When you consider that all operating systems come with at least basic DVD reading and burning capabilities and that most video editing software programs come with advanced CD, DVD and Blu-ray features the case for owning purpose built disc software is nowhere near as strong as it was in the past.
However there are times or circumstances when the need for such software arises so on this page I have put down a few of my thoughts on the subject as well as made a few recommendations.
First Things First
Before I get to the software itself I think it is important to establish whether you actually need DVD or Blu-ray software or whether or not you may already have the ability to do that in software you own.
Any good video editing software program these days will have a module dedicated to rendering your projects to a specific set of file types or formats depending on your wishes.
Within this module you will find the disc features on offer and most of the available software can not only output onto discs of all types but can import from all types as well.
So if you want to get some files off a CD, DVD or Blu-ray disc, a process known as “ripping,” there is a good chance you may already have everything you need to do that.
Before you go off into exploring specific software for manipulating discs check first to see if what you want to do is not already covered by what you already have.
Another type of software offering more advanced control over importing, exporting and editing discs comes under the title of Multimedia Suites.
There are about three main producers of multimedia software that I currently consider to be worth looking at and you can see a more complete overview of them by clicking this link: Multimedia Software
To put it briefly and from a disc handling point of view the best choice in multimedia would be the product offered by Ahead called Nero.
Nero started out in life strictly as a disc burning and copying software so of the three main contenders in the multimedia market it comes with the strongest feature set with regards to disc manipulation.
However it is important to note that all the multimedia suites are exactly what they say… suites.
They come with a range of features and functions such as video editing, image editing, audio editing and more so unless you have a need for ALL the functions of the suite (or at least most) then you are certainly purchasing and installing a huge program that may go way beyond what you really need.
Either way I would strongly recommend you at least take a look at the Multimedia Software page to get an idea of what they all offer.
Strictly DVD or Blu-ray
OK! If you have made it this far and I haven’t totally turned you off the idea of a dedicated piece of software for dealing with DVDs and Blu-ray discs then this is the one I recommend.
DVDFab DVD Copy or Blu-ray Copy
First of all don’t let the names fool you. They don’t just copy!
This is a partial list of the functionality they offer although there is a slight variation between the Blu-ray version and the DVD version due to the differences in those formats.
Full Disc Copy: Copies the entire contents of the DVD including all movies, menus and trailers. No need for you to do anything or understand anything… it is fully automated. Simple!
Main Movie Copy: Just copy the main movie and cut out any unwanted sound tracks, extra features, subtitles etc. that you don’t need or want saving you time and disc space.
Split: Copy one DVD-9 (dual layer disc) onto two DVD-5s (single layer discs) with 100% quality keeping the original menus for both discs.
This is ideal for episodic/season DVD movies, TV series etc. This feature gives you greater compatibility for playback devices as some DVD players may have difficulty with dual layer discs.
Customize: Personalize your discs by making a new one with only your favorite titles or by cutting out commercials or selecting specific audio or subtitles.
Clone: Make perfect 1:1 bit-to-bit copies of discs including dual layer DVD copies using the original layer break position.
You can also copy data discs like PS2 DVDs to be certain you always have a 100% perfect backup copy.
Merge: Merge several DVD titles from different sources on to one DVD.
This means you can combine a two DVD or more set into fewer discs or merge season DVDs into a collection or “best of” disc.
Write Data: You can also use DVDFab to simply burn data to any blank Disc
DVDFab does all of that whilst delivering exceptionally fast copying speed (about 10 – 20 minutes for a full DVD) and no loss of quality.
It handles a very wide range of output formats suitable for various mobile devices as well as for online video sharing sites such as YouTube etc.
- General: Convert to MPEG-4, DivX, XVID, H.264 AVI, MP4 files playable on Pcs and suitable for online video.
- iPod: Convert to MPEG-4 or H.264 MP4 files playable on Apple iPod.
- PSP: Convert to MPEG-4 or H.264 MP4 files playable on Sony PSP.
- ZUNE: Convert to WMV files playable on Microsoft ZUNE.
- NDS: Convert to DPG files playable on Nintendo DS.
- Xbox: Convert to WMV files playable on Microsoft Xbox 360.
- PS3: Convert to MPEG-4 or H.264 MP4 files playable on Sony Play Station 3.
- Convert files to any specific format supported by Cell Phones.
- PVP (Portable Video Player)
- PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)
Automatic Cropping: This feature allows you to remove the “black bars” you see on many widescreen movie titles automatically so you can enjoy a “full screen” viewing experience.
Screen Re-sizing: You can re-size the video with this feature to suit your own TV whether 4:3 or 16:9 as well as re-sizing for online or computer viewing.
Copy Protections: Remove all copy protections such as CSS, CPPM, RC, RCE, APS, UOPs, ARccOS, RipGuard, FluxDVD, CORE X2, etc. So that you can legally back up your own personal collection for archiving.
This feature is constantly updated to reflect changes and developments in the field.
Damaged or Scratched and Disc Data Errors
Aside from the features already mentioned above probably one of the most compelling aspects of DVDFab is its ability to recover faulty DVD discs.
DVDFab is clearly the leader in this area being able to, in many cases, read through DVD disc surface errors resulting from scratches and dirt. It also has excellent capabilities to recover data from DVDs that have serious internal corruption.
Without going into the technicalities of it all DVDFab can, in many cases, recover files from DVDs giving error messages such as, invalid DVD menu structure, invalid navigation structure, disc error, no disc, VOB error, IFO cannot be read and more.
What all of that adds up to is peace of mind that your hard earned dollars spent on your DVD collection and those precious memories of family and friends stored on DVD are safe and secure.
DVDFab is constantly updated to support the latest DVD burners, blank DVD discs, mobile devices and evolving technology such as BluRay and other high definition formats.
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