The "all-around" CD/DVD/ISO tool for Microsoft Windows that I originally worked with was the Nero Burning ROM suite...
-- a good program if you can afford the price tag, but a good many of its functions were slowly eclipsed by freeware that worked just as well, if not better. One of them was an application named CDBurnerXP, which I used for a time but also grew disenchanted with when its development cycle slowed to a crawl. In the interim, I used ImgBurn, a good program but also limited in some ways by its relatively more modest feature set.
And now a brand-new revision to the left of the decimal point has appeared for CDBurnerXP -- version 4.0. By and large, it's been worth the wait for a variety of reasons. CDBurnerXP 4.0 is essentially an entirely new program from the inside out. Many features that were not really central to the program have been eliminated, such as CD ripping functions. The program itself underwent a complete rewrite using .NET Framework 2.0 (which must be installed before using the program and is available by default with most current installations of Windows).
Here's a quick rundown of some of the features available in the CDBurnerXP 4.0:
- Support for the vast majority of CD/DVD media: CD-R, CD-RW, DVD+-RW and double-layer media
- Bootable disc support, including the ability to extract boot sectors from removable drives (mainly floppies)
- ISO 9660, Joliet and UDF disc format support
- Support for mixed file systems (i.e., ISO9660/UDF)
- Support for various hardware-based buffer-underrun mechanisms
- Multisession support, including the ability to import and edit existing ISO 9660 sessions or edit file structures directly on CDs/DVDs where supported by the media
- Support for creating audio CDs from various file formats, including gapless audio (disc-at-once) mode
- Conversion of .BIN and .NRG files to .ISO format
- Permission granted to non-administrative users to burn CDs without extra hacking (optional feature that does not have to be installed)
- Unicode/multi-byte character support
- Support for multiple languages for the application interface (application does not need to be reinstalled to change languages)
About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of Windows Insight (formerly the Windows Power Users Newsletter), a blog site devoted to hints, tips, tricks and news for users and administrators of Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Vista. He has more than 12 years of experience working with Windows, and contributes regularly to SearchWinComputing.com and other TechTarget sites.