capsule review

Visual CD

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Visual CD

Visual CD allows you to create catalogs of files you've moved onto a CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, or other optical media so that you can figure out where a particular picture, song, or other file is without having to load every individual disc. It can also catalog files you still have on your hard drive.

The simple and free Visual CD makes it easy to create lists of the files on optical media, or most anywhere else for that matter. The program adds a useful 'Catalog with Visual CD' right-click option to Windows Explorer, and choosing it for a currently loaded disc allows you to create a catalog of all the files on that disc.

By default, the program only tracks the file names and quickly creates catalogs. You can add comments and also choose options to include MP3 tags, image thumbnails, and other extras in each catalog, but doing so makes the process take much longer. On one test run, trying to catalog a dvd full of images with thumbnails caused the program to hang.

Once you've created a catalog you can run advanced searches for files within them, but doing so can prove somewhat clunky. Every disc requires its own catalog (which the author says makes the program run faster), but there's no quick option to search all catalogs at once. You can search multiple catalogs if you manually select them, and you can quickly select all those you have marked as a favorite for searching.

Still, while searching could be simplified, it's much faster to use Visual CD to find your offloaded files than to find and insert all your discs. If you back up many files to dvd or other optical media, Visual CD could prove a good time-saver.

--Erik Larkin

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Visual CD

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