Thursday, 10 March 2016

Ashampoo Burning Studio 16

Ashampoo Burning Studio 16

The latest version of this uninstaller packs a useful collection of extra tools, as Roland Waddilove discovers

Burning Studio 16 is the latest CD, DVD and Blu-ray burning software from Ashampoo. Many existing features have been improved in this version, and there are some new features too. Although the price on the website says £39.99, if you download and install the fully working 30-day trial and click the Buy Now link in it, you can get it for the knockdown price of £15.99. Discounts on Ashampoo products are huge if you know how to get them.

This is not a simple burning utility of the sort you can get for free on the internet. No, it does a lot more. There are many extra, but related functions that make it stand out from the freebies. For example, it has some very useful tools for burning music discs from tracks stored on your computer’s disk drive. You can shuffle the tracks of an album into a random order, and you can configure equaliser settings on a track-by-track basis, boosting the bass on one track and the treble on another. Tracks can be normalised to the same volume level and you can specify inter-track gaps, including zero, for each track or the whole album.

Music CDs can be ripped to your PC’s disk in a variety of formats including MP3, FLAC, Opus, APE, WMA and WAV. A cover editor enables CD jewel case covers to be created, and it has some good features. For example, you can enter the name of an album ,and it will find the artwork on the internet and download it. It won’t find obscure albums, but many popular ones are available. Cover artwork can be found by inserting a music CD too. You can also add extra items like text, tables and background. It also does DVD boxes, booklets and other artwork. The cover creator has been significantly improved in this version of Burning Studio.

DVD movie discs can be created from movies on the disk drive, and there's a useful slideshow creator to turn your photos into a slideshow that plays on your TV and DVD player. It's like a simple video editor: you add all your photos, and it automatically adds them to a movie timeline with transition effects between slides. Music can be added to the soundtrack, and you can customise the photos and transitions. It makes the DVD menu, and then you can burn the whole production to disc. It isn’t as good as a proper video editor, but it is quick and easy to use, and you don’t get bogged down in technical details. It just works, and the finished movie is fine.

Any files can be burnt to a CD or DVD, and disc spanning is available if the content is too large for one disc. The files can be encrypted for security too. Backup and restore modules enable Burning Studio to be used as backup software for your computer. A jump list is available by right-clicking the icon in the taskbar, and it provides shortcuts to common functions.

You might think twice about buying Burning Studio 16 at £39.99, but at £15.99, this is a bargain. The range of features is good, and it has some useful tools for creating movie DVDs, music CDs and box artwork. Roland Waddilove

Packed with useful features.