I really want to know why the top two windows CD/DVD burning programs as such big fat junky programs. For many years I used Roxio Easy CD Creator. In fact, I used Toast on the Mac for many years (same company) and was super pleased with it. For a while Easy CD Creator annoyed me so I switched to Nero for a while, but I growingly got annoyed with all the junk they installed.
So after I got a DVD Burner and wanted to burn DVD Videos from my DV Camera I switched to Roxio Easy CD Creator 7. Now this looks like a nice program on the back of the box, but when you load it up you realize that it’s one bloated unusable buggy program. For one thing they decided to rewrite all the standard windows controls like tabs, buttons, and menus. Now, when I see a program do something like this I wonder what a huge freaking waste of time it must have been for their developers to basically rewrite a bunch of UI Widgets that the OS gives you for free. Additionally, when you re-write OS widgets you introduce bugs and behaviors that the OS does not have, which in turn confuse your users. So, this is an immediate sign that the software is probably junk as those resources should be spent making a decent program.
Well the final straw for Roxio happened last night when I launched it to burn a DVD and it would not launch. I went to the web site and there was a honking 50 MB download that fixed this problem. Ugh. Not only that, but after installing it Roxio broke my CD Drive. Lucky for my google skills I found a KB article that instructed me to hack my registry to fix this problem. The KB article mentions version 5, but I guess Roxio still didn’t learn it’s lesson in Version 7. Even worse was I found this after 2 hours of taking my PC apart and fiddling around thinking my drive was dead.
Now none of this would be a problem if Windows was able to write to DVD like Mac OS X. And none of this would be a problem if Microsoft made a program like iDVD that allowed me to burn high quality DVDs of my Home Videos, or backup my pictures to DVD+RW. Longhorn will surely deliver some acceptable level of DVD writing as it does with CD-ROMs, and expose APIs to do this so developers can spend less time writing DVD burning code, and more time writing quality software. However, we all know that in the case of Easy CD Creator it won’t matter as they will do all this anyway.
Well, now that I have ranted this topic off my chest there is good news. I found an excellent program called CopyToDVD which behaves and acts as I expect. It looks and feels like a Windows program, installs in under a minute, and does it’s job nicely. It doesn’t hack up your system, screw up your DVD drive, nor does it require that you reboot to use it. And best of all it’s $40.