Review: ImgBurn Optical Media Burner

ImgBurn main windowThis is not a new program, but one of those Windows utilities to which I keep returning; ImgBurn from developer from developer Lightning UK. This is simply an exceptional .ISO and .IMG burning utility. I’ve used it in the past, and its always worked error-free. ImgBurn is one of the best CD/DVD image burners I’ve found and for free. Burning an image to a blank DVD is effortless, the interface in normal mode is way simpler than Roxio Creator or Nero Burning ROM. It has none of the bloatware of the commercial equivalents but more features and flexibility, not that you need to change settings for most common operations.

The easiest way to use ImgBurn is in its Ez-Mode Picker view. This just displays the app’s six main functions, with large, captioned icons:

  • Write image file to disc
  • Create image file from disc
  • Verify disc
  • Write files/folders to disc
  • Create image file from files/folders
  • ‘Discovery’

ImgBurn Settings page one of thirteenI’m not sure how it could be made simpler, since the default options on ImgBurn takes three clicks to go – read image, verify, & burn – it could not be easier. Perhaps it could use a further set of simple end-user wizards to handle the many settings available. Dive into the options and you will find thirteen (13) pages of them! Let’s just say if there’s a disk-burning setting to be changed, ImgBurn will set it. It’s just as well the ImgBurn site has many tutorials.

For example, ImgBurn will do its very best to burn DVD-Video double layer images using the layer break you’ve specified in the IFO files, but also calculates the best place for you saving you the trouble. You should have from 5 to 25 GB free space on hard drive to gather files for burning at once. If you need to get more advanced, the software will let you adjust settings for a particular drive manufacturers’ capabilities, such as Samsung’s “MagicSpeed” or Lite-On’s “SmartBurn.”

Strictly speaking since version 2.5.1.0 it is AD-WARE supported, but nobody is forced to install the Ask toolbar, the program installs and works flawlessly without it. If you don’t want to use the Ask toolbar, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to deselect the option.
ImgBurn burning window

Features

  • Full optical disc burner features
  • ImgBurn can make a disc bootable
  • Erase rewriteable media
  • Lots of supported formats: it works not only with standard ISO disk image files, but with proprietary formats like Nero’s .NRG, and Pinnacle’s .PDI, HP RecordNow!’s .GI formats
  • Burns Blu-ray discs
  • It can also record image files in the other direction, from disc to hard drive, and build image files from existing files on the hard drive such as those needed to create a movie DVD.
    Bear in mind if the disc is a copy-protected movie, ImgBurn won’t pull the image from it.
  • ImgBurn can write non-image data to discs,
  • ‘Advanced’ Build mode lets you create any file and folder layout you want for a disc or image.
  • Verify already-written disks
  • ‘Discovery’ mode diagnoses the quality of your DVD burner’s work.
  • ImgBurn can also view the drive’s capabilities, check for firmware updates and tell you which version you’re currently running.

The down side is that it is Windows-only. Oh well, nobody’s perfect. AJS

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