• Fast & efficient disc burning
• Burn multiple discs at the same time
• Advanced configuration options
• Interface is easy to use
• There are not many extras in this package
If you want to copy discs quickly and burn multiple discs at the same time, BurnAware is worth the money. This easy to use, simple disc burning package has all you need to create CD, DVD and Blu-ray discs with a few in-built features that allow for individual configuration. BurnAware is a solid choice for disc burning although it doesn’t include much in the way of extras.
BurnAware was set up in 2007 concentrating on disc burning software and the company provides a free version of its disc burner. The Professional version is designed for commercial purposes and for home users looking for extra functionality and convenience when working with discs. BurnAware Professional comes with additional capabilities to recover single files from unreadable discs and burn ISO images to more than one drive at the same time. It’s a good program if you are looking for these kinds of features; otherwise the free version is good enough for basic disc burning tasks.
Setup of the BurnAware software is easy and compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10 (32 and 64 bit). The first step is to select the language you want to use the software in (the product is multilingual with many language choices), accept the EULA (End User License Agreement), select the folder where you want to install the program, and then set up the quick launch icon and the desktop icon. The simple setup process means after a few clicks the software is ready to run.
The interface opens with a display of the type of discs you can work with, and the tasks you will most often carry out. For example, BurnAware allows you to create and burn CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray. You can also burn Audio CDs and MP3 Discs. For video you have DVD-Video, BDMV / AVCHD. The interface is divided into five groups – Data, Multimedia, Disc Images (here you can burn ISO discs and image files), Utilities (with facilities for erasing rewritable discs so you can use them again, and also checking the disc info and checking for errors), and Extras – extras include the Multiburn facility available in this Professional version of BurnAware. We also like the disc recovery tool that allows you to extract files from damaged discs.
After you choose an icon for the task you want to complete, the follow-up actions are all quite similar. When creating a DVD disc, for example, the interface is divided into Compilation, Edit, and Recorder. The Compilation section has a prominent red button labeled "Burn" and also an Options selection, where you can configure certain elements of the burn. The Edit part of the interface has an "Add Files" button but you can also drag and drop files directly into the section below the commands, which will probably be easier if you have folders open on your PC. In this section you can also check the properties of the files and delete them if necessary. The Recorder section provides the opportunity to select an optical drive and also specify the writing speed. There are four speeds and the program does not automatically modify the choice depending on the files; you need to choose for yourself. Once you’ve added all your files and selected the drive and speed, you click burn and the software does its work.
BurnAware doesn’t offer any security features or built-in encryption with its software package.
BurnAware doesn’t include many extra features – this software is focused on the basics of disc burning and there is relatively little in the way of additions to the standard disc burning tasks.
Disc spanning is included as an option where you can spread the content onto more than one disc when you have too much for a single disc. You can also set up CD text for track and disc, and add a variety of partitions and versions.
Ease of use
We like the clean and clear layout of the user interface, which makes it simple and straightforward to see where to click to burn the disc you need, or which icon to choose for extra features. The simple task of burning a disc takes a few clicks, and beginners will easily be able to handle it. If you want more options, BurnAware gives you configuration choices including taking control of UDF partitions and version, and controlling boot settings.
Help & support
BurnAware provides access to the user manual online, and there is a useful list of error codes. Looking through these, and the FAQs, may solve any problem you have with the software. The set of FAQs mostly covers issues surrounding installation, upgrades, and settings. Alternatively, you can send a message through the online form but there is no phone contact option. We would have liked to see more support options because, as it stands, you don’t have many options if something goes wrong.
If you have multiple drives you can use BurnAware to burn multiple discs at the same time, which saves you a lot of hassle. BurnAware offers few extras, and the features you do find are not exactly groundbreaking – but the software is clear and easy to operate.
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