free dvd burner.pngMy favorite CD/DVD burning application is definitely CDBurnerXP. It’s always been free, has an enormous number of features, and I’ve never really come across something I’ve wanted to burn that it wasn’t able to handle. The only thing that keeps me from recommending this app to everyone is that the interface can be overwhelming for casual computer users.

That’s where BurnAware comes in, but the story behind this app can be a bit tiring. I loved this app when it first came out, and then it was bought by a company who started charging for the software, and then they changed their minds and decided to once again offer a basic version for free.

It’s been a long and winding road, but BurnAware 3 is on the horizon (currently in the Beta state). With it comes the new user interface that you see above, better performance (supposedly uses just 1-3% of the CPU when burning), and better support all around:

  • Supports AHCI ATA/SATA drives
  • Supports all UDF versions (1.02-2.60)
  • Supports FLAC, OGG, MP3, WMA and WAV formats
  • Supports Audio CD copying
  • Supports unicode CD-Text support
  • Supports ISO/CUE/BIN disc images
  • Supports DVD padding

Previously when installing the free version of BurnAware it would ask whether you want the Ask toolbar, and would default to “yes.” In this version that seems to be gone, or it could just be removed in the Beta installer. I’m not a big fan of apps that try to install toolbars like this, but it’s hard to find a DVD burning app that can compete with the simplicity of BurnAware. Basically, just keep your guard up when clicking through the installation and you should be fine.

BurnAware 3 Beta Homepage (Windows only; Freeware)