Ashampoo Burning Studio 10
As of version 9, I was calling Ashampoo's Burning Studio is the optical market's version of "The Little Engine That Could." With the advent of version 10, the suite is one in which Blu-ray support has been improved so you can now create both data and movie discs; however, there's still no support for AVCHD so the suite is still just a tad shy in features compared to Roxio and Nero. Or put another way, one wheel width away from the top of that mountain.
Other improvements are minor, but welcome. There's a preview player that shows you exactly how your disc will appear and play--including the motion menus. There's also a new audio player so you can play songs and CDS. Disc themes, and many functions have been updated as well. Ashampoo Burning Studio also retains the same user-friendly interface. It's not exceptionally pretty, but the language is concise and informative and all the functions are within easy reach and where you expect them to be.
Burning Studio 10 performed admirably in my testing, and this go-round I experienced no crashes with the movie editor. It also burned all the jobs I tried successfully, including a Blu-ray movie to BD-RE. Aside from its lack of support for AVCHD, the suite will take care of just about any disc-related job you can think of, including ripping audio CDs, copying discs etc. Given this program's steady improvement, I'm thinking that version 11 will address the AVCHD issue.
If you don't need AVCHD support, then Ashampoo Burning Studio 10 is a worthy contender for your optical suite bucks. It's certainly worth a look.
Note:As downloaded, the trial version lasts only 10 days, although you can add another 20 days by registering for a free trial key. Also, the program will install an Ashampoo toolbar in your browser and reset your home page unless you deselect these options during the installation.
--Jon L. Jacobi