Brasero Review

very good
key review info
  • Application: Brasero 0.6.1
  • Reviewed on:
  • Written by:
application features
  • Supports multiple backends
  • (5 more, see all...)

Nowadays, almost all computers have a CD-Writer or DVD-Writer installed on them, so you can easily take your important data, may it be documents, music, videos or programs, wherever you want. A good example of interesting stuff from my point of view could be a Linux distribution. So, you have a CD/DVD-Writer, but you will need some software that can help you add files to your discs. For this kind of stuff Brasero was created. It is an application for burning discs for the GNOME desktop environment and was designed to be as simple as possible, so you can easily create your discs.

I am using Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon, so the installation was very fast and easy, I had go to Applications menu, opened up the Add/Remove program, typed in the search field "Brasero", mark the checkbox in front of it and click on the "Apply Changes" button. After these few steps, the application was on my system! If you are also using Ubuntu, then you will find Brasero, after installation, in Applications -> Sound & Video.

Now that I have setup Brasero, I'll start telling you about it. Let's begin with the main interface, which resembles the lower pane from K3B, the CD/DVD burning application for KDE. It is not a bad thing after all, because some of you are used to K3B and this feature will make you feel comfortable using Brasero. You will have four options to choose from after you start the program: "Audio project" - lets you create an audio CD, "Data project" - creates a data CD/DVD, with any type of files you want, "Disc Copy" - copies a CD/DVD to another medium of the same type and "Burn image", an option that burns a previously created CD/DVD image to disc. The four big buttons that offer you the aforementioned functions, are supplemented with a toolbar, made up of three menus: "Project", "Disc" and "Help". The third one, "Help", is actually a section of the application from where you can get the author's e-mail address, because there is no documentation made for Brasero. In "Disc" you will find two options, one to erase a rewritable medium and the other to perform a file integrity check on a CD or DVD. An md5 checksum can be used for this, if you tick the checkbox on the "Check Integrity" menu.

When you want to create an audio CD so you can use it on devices that don't support mp3 files, you will have to click on the "Audio project" button. Afterwards, the file selection interface will appear, where you can add files to the project. How can you do that? It's very simple, you will have to use only your mouse, by dragging and dropping files from the source directory to the future audio CD. Brasero has a preview function implemented, so you can listen to the songs before they're added to the project. I almost forgot to mention that there is a CD icon in the lower left corner of the interface, which is in fact a menu with the CD types (for audio would be: 74, 80, 90 and 100 minutes). When you finish adding stuff, just click on "Burn" and another window will appear, with the burning options (speed, burnproof, simulate the writing, eject after burning). Just click on burn after you make the changes you want and in a few minutes you'll have an audio CD.

For data projects, the process is the same as with the audio ones. After you burn the CD you can also check the file integrity. Brasero reported me that some files were corrupted on the disc. I checked every document to see if there is something wrong, but I could not find anything that looked suspicious. Do you like little, annoying bugs? I'm pretty sure you don't. I found one, I don't know whether it is a function or a real bug, but here is how you can reproduce it, to see what I mean:

1. Right click on a file in the source directory, action that will bring a menu, where you can select to see the hidden files. Don't select the "Show hidden files" option.

2. Click somewhere outside this menu.

3. Quickly go back on the file you previously right clicked. The file will stick to your cursor, although you don't want that! To get rid of the "glued" content from your cursor, you will have to right click again somewhere on the interface.

For data projects, you have mediums ranging from older 650 MB CDs to 7.9 GB Dual-Layer DVDs, but you can also create disc images in different formats; one of the most common is ISO. Too bad there is no Preferences menu, so you could have set the default options from the beginning. You need to configure the application for every project you want to burn, as I have noticed. Brasero is also "moody", sometimes it remembers the changes you make, sometimes it doesn't.

When you create multisession discs, after you burn a project, the program will return to the main interface, letting you add more files. In fact, it does not happen like this... you will have to restart Brasero to continue your multisession disc, otherwise the only thing you will get are error messages.

"Disc Copy" will copy from a source drive to a destination drive - or image file - the entire content of a CD or DVD. Just click on "Copy" and go get a coffee until Brasero finishes its work. "Burn Image" writes an ISO, RAW, CUE or TOC image to an empty disc. You can choose between these types of files, or you can let Brasero select the type by itself, which is the safest option.

The Good

Brasero is very fast and doesn't take too much from your computer resources. If you want a simple and clean-looking application, then Brasero will suit you.

The Bad

The complete absence of documentation is one of the worst aspects. I have seen much simpler applications with a well-made help system, why doesn't Brasero have it too? I looked for a menu where I could set up Brasero the way I would like it to work, but I only found... nothing; this is another black ball for the burning application.

The Truth

Compared to other existing tools for CD/DVD burning, Brasero is the best solution for the GNOME Desktop Environment. It still needs some bugfixes until I could say it is the best software.

Here are some screenshots of Brasero in action:

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user interface 4
features 2
ease of use 4
pricing / value 5

final rating 4
Editor's review
very good


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