What are the advantages of CD burning software over the built in Windows CD Burner? Why would I want to purchase or download burning software when Windows can do it for me?
There are more features then just simple file cd burning.
- You can burn a variety of disk images (ISO, etc.)
- Video cd's (VCD's)
- You have much more control over burn speeds and drive progress monitoring.
- Some software has cd label features (lightscribe, sticker labels)
- Ability to save file lists and cd layouts.
- Visual GUI elements to remind you of disk space available.
- Much better CD-RW support
- Better Audio CD support (tags, cd-text, mp3 cd's, etc.)
This all depends on which software package you choose, but those are some of the common enhancements over windows basic file burn.
The built-in CD burner in Vista can't do disk images. This functionality was introduced in Windows 7.
The ability to burn ISO images natively within Windows is new to Windows 7.
if it works for you, and fills all your needs, just use Windows CD Burner - nuffink wrong with that at all.
One simple reason why I don't use Windows CD Burner - it needs to cache the files I want to burn in a temp directory first, thus slowing down the whole process (and shortening my drive's lifespan). Most burning software can do it on-the-fly burning.
Well, one more reason to use e.g. Nero to burn CD's: LightScribe support. Although at the site you could also just download free sooftware to do the same, just simpler...
One single reason to use another software such as Nero is that CD burning can be an imperfect process. If you use CD burning as your backup process, and you need to recover files, you want to make sure what you burn can be read back. To my knowledge, Windows built-in CD burning process does not actually provide a full verification of the burned data.
A friend of mine had done a backup of family pictures on a CD, and his hard disk crashed, to the point he could not boot Windows anymore. And his two latest backups, done with Windows built-in CD burner, happened to be unreadable. I actually recovered his files from his hard disk using a Live Linux distro. We then re-installed everything back on his PC, knowing his pictures were safe.
But since then, he uses Nero under Windows, with the option to verify all burned CDs, to ensure that the CD is readable. Nero may cost money, but you then have a much better insurance that your data is readable.
When you use a CD to distribute information, or to provide a copy to others, a defective CD is not so much a problem, you can always re-do it. But when you rely on it as a backup, you need to ensure that what you burn is readable.