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Crash? Or Burn?
By Jon Newton,
(more articles from this author)
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Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: CNET/MusicDish - December 30, 2001

You used to need a PhD to burn your own CD. Well, almost. But now, anyone with a computer and the appropriate hardware and software can do it. And with the way things are happening with online music and video, there's going to be a lot burning in the New Year and that means getting the right gear is highly important - especially if you're thinking DVD.

So what's good, bad and ugly with seven of the top apps? Just after Christmas, CNET summed it up thus:

Toast 5.0 Titanium
CNET Rating: 9 out of 10
The good: Extremely intuitive interface; creates a variety of formats, including DVDs.
The bad: Included MP3 and image files require 100MB; no Mac OS X version.
The bottom line: Toast 5.0 sets the standard for Macintosh CD and DVD recording. If you're a Mac user, you won't find a better product.

Click'N Burn Pro 2.0
CNET Rating: 8 out of 10
The good: Creates CDs in a variety of formats; supports multiple burners; comes with a rich complement of related programs, including a CD label creation tool.
The bad: Stodgy-looking interface; can't create DVDs; won't read some WMA files.
The bottom line: With support for up to four burners, Click'N Burn Pro is a smart solution for music self-publishers and high-end enthusiasts. Mac owners, however, should try Roxio Toast instead.

Nero Burning ROM 5.5
NET Rating: 8 out of 10
The good: Tons of features; competitive price; easier to use than before.
The bad: Requires that you buy a plug-in to encode MP3s; won't burn DVDs (the latest Nero demo now supports DVD-recording).
The bottom line: Nero Burning ROM 5.5 pairs advanced features with an intuitive interface, making it a solid CD-burning choice for users at any level of expertise. However, Click'N Burn Pro handily beats it in price, while offering just as rich a feature set.

CNET Rating: 7 out of 10
The good: Simple, uncluttered interface; easy enough for beginners; inexpensive.
The bad: Doesn't let you burn CDs in MP3 format; can't create DVDs or video CDs.
The bottom line: Beginners or budget-conscious shoppers who don't want software cluttered with extras they'll never use may want to give this inexpensive app a try. Power users, however, should turn to Click'N Burn Pro or Roxio Toast instead.

Easy CD Creator 5.0 Platinum
CNET Rating: 6 out of 10
The good: A kinder, gentler interface for beginners; MP3 encoding and support for Windows Media Audio files; new applications for easier audio and video CD authoring; recovers data from balky CD-RW discs.
The bad: Some holdover bugs and annoyances; not all programs have the new look and feel; too many features require running separate programs; won't burn DVDs.
The bottom line: Despite its slick and simplified interface, the Easy CD Creator 5.0 suite is more of a face-lift than an evolutionary improvement over Easy CD Creator 4.0 Deluxe. Click'N Burn Pro is a better choice for Windows.

Discribe 4.0
CNET Rating: 6 out of 10
The good: Makes it easy to copy CDs and create music or data storage discs.
The bad: Can't copy or burn DVDs; doesn't support some common CD burners; bland interface; no Mac OS X support.
The bottom line: Discribe has a high-end price tag but only mediocre capabilities. For fully featured Macintosh disc burning, turn to Roxio Toast.

SmartDisk MVP
CNET Rating: 6 out of 10
The good: Clear, intuitive interface; supports a wide range of formats, including video CDs; can make self-running slide shows.
The bad: Supports only disc-at-once recording method; no DVD support.
The bottom line: For now, we can't recommend SmartDisk MVP, when Click'N Burn Pro offers so many more features for about the same price.

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