The latest version of the award winning 123 Copy DVD line now offers more than 10 functions all under one user interface.
By Rob Boirun
Tech Specs: Mac OSX 10.3 and higher
Intel 1GHZ Processor required, and 512MB RAM
Supports: Mac Pro, Mac Mini, Mac Book Air, iMac, Mac Book Pro, Mac Book
File Size: 18 MB
While Nero was the most used application for CD/DVD burning few years ago and enjoyed a great reputation, other companies worked to develop other DVD authoring programs. Most of these programs are today challenging Nero on the market. Express Burn is one of them and is one of the original DVD burning software applications for the Mac..
There is a Buy Online button at the end of the tool bar, but you can use the program without paying for it. The Buy Online bar is for the same program which is also available in other editions and includes several more features. While the paid edition is good too, we will only review the freeware piece today.
Express Burn can do regular authoring on both CDs and DVDs. It can also erase RW discs and create Audio CDs in different supported formats, including MP3, WAV, AIFF, RAW, OGG, AAC, MP4, WMA and more others. The program is also featuring a Blu-Ray burner and can also author HD-DVDs. And this is not all; Express Burn can also create ISO images from the inserted disk and then write them on another DVD.
The installation process will reveal this application comes with more software included. The burner is just the star software of a whole suite developed in collaboration with different teams. For example, the audio tools for editing files are from WavePad, the audio conversion is done by Switch and the audio recording is handled by RecordPad. There is also an audio ripping tool included.
The normal ripping of an Audio CD, for example, will not take too much. The output quality is also high and this is one of Express Burn’s main selling points. No matter how you do the process, as long as the results are the ones desired, you get five stars.
If you use original discs, the program will gather information about the songs and artists, plus the name of the album if you are connected to the internet, and it will type them automatically on your output files.
The interface is very easy to use. The disk options can be accessed from the top part of the application window. The first option in the toolbar is the New Disk icon, which can be the starting point for every process. You can also directly select the desired process from the available list, such as Copy Disk, Audio CD, Data CD, Video DVD, Data Blu-Ray and Data HD-DVD.
The discs are easy to label and the feature seems to be tolerant for long names, unlike the fellow Nero suite. The application is definitely ISO standard in this regard.
Burning a CD is very easy to do. You just need to select the desired option, add the files (which can also be done by dragging and dropping) and start the process. It is, however, a bit more difficult for burning DVD video. The drag and drop feature does not work very well, because the files will not be included in the Video_TS directory, but placed in the root. To create a proper DVD video you will need to use the Add Files/Folder option under the File menu. The program will now arrange all the files properly. Burning a DVD video might take up to 30 minutes, so the speed is not fantastic. However, as I specified earlier, the quality of the output is great.
Express Burn is developed by NCH Software. Overall this is a great application, working fast, featuring the most important processes a user would want, delivering high-quality output and, maybe most important, comes free of charge from the publisher. You can buy different editions of the program if you want more features, but I think Express Burn Free should be enough for most of the users out there.
From the main screen you choose what type of project you want to create. Choose from Video, Audio, or DVD options.
Support burning to Blu-Ray discs (BD-R, BD-RW)
More intuitive than the freeware options out there.
Does not copy protected DVD movies
Does not include a DVD menu system. Video DVD's are created to play automatically.