Priceless Burning Engine

very good
key review info
application features
  • Burn data and audio (WAV, WMA, MP3, OGG, FLAC, AAC, M4A) to your CDs & DVDs is now very easy with Free Easy CD DVD Burner.
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Getting your CD/DVD burned this time is becoming easier than ever. With the Vista burning engine incorporated in the OS you are almost done. However, Vista does not offer the options and flexibility you need for this matter. So you have to buy an application that complies with your standards. STOP!

There are freewares that could give you what you want. Free Easy CD DVD Burner is one of them that drew my attention. It has everything a regular computer user would need: data CD/DVD burning tool, DVD video burning support, Audio CD maker and grabber and it can also erase CD/DVD discs. There is no support for the newer technology like HD DVD and Blu-ray discs, but considering it is free, I think you won't mind this mischief.

The interface is as user friendly as can be. The menus are located in the upper part of the screen and their options are displayed in the left hand side of the window, in a separate panel. Creating a data CD or DVD is as easy as dragging and dropping the files or folders from your file manager directly into the burner's window.

The rewriteable disc erasing options are available in all the menus of the software, so you can access them no matter if you are in the Data CD/DVD, DVD video or Audio CD section. However, I would not recommend it, as during the tests I was able to erase a single DVD disc. For all the others, I was forced to use a different, more reliable application for this.

Creating a Data CD went absolutely fine and there were absolutely no problems. I simply dragged my files in the burner window and dropped them there. This way I skipped the long way of appealing to the software's "add files" and "add folders" options and cut to the chase.

In the case of creating a DVD video everything went smooth also as the application had already prepared the Video_TS and Audio_TS folders for me and all there was left to do was add the desired files. The burning took 15 minutes and 14 seconds for a regular DVD5, so everything looked peachy up to that point. That is not that bad, considering that Nero does a similar job in almost the same amount of time.

With Audio CD function, however I was not that lucky and all the smooth burning Free easy CD DVD Burner accustomed me to turned into a nightmare. Deciding to test this option on Vista was really a bad idea. First I checked the support of the application for the file formats. The impressive palette (WMA, FLAC, M4A, APE, WAV, MP3, OGG and AAC) made me put it to a test.

I proceeded to add a file from each of the supported formats. After starting the process, the progress bar got stuck at 3% and would not move further. For about ten minutes the slider did not move a bit. I decided to stop the process and all the burning and try again. Unfortunately, my computer did not respond in any way. At the second test I turned on Task Manager and minimized it to system tray. The result was the same, only this time I could see that Task Manager's system tray icon was blinking faster than Christmas lights.

This horrible mischief occurred only on Vista. Testing this feature on an XP platform it all worked just fine and no problems occurred.

Additional features of the application include an audio grabber designed to rip Audio CDs into MP3 or WAV. I have to say that even if it does not move too fast, it does a hell of a job. No errors and the quality can be configured by the user. For MP3 ripping you can choose the bitrate (up to 320) and audio channel for the sound or you can choose the variable bitrate rip method (set frequency, VBR quality and maximum bitrate value to be achieved).

Additionally, to make the ripping more comfortable and to save you time later, the software is equipped with a CDDB tool that retrieves the information on your disc directly from the Internet. This way the name of the songs and the author will be automatically appended to the tracks.

The ripper configuration allows you to set the way this data is displayed. You can set the output path for the ripped files to be saved and configure the file's title.

A very important feature free Easy CD DVD Burner is strapped with is its ability to save the files as ISO and also burn the ISO on the disc. The option is available in Copy CD/DVD menu and works beautifully both in Vista and in XP.

The application has almost everything it needs to become your personal free burning utility. The user can watch the progress of the burning operation and set the burning speed according to the capacities of the burning device. Also, if you have more than one CD/DVD burning drive you have the possibility of selecting the device you want to use.

Free Easy CD/DVD Burner will automatically calculate the size of the files you want to burn and display the information at the bottom of the screen; this way you will have total control over the files to burn and know when the amount of data is too much to fit on a CD/DVD.

The Good

The software worked flawless under Windows XP and all the tasks were completed successfully. The fact that it is a freeware only adds more to its value.

Easy to use and handle, Free Easy CD/DVD Burner is equipped with disc erasing options (both "quick erase" and "full erase") and an audio ripper to save your favorite Audio CDs to MP3 or WAV. Also, the information provided by CDDB is extremely useful and only makes your work easier. Besides the names of the tracks this tool will also present you a series of covers for the album, if available.

The Bad

Testing the application on Vista was a nightmare. The most trouble was with creating Audio CDs from the files I had on my computer. Additionally, erasing the discs was a torment as the files were still visible, but their size was not the right one. This may as well be from the discs I used, but I doubt it.

There is no time estimation for finishing the job. The software will only show the elapsed time for the job.

The Truth

It is worth trying on XP, but if I were you, I would keep it away from Vista. It runs nicely on XP and in my case it passed every test. However, on Vista it will give you a lot of trouble with erasing the discs and creating Audio CDs.

The Vista mischiefs are not a problem yet, but with the growing number of users that upgrade to "WoW" OS these issues will weigh a lot more than now.

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:

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

final rating 4
Editor's review
very good