Tips on selecting DVD burner software: versions and operating systems
The DVD, or Digital Versatile Disc, is a disc platter on which data may be stored. Any digital data may be stored on a DVD, whether the data is a document, an image, digital music, or a digital movie. The DVD is notable for the amount of data that can be stored on the disk, with capacities of 4.7 and 8.54 gigabytes, for single-sided, single-layer disks, and 9.4, or 7.08 gigabytes for the double-sided, double-layer type. The disk is substantially a polycarbonate, a plastic. The material on which the data is recorded is generally aluminum.
A laser beam is used to “burn” the data on the disk. It forms bumps on the aluminum, each bump representing a bit. Groups of bits encode data. To get this data on the disk, you will need a DVD drive that burns DVDs, also called a DVD burner, and DVD burner software.
Because the DVD formats were standardized early in the development of the DVD, software manufacturers were able to create DVD software that would work on most DVD burners. The format of the DVD disk is called the Universal Disk Format, or UDF. Versions 1.5 can be read by Windows 98, XP, and Vista, while version 2.0 and 2.0.1 can be read by XP and Vista. Only Vista can read UDF version 2.5. When burning a disk, you should consider which operating systems will read your DVD and select the appropriate UDF format. Some DVD burner software will give you the version option, while others may employ only the most recent UDF version. Vista’s default UDF version is 2.5, but you may change the version at the time you’re burning the disk. Only the Vista operating system comes with DVD burner software. For other Windows versions, you will need to get third party software to burn your disks.
A variety of DVD burner software is available on the market today, for both Windows and Linux operating systems. Most DVD software provides functions for erasing the DVD, or copying it. Some allow you to create a bootable DVD or an auto play DVD. Bootable DVDs are useful for creating system backup disks. Auto play DVDs will start the DVD playing after it is inserted into the drive. For greater flexibility, look for DVD burner software with these functions.
When burning a DVD, the software usually gives you a choice of DVD types to burn, such as a data DVD, a music DVD or a video DVD. You may burn a DVD-R, or a ‘write once’ DVD, a DVD-RW, or ‘write many’, with your DVD burner software. The burner writes the data to the disk from the innermost track outward, towards the edge of the disk. DVD burner software allows you to select one or more files to write to the disk. Once you have selected the data, music or video you want to burn into the disk, you simply click on a burn button and the software does the rest.
DVD burner software is available for download on the Internet. You are typically given an opportunity to use the software before paying for it. Sample what is out there before you spend the thirty to fifty dollars to purchase it. Select the one with the most functionality and ease of use. HD DVDs and Blu-ray DVDs are new formats that will probably become the standard within a few years. If the software comes with capabilities to burn either one of these, even if you don’t have an HD or Blu-ray drive now, select that one, so you won’t have to buy new software when HD and Blu-ray do become the standards. The more functions your DVD burner software has, the greater the value you’ll enjoy, as you build your library of DVDs.
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