Ashampoo Burning Studio Free is a comprehensive toolkit for burning CDs and DVDs. It features specially made profiles for different types of data, plus the ability to make quick backups.
It’s an impressive set of features for a free DVD burner, but this software’s real selling point is its clean, simple interface that makes a potentially confusing task refreshingly simple.
Ashampoo Burning Studio Free has a smart, slick interface that’s a cut above many free DVD burners, with clearly laid out options for burning different types of disc: data, audio and videos. You can also use the software to copy discs, burn and create images (ideal for storing a bit-for-bit copy of a CD or DVD on your hard drive), and back up and restore selected files.
The backup tool isn’t as comprehensive as dedicated backup software (there’s no scheduling, for example, and you can’t choose to make incremental backups), but it’s handy for tasks like making occasional copies of files that don’t change often, such as photos. You can also set exclusion rules so certain types of file aren’t included in your backup (such as system files, for example).
If you have a rewritable disc, you can erase its contents with a click, and it’s possible to copy CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays (though only if they’re not protected by DRM, which is fair enough).
The software isn’t limited to burning, either; it can also rip audio CDs automatically, which is a welcome feature
The premium version, Ashampoo Burning Studio 20, adds several handy features including the ability to add password protection, create animated menus and create labels and covers for your discs. It also supports disc-spanning, and can copy data to Compact Flash (CF) cards and microcards.
These are all useful to have if you burn data regularly, but for occasional use, Ashampoo Burning Studio Free has everything you’ll need.
As is often the case, there are a few factors to watch out for when installing Ashampoo Burning Studio Free – though hopefully none will be a deal-breakers. When you run the installer, you’ll be prompted to request a free registration key.
To do this, you’ll need to submit an email address. Ashampoo won’t sell your email address to third parties, though it may be used to send you ads for its own software (which you can unsubscribe from).
After clicking the email confirmation link, you’ll be prompted to create an Ashampoo profile by entering your name, day and month of birth and country, but you can skip this if you prefer and go straight to your license key by clicking ‘Not now’.
The installer contains no bundled adware, but will add a link to Ashampoo’s online store to your desktop unless you deselect the option to add desktop icons during installation.
Once installed, the software itself contains no banners or other advertisements, so you can concentrate on burning discs without distractions.