capsule review

Ashampoo Burning Studio 6 Free

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Ashampoo Burning Studio 6 Free

    PCWorld Rating

    Burn and rip CDs and DVDs for free.

If you're looking for a simple, free way to rip music, copy CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Ray discs, and handle other associated burning and ripping chores, try Ashampoo Burning Studio 6 Free. It's simple to use, works like a charm, and doesn't cost a penny.

Using Ashampoo Burning Studio 6 Free is simplicity itself. The main menu asks "What would you like to do?" then gives you a variety of choices, such as Create/Burn Disc Images, Burn Movies, Burn or Rip Music, and so on. From that point on, simply follow the prompts, and you'll accomplish your task with very little muss or fuss.

As for the tasks you can accomplish, they're many. Copy entire discs, burn movies to a CD/DVD/BD Disc, create Video CDs, create .ISO images from a CD or DVD, create a CD or DVD from an .ISO images...you'll find all that and more. It's a surprisingly long list for a free program to offer.

The Achilles Heel of free burning programs is that they don't always recognize all CD or DVD drives, but I've tried Ashampoo Burning Studio 6 Free on half a dozen different drives, and it recognized every one. That's no guarantee that it will recognize yours, of course, but I've never had a problem with it.

While it offers many ripping and burning capabilities, it generally sticks with the basics. You won't find any editing tools here, tools for creating menus, and so on. So if you want those, you'll have to go with a for-pay program, such as one from Ashampoo or Nero. The for-pay Ashampoo Burning Studio 10, for example, lets you create menus, edit movies, compress files to fit on a single DVD, and more. But if you want burning and ripping basics, this is the program to get.

Note: During the installation process, you're asked whether you want an Express Installation or a Custom Installation. If you choose Express Installation, a MyAshampoo toolbar is added to your system, the MyAshampoo search Web site is set as your home page, and the MyAshampoo Web search is set as your default search. If you choose Customer Installation, you can turn off any of those options.

--Preston Gralla

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Burn and rip CDs and DVDs for free.

    Pros

    • Handles almost any burning or ripping chore.

    Cons

    • Doesn't have authoring tools; Doesn't have editing tools.
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