overwritten and files can be edited for later use. Special discs are used for them.
A digital video disc file recording program is different from a CD recording program because it has the capacity to record up to 4 GB or gigabytes of data, which is usually the standard of any digital video disc. CDs can only record on a smaller size.
This is the fact that make them less useful for making videos, especially since most films and video formats nowadays can only fit on a gigabyte basis, in which you will need a digital video disc file recording program to do the job properly.
With the emergence of Blu-Ray technology, there are still digital video discs out there, and this is why most people still need digital video disc file recording program to record data. Not all homes and establishments today have a BluRay player yet. This is why you still need a digital video disc file recording program to back up your data and media. Having digital video discs around makes it easy to play media even in old players.
The difference between a CD and a digital video disc is that a CD can only store limited amounts of data. While you can store up to 4 GB for digital video discs, 650 to 700 MB is the maximum for most CDs.
Even bigger than that would be the Blu-Ray, which can record up to 25 GB of files, and some, which are dual layers, can record up to a whopping 50 GB! Talk about technology! But still, it pays to have a digital video disc file recording program at hand in case you only have DVD players around.
How we Picked
If you want the best DVD burning software, you should look for the following:
Ease of installation: you have to consider a digital video disc file recording program that is easy to set up and to configure. It should have simple user instructions and straightforward contents.
Inclusion of optical drive: the digital video disc file recording program may also include a writing drive, which can come at various writing speeds. Lower speeds are recommended for better data retention and longevity, but higher speeds are okay for commercial purposes.
Editing tools: you also have to consider a digital video disc file recording program that has all of the necessary editing tools for your files. This includes a video editor, file compressor for the digital video disc, and photo editors as well as slideshow creators. These tools can help you to create the perfect homemade movie experience for a certain event, let's say your grandpa's 60th birthday.
Custom menus: most digital video disc file recording programs can also have a custom menu maker, which is important since this will be the menu that you can select chapters with. This kind of feature should be easy to use, simple and straightforward with the formatting and customizations of content and images, and presets should be included for beginner in digital video disc file making.
Support of various file formats: you also have to consider a digital video disc file recording program that will support a myriad of media file formats, including AVI, MPEG, MOV, WMV, FLAC, MP3, WAV, MKV and others. These formats, either audio or video, should be easily readable by the program.
Blu-Ray support: you may also want to consider a digital video disc file recording program that has the capability to support Blu-Ray discs, if you have them or if you have a Blu-Ray player at home or wherever you are.
Analog media source conversion: the analog media that you may convert or import using a digital video disc file recording program may include cassette tapes, VHS tapes or VCRs , LPs (long playing vinyl records) and many more. If you have many kinds of analog records and want to preserve them to digital format for archiving purposes, you should have a digital video disc file recording program that has that capability.
Friendly user interface: you should have a digital video disc file recording program that is simple enough to use. The timeline editing for videos should be easy to understand for beginners. The adjustment of writing settings should be straightforward and easy to manipulate.
As our top pick the LG Nero 12 is a kit containing both software and the digital video disc writer. It is capable of reading and writing digital video disc files as well as CDs. It has a write speed of up to 24x, which is pretty standard for most writing mechanisms out there. The buffer memory is pretty large at 0.5 MB so it is easy to handle large files from this kind of program and setup.
The writing machine comes complete with all the required hardware, such as the cable kit, which includes the SATA interface. The program and the machine both have buffer under-run prevention so that it will seamlessly write your data with great ease. The program lets you write your favorite music, photos and the like for later use as a reference file or for saving great moments and your memories in life, compiled in videos and photo collections.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
The only con but not a deal breaker with the LG Nero 12 is that it does not have multi-support built in, but that is only found on most high priced programs and you could just buy a driver or reprogram it yourself if you want this kind of feature to take place.
The NCH Suite RET-BSW001 is our step-up pick, which is compatible with Windows operating systems. This program can be used for creating written digital video disc files, as well as for writing into CDs and even into Blu-Ray discs. It also has the capability to rip content from your discs and even edit them if they are editable (if the disc has an RW extension and your writing gear has the same kind of capability).
It also allows you to make labels and backups. Along with this, you also have the capability to edit multimedia projects with this kind of program due to the editors specifically for audio and video files. If you plan on making mass produced digital video discs either for personal or commercial purposes, this is a good program to do it with.
The Ulead MovieFactory 5 is our budget pick, which can be easily used to author your very own personalized digital video disc. It also supports HD videos so you can create content even with HD widescreen files shot from high quality cameras and recorders. You can easily write your favorite videos or create your own slideshows from pictures and save them onto your digital video discs for backup or for playing onto another device.
You can easily write your data and audio in one step and there are also many professional motion menu styles to choose from to help you customize and personalize your own movie collection or video collection that is written on your digital video disc. When you write your data, the picture and sound quality will not be compressed in any way because it even enhances the quality of your files.
Best DVD Burning Software that supports 4K Videos
The Pinnacle Studio 21is a great choice if you also want to have support for 4K videos as well as 3D and HD videos. There are many built-in themed templates that you can create your custom and homemade movie with, for ease of use. There is a split screen video feature as well and you can also share your movies by writing it to a disc. You can also choose between timeline and storyboard editing.
There are also a myriad of video effects and titles that you can choose to make your video collection your very own. Also, the intuitive user interface is very helpful for those who are not into video editing that much. The timeline editing is also accurate to the frames and there are many keyboard shortcuts you can use for ease of editing. You can also edit with up to 6 cameras at a time.
Best DVD Burning Software with Disc to Disc Copying
The Intervideo 2 Gold can be used for copying from one disc to another, and eagerly supports VCDs and SVCDs as well. The bitrate is just fine due to the balancing profile that does not compromise the quality of your media, be it audio or video. The subtitles and audio streams can be removed or kept depending on your preferences when you author your own video or media collection.
All you need to do in order to create content is to input the source, destination and the video format when you write your media files. You can also have the opportunity to write dual layer digital video discs to just one single disc without losing quality at all. It will definitely produce high-quality copies without sacrificing speed, so it can be used for commercial purposes. It supports both R and RW type discs and optical recording devices.
Best DVD Burning Software for Archiving Data
The WinZip 12 Standard may be known as an archiving software or program, but it can also be used for backing up data and writing it to your digital video disc or CD. There can also be a myriad of features and enhancements to choose from to make your media such as photos and videos look presentable when you share them. The security features include data encryption so that you can also protect your privately shared files from unwanted intruders.
Its main job is to easily compress files but it can also write your files to any disc, which makes it a double purpose program. Also, the encryption is so strong due to being AES encryption that is FIPS-197 certified. When you compress the file with this kind of program, you can reduce the original file size for up to 48% only of its original size, which is the shortest of its kind.
Best DVD Burning Software for Audio Mixing
For those who are into mixing, mastering and editing audio, you can try the Magix Samplitude ProX if you want to write straight to your digital video disc. It uses spectral editing on track level, making it easier to mix your tracks without much hassle. The neutral hybrid audio engine also has a neutral sound. You can also use it if you want to mix 5.1 surround sound music, and you can be able to mix up to 999 tracks.
It is able to support many formats, such as mp3, wav, OGG, CD-A, AIFF, MIDI (.mid), FLAC, ACC and many more. It only requires 1 GB of RAM for 32 bit users (4 GB for 64 bit users). Any soundcard that is compatible with WDM or ASIO can be used with this program. It only requires 500 MB of disk space in order to install it. It can also support MOV and AVI video files and works in most Windows.
Best DVD Burning Software from Cassette Sources
The Roxio Easy Capture allow you to import audio files from cassettes and other old media such as LPs (vinyl) and the like. It can also allow you to import raw footage to your computer and you also have the power to save large files with this program and then create your own backups across multiple discs in various formats. The photos and videos can also be enhanced through brightness adjustments, red eye removal and resolution cropping.
The writing or copying mechanism is a drag and drop file process so it is very simple and straightforward to use. What’s more, there are also easy photo tools for you to use for correcting your photos, especially important photos of your precious moments in life. Like most modern programs, this program operates with 64 bit systems as well. The design of the interface is unlike the complex interface of most newer programs today.
Best DVD Burning Software that supports Blu-Ray
If you also want to be able to write Blu-Ray discs, you can try the Nero 2017 Classic, which has various disc-ripping functions as well. It can help you to write or play back your favorite music, videos and photos that you have saved and shared. It can support up to Windows 10 and it only requires 1 GB of RAM to run. Your Windows Media Player should be version 9 or higher to use this program.
You can choose from many effects to apply to your slideshows or videos, and you can also protect your files with the enhanced password protection and 256-bit encryption. You will be able to export and write your files to your backup discs in high quality and without any loss of data at all. It can also support Gracenote when it comes down to cover art for music. It can be a great program for your home cinema needs.
Best DVD Burning Software from VHS Sources
If you want to be able to grab your footage from your VCR, the Roxio Easy VHS is a sure-fire way to do it. You can convert, import and export or write your data to your disc with this kind of program, which can support most formats like Hi8 and Video8. It even supports mobile devices like your PSP, iPhone and iPod due to the unique digital conversion feature for your old VHS files.
Its job is converting to digital formats so that you can be able to enjoy your 90s or 2000s video collection of your family and friends that might go obsolete with time, so that you can maybe upload them to YouTube or share with family and friends. It doesn’t matter if you have large files – the trick is that you can break up the video into smaller files for ease of archiving and saving.
There were others that were not in our list because they did not have sufficient tools to edit and write your files perfectly onto your disc and leaves gaps behind on audio tracks.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does a disc burner do?
A: A disc burner is often bundled with a disc recorder or burner, which is an optical device that allows you to record anything onto your disc. It basically means recording the data by burning the holes using heat or laser that enables you to encode specific data onto your disc, much like how a long playing vinyl or LP is made when you record audio into it.
Q: What are the differences between CDs and discs?
A: CDs and discs often get confused with each other, but here are some of their differences:
The CD can hold up to 700 MB of data. Some can hold only up to 650 MB depending on the CD that you have. This is equivalent to 60 minutes of video or 80 minutes of a full album. You can burn a CD into a data CD or an audio CD depending on where you will want to play the desired music from.
The capacity of a disc is about 4.7 GB, so it is mainly used for video files or movies. You can still use a disc for audio, but it will most likely be for storing audio as data, not necessarily played on a disc player (unless your player has this capability), but rather on your computer.
The usage of CDs is extensive mostly for audio purposes, and rarely for videos, although VCDs were popular back then. However, VCDs can only hold short clips or have lower quality videos.
discs are mostly made for video storage as well as for file storage, especially those that can fit in up to 4.7 GB of data space. You can freely use it as a data disc or a playable disc on your disc player.
CD players cannot play discs, but CDs can be played on disc players.
disc players can play both CDs and discs with no problem at all. discs cannot be played in a CD player due to compatibility issues.
Q: What happens if you burn at a higher speed?
A: There will be more likelihood of data loss in the future, as the speed of the burn process is too much that data is not thoroughly penetrated into your disc. To avoid this, only go for a slower and safer speed if you intend to keep the data for years to come.
Q: What causes most discs to read slowly?
A: Reading slowly for your disc player can be caused by:
- disc damage (scratches or dirt)
- dirty lens
- disc is too old
Q: What are the differences between discs and Blu-Ray discs?
A: Both of these discs are types of technologies that revolve around home media, movies and video playback. discs and Blu-Ray discs have the following differences:
A red laser is being used by the disc player in order to read your data.
A blue violet laser is being used by the Blu-Ray player.
The disc can hold up to 4.7 GB of data, depending on whether it is a single layer or a dual layer disc.
Blu-Ray discs can store up to 25 GB of data, depending on whether it is a single layer or a dual layer Blu-Ray disc.
Images on the video clip
discs are less bright and less sharp in terms of movie quality, and is usually in 640 x 480 resolution, but some can take up to HD or 1080p.
Blu-Ray discs will always be 1080p and some can go for up to 4K in terms of resolution and video size.
discs can be player anywhere because most people today still do have disc players (very few have only CD players).
Blu-Ray discs cannot be played in disc players or CD players. They must be played in a Blu-Ray player.
discs have standard and fair audio quality.
Blu-Ray discs have better high quality sound.
Analog cables are used for connecting disc players to your TV or output.
HDMI cables are used to link or connect Blu-Ray players to your TV or any kind of output.
discs have a thicker protective layer, which makes it scratch resistant.
Blu-Ray discs are also scratch resistant, but tend to have thinner layers.
discs and disc players are less expensive because they are more common (and may soon be obsolete).
Blu-Ray discs are very expensive, as well as disc players. This is why there’s a big difference between PS2 discs and Blu-Ray game discs for the PS3 and PS4 consoles.
discs can be played on Blu-Ray players but disc players cannot play Blu-Ray discs.
Blu-Ray discs cannot be played on your disc player but your Blu-Ray player can play some discs.
Q: What are the different common video file types?
A: A video file is a file that consists of a video, film, clip, episode, image sequence, movie or whatever the heck you call it. For those who don’t know yet, there can be many movie or video file types, such as the following:
File acronym meaning
Audio Video Interleave
The AVI format is the most common type of video file, which can be read across various platforms and operating systems, from Windows to Mac to Linux to everywhere. It is the simplest form of any video file – even your cheapest handheld multimedia player that plays videos can play it.
However, the encoding of the AVI file may also vary, as some were encoded with a different encoding other than MJPEG, which is the most common type of encoding. DivX encoding might not be easily readable by other (usually older) players.
Flash Video Format
This is a kind of video that is only played if you have Adobe Flash (a plugin) that is installed on all browsers on all computers. It is the kind of video format that allows you to watch on YouTube, however it cannot be easily saved or downloaded to your computer.
Windows Media Video
A WMV file is significantly smaller in size as compared to that of an AVI file. It is produced by Windows as a reply to the RealVideo format. WMVs are easier to render in most standard video editing programs like Sony Vegas Pro, as opposed to other video formats.
Moving Pictures Expert Group 4
It is also known as the MPEG-4 type of video, and is a video extension of the popular audio format (MP3 or MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3). MP4s can be played on certain computers and even cheap video players. However, most importantly, many HTML5 sites are now using MP4 in sharing videos.
Apple QuickTime Movie
If you don’t have a QuickTime movie player (if you’re on Windows), you will not be able to play this video format. It is something that most Mac OS users will find popular, however, due to being produced by Apple.
Q: What are the different common audio file types?
A: An audio file is a kind of file that allows you to store or play music, whether it’s an audio clip, a voice clip, a recording or your favorite piece of music. Here are some of the most popular audio file formats:
File acronym meaning
MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3
The most popular audio format out there, it has been often used as a stereotype for a “music player”, as you’ll often find infomercials and non-tech savvy people say “mp3” player instead of music player. The MP3 format can be played in almost every kind of device whatsoever – from your high definition smart TV up to the cheapie iPod shuffle imitation you probably bought in a thrift market.
MP3 players have gone a long way, and if you’re not a very meticulous person in terms of music quality, MP3s are the way to go. They can compress audio so that they won’t go too overboard with the file size.
Usually, if you have a standard 3-4 minute song, you can expect only about 9 to 11 MB for a high quality recording at 320 KBPS (kilobytes per second). Standard quality ones that are for streaming online at 128 KBPS, usually have a smaller file size of around 3 to 5 MB for the same song length.
Waveform Audio Format or Audio for Windows
It is a file that has been uncompressed and intended to be used on most Microsoft systems. However, like MP3, WAV has also gone universal at most.
WAV files are uncompressed and so they cannot be contained by devices with very limited storage space. WAV files are preferred by studio recording because they have no loss of quality and are versatile in many systems.
This format is not very popular in a computer system but is most likely seen when you pop in that CD or disc of The Beatles that you’ve just bought (or settling in the dust). Like WAV files, it is also uncompressed.
Audio Interchange File Format
This is simply the Apple counterpart of the WAV format, and which is why you won’t see many Windows users encounter this format. But if you do use Garage Band, Apple Loops and Logic Audio, AIFF is pretty much supported.
Advanced Audio Coding
Slightly newer in technology than MP3 files, AACs usually have better sound quality in terms of its encoding, but is still inferior to MP3 because of the lack of support from many devices and systems.
Originally, OGG was a mystery file format, because not many programs and systems supported it. However, many PC games nowadays use OGG for their music and sound effects, which can reduce space and not alter the sound quality.
Even many DAWs nowadays like FL Studio also already support OGG file formats, depending on how they were encoded.
Windows Media Audio
The audio counterpart to WMV (Windows Media Video), this Microsoft-produced file format is usually the first kind of file format that you’ve encountered when you were ripping those Blink 182 and Simple Plan CDs to your Windows 95 or Windows 2000 computer, because Windows Media Player defaults to this format.
However, WMAs are getting less popular, and even the newer WMPs rip from your CD with the MP3 format by default instead of the WMA format. Despite not being as universal as MP3, WMA audio files are also better in quality than MP3.
Free Lossless Audio Codec
If you’re one of those audiophiles who are super meticulous with file formats, most probably, FLAC is your cup of tea. FLAC files cannot be played in your standard WMP or similar programs that normally play MP3 and WAV files.
However, the quality of FLAC is of CD quality and you only get half the size of the original uncompressed audio. If you’d like to keep the entire Michael Jackson discography in FLAC and not worry about cross platform playing or disk space restraints, then go on ahead.
Apple Lossless Audio Codec
This is basically a “mandatory” Apple version of the FLAC (Apple products do not support FLAC, that’s business). Many listeners complain that the lossless quality is inferior to FLAC, so sorry, Apple.
Q: What are the benefits of a photo slideshow?
A: A photo slideshow can be used in organizational meetings or just viewing your birthday or childhood pictures. Here are some benefits to making a photo slideshow:
Slideshows using photos are super easy to create. The most popular programs you can do it with are Microsoft PowerPoint and Windows Movie Maker.
Slideshows can be customized to your will and needs. You can add colors, text and whatnot, much like how you are making a scrapbook for other people to see, but in digital format.
Ease of understanding
Ever got your audience bored because of walls of text or uncaptioned photos? Make your slideshow unique, fresh and inspiring by adding animations, outlines and the like.
Pictures can speak a thousand words
The saying goes on for generations, but it’s not going to change. Pictures have the ability to tell a story, and if you add captions to it, people will understand the story better.
They’re good for business
PowerPoint presentations and slideshows are a nod to this topic. Because you want to present your data or photos in a more presentable way, you can easily do so by reporting with the latest in technological advancements in a simple manner.
Q: What are the common causes of a disc not playing properly?
A: If your disc does not play properly, here are some potential culprits:
1. The lens is dirty or broken
2. The disc has so many scratches
3. The disc is years old
4. The disc may be upside down
Q: What is a file system and why does it matter with disc players?
A: Many disc players nowadays can support the UDF 1.05 system, but older ones will only support FAT, NTFS or FAT32 (a.k.a. Windows-based systems). Therefore, you should check first if your player supports your disk's file system.
Q: What are some things you need to know about the DivX encoding?
A: The DivX encoding format is a more advanced encoding format, which has the following concerns:
1. DivX discs will only play on specially made disc players that can accept DivX format.
2. Most DivX discs can have more features and enhancements over a regular disc.
3. Because the encoding is different from MJPEG, DivX discs usually cost more.
Q: What are the common types of image files?
A: An image file (not to be confused with ISO image files, which are for CD/disc burning) is any photo, image, drawing, picture or graphical representation of anything that is a file that can be used and/or shared to the world through digital media. Common image files include the following:
File acronym meaning
JPEG or JPG
.jpg or .jpeg
Joint Photographic Experts Group
This is perhaps the most common type of image that can be seen around the internet, in your local hard drive and even in your mobile phones. It is just as popular as MP3 files (discussed above).
JPEG formats have good quality, but the quality can decrease if the image is thoroughly compressed. Most phone cameras store images in JPEG format. However, in terms of logo making, artworks and anything with flat or minimal colors, JPEG tends to ruin the quality a lot.
Graphic Interchange Format
Simply put, this is an animated image sequence that is more like a movie, but repeats itself. If you have been around social media sites like Twitter and Tumblr (even Facebook has incorporated it in some way), GIFs are basically everywhere for you to express something through a meme.
GIFs can have bigger sizes depending on the resolution and the number of frames in the file. GIFs that are made from image editing programs may also tend to have dithering due to the limited amount of colors required.
Portable Network Graphics
The PNG format is slowly replacing JPG or JPEG in today’s modern technology, as many phone images are being replaced in PNG format. Oftentimes, screenshots of desktops and phone screens are saved in PNG.
PNG has a higher quality of compression and thus, creating a larger file than JPEG. PNG is preferred for drawing, graphic designs and art. PNG is, in fact, the file format used to create images with a transparent background.
Tagged Image File Format.
This is a file format you’ll most likely come across when you scan a document or certificate with a computer-connected scanner. They can keep a lot of image data, such as text.
Raw Image File
If you sadly don’t have a DSLR camera yet, you’ve probably never heard of Raw Image Files, which are basically uncompressed images that come from a DSLR.
These DSLR images can vary in extensions depending on which company made the DSLR, so there’s no universal file extension for it. The sizes of Raw files are HUGE – compared to simple JPEG files.
Q: What does R and RW mean?
A: These two acronyms for discs and CDs that are commonly used for making these discs, mean the following:
R – recordable and cannot be edited
RW – can be erased and re-recorded or edited
Q: What is a digital disc made of?
A: A digital disc can be made of any of the following materials:
1st layer: polycarbonate plastic
2nd layer: aluminum
3rd layer: acrylic, silver or gold
4th layer: ultra thin plastic coating
5th layer: printed graphics or label
Q: What is a dual layer and what is a double sided disc?
A: A digital video disc that is dual layer and one that is double sided can mean two things:
Dual Layer: only one side can be recorded, but with a capacity of up to 8.5 GB.
Double Sided: both sides can be recorded, but with a capacity of up to 9.4 GB.
Q: Which is better in longevity: R or RW?
A: Generally speaking, R (recorded) stays longer than RW (rewritable), because the burning is deep like a permanent tattoo, unlike the RW, which is burnt lightly so you can edit it later. This is important if you want to keep your data for a longer period of time.
Q: What’s the average lifespan of digital discs?
A: Most digital discs can live only for a certain time until they’ve deteriorated, most of which are the following:
50 to 200 years
20 to 100 years
30 to 100 years
Up to 30 years
30 to 200 years
Q: Will discs become obsolete?
A: In the future, discs have the chance of becoming obsolete if people continue to buy Blu-Ray discs or watch from Netflix and similar services instead of renting or buying a disc. Like the VHS, one day, you’ll only probably find this kind of disc in a collector’s shop.
Q: What are those gross things that come out of rotting discs?
A: Those things are caused by the lacquer layer oxidizing with aluminum due to the amount of air exposure, causing the rotting effect on discs. This can be avoided by keeping your discs secure in a safe place without oxidation chances.
Q: Is it possible to convert VHS tapes into disc?
A: Yes, many program nowadays have this kind of capability, in which you can convert your favorite home videos into disc files. This makes it easy for you to cherish those moments you were with your family or friends.
Wrapping It Up
In the long run, we believe that the LG Nero 12 is our pick for the best DVD burning software, due to the buffer memory of up to 0.5 MB, high compatibility with CDs and the ability to easily record and write data at up to 24x of writing speed.