What Are the Different Types of DVD Burning Programs?

G. Wiesen

Software used to transfer data onto a Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) from a computer are commonly referred to as DVD burning programs. Some of them allow a computer user to quickly and easily copy files and information from a computer onto a disc and then "burn" the data onto it. There are also some DVD burning programs that make creation of movies on a disc easier, providing tools for chapter breaks, different audio layers, and various compression options. Other types of software are designed specifically for copying DVDs, which can be used to mass-produce discs.

A stack of DVDs.
A stack of DVDs.

Many DVD burning programs can be used to transfer files from a computer onto a disc, which is typically used for data backup and storage. This software can be pretty simple, offering a basic interface that allows a user to choose the files from a computer or other source and drag and drop them onto the disc. In this way, the process is much like copying files between folders on a computer, or transferring them between different machines on a network. Once the desired information is copied over, then these DVD burning programs actually write the information onto the disc.

Burned DVDs can often be played back in a standard DVD player, depending on the data stored on the disk.
Burned DVDs can often be played back in a standard DVD player, depending on the data stored on the disk.

More elaborate DVD burning programs offer additional features, typically for the creation of movies and similar applications. This software can be combined with video editing tools to allow a computer user to change video files in numerous ways before burning them. One long video can be broken up into multiple parts, or several clips can be combined into a longer movie. This type of editing makes the creation of chapters or episodes faster and easier, and these DVD burning programs can create media for use in a standard DVD player.

Additional tools can be provided in these types of programs, such as utilities to create multiple audio tracks. This lets a computer user mimic the creation of audio commentary on a movie in the way that professional studios often do for film releases. DVD burning programs can also be used to alter video compression on a disc. High quality videos can be reduced in size through compression to more easily fit on one disc.

There are also DVD burning programs that can be used to make copies of discs quickly and easily. Such software is often developed for professionals to make duplicates of a product for sale to additional customers. These types of programs should not be used to violate copyright laws, however, or to duplicate media on a disc without permission from its owner.

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Discussion Comments


@Soulfox -- No, it is not OK to copy discs that you own even if they are for your own use. Most commercial discs use techniques to keep people from copying them. Once you bypass those techniques, you have broken the law and can be charged with a crime.

Harsh? Perhaps, but that is the state of the law in the United States.


You will probably need a DVD burning package that has great compression. Quite often, you will need to take one of your commercial DVDs that are double density and burn them to a single density DVD. As the name implies, the double density disc stores twice as much as a good compressor will be necessary.

And, yes, I did say commercial DVDs. After all, if you own several you might want to make copies and use those to watch movies so the originals won't get scratched.

Copying discs that you own for your own use is OK, isn't it?

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