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An ISO editor is a program that allows a user to manage, edit, and often create ISO image files. ISO image files are files that store the entirety of information that was stored on an optical disk, such as a compact disc (CD) or digital video disc (DVD). These image files are essentially complete pictures of the grooves in the optical disk that represent the stored information.
An ISO editor can be used for many different applications. Some of these applications are providing users that do not have an optical disk drive with a means of accessing information that has been stored on an optical disk. An ISO image file can be created of the disk and transferred to a flash drive or other medium. This file can then be accessed by means of an ISO editor, enabling the user to access the information as if he had the original disk in an optical drive.
Another application of an ISO editor is the ability to modify the contents of an existing ISO file. An ISO editor allows a user to modify the contents stored on an ISO image. The user may then transfer this ISO file through a flash drive or other medium. The user may also choose to burn the ISO file onto an optical disk to create a new optical disk with the new information stored on it.
Users who often need to access multiple disks may use ISO files to minimize the amount of time that must be spent switching disks out in the optical disk drive. While an ISO editor may be used to access the information stored in an ISO file, there are also applications that can be used to "mount" ISO files as virtual optical disk drives. This enables a user to use the ISO file directly as if it were an optical disk inside the disk drive.
An ISO editor is often a tool of many software pirating users. These users create ISO image files of copyrighted CDs and DVDs, then use an ISO editor to modify the ISO file to contain a patch that enables the software to run without the original disk. This enables the users to then distribute the file to other users without the cost of purchasing the software. This can be dangerous for users downloading these programs, as the software pirate may have made other changes, such as adding malware, that the end user may not be aware of.