At a Glance
- Free, easy to use, supports BD
This CD/DVD/BD burning utility is effective, but somewhat limited and occasionally oddball.
I tend to scrutinize free software just a hair more than stuff
that’s not. And when the logo is something as cute and cuddly as
Hamster Soft’s, I put that little furball under a microscope.
Happily, the company’s Burning Studio proved not only competent,
but completely innocuous as far as I could tell.
Hamster Free Burning Studio couldn’t be easier to install,
though you should choose the custom install if you want to avoid
installing the Bing toolbar. The license tells you that some
non-personal information is gathered and transmitted during
install, and only during install. If that bothers you, look
elsewhere. At least they tell you about it. Many companies do not.
The interface looks nice (you can easily change the default gray to
another color), is logically laid out, and places all pertinent
functions within easy reach.
That said, I found it rather odd that the Hamster Free Burning
Studio jumped back and forth between a launch application, a
full-sized window, and a mini-sized disc-shaped window. Launching
the program doesn’t always bring up that same window either. There
are other interface oddities–all minor and survivable–but the GUI
design team should be thinking “less is more” in the future.
In my limited hands-on, the Hamster Free Burning Studio happily
copied and burned both data CDs and DVDs. There’s currently no
support for ripping audio, or burning audio or movie discs. The
program also supports writing and burning .ISO files. Kudos to the
company for not creating yet another useless proprietary type of
By default, Hamster Free Burning Studio writes in sessions.
You’ll need to explicitly select “close” to bar further writing. I
wish this setting were saved when you close the program, but it is
not. You’ll find icons for Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube on most
of the Windows; these go to the company’s feeds, where you’ll find
some useful tutorials and advice if you need it.
Though it’s limited to data discs, Hamster Free Burning Studio
works well. It’s definitely prettier and a tad easier to use than
another competent freebie burning program.
Note: This link takes you to the vendor’s site,
where you can download the latest version of the software.
–Jon L. Jacobi