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[Windows] StarBurn is a portable CD, DVD, Blu-ray, and HD-DVD burning suite

2013-04-06_220719 [1]If you are a regular dotTechies, chances are you have already read our review on best free CD/DVD/Blu-ray burning program for Windows [2] and have a burning program you like. However, if you are not happy with what you have currently or simply don’t have a good burner, then you may want to give StarBurn a try. It has one feature that you will not find in many burning programs: portability.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

StarBurn is a CD/DVD/Blu-ray/HD-DVD burning program for Windows that can burn data CDs/DVDs/Blu-rays/HD-DVDs, audio CDs, and video DVDs. The best part? It has a portable version, something which is rare among burning programs.

Take note StarBurn has freeware and shareware versions. The freeware version has all the features of the shareware version except the shareware version has the ability to share CD/DVD/Blu-ray/HD-DVD drive over local network while the freeware version does not. Shareware version costs $4.99.

Pros

Cons

Discussion

2013-04-06_220831 [5]There are dozens (hundreds?) of burning program for Windows and most of them do pretty much the same thing: allow you to burn data discs, audio CDs, and video DVDs while some also support burning/creation of ISOs. In that regard, StarBurn really is no different — it offers you the same features that you would find in most other burning programs. However, there are three things that set StarBurn apart from the competition: portability, advanced controls, and the ability to share CD/DVD/Blu-ray/HD-DVD drive over network.

Yes, you heard that right — StarBurn has a portable version. Granted the portable version is a bit annoying to get to; you must “install” it to a folder on your computer or removable drive. However, once you do that, you have a fully portable version that you can use on your computer or take with you on the go on a USB flash drive. Portability is hard (but not impossible) to find among burning programs, so the fact that StarBurn has it is a huge plus. To top it off, the portable version of StarBurn as all the features of the installer versions except for the ability to mount ISOs and share drives over network.

The other feature that makes StarBurn stand out is the fact that it gives users the ability to select disc file system ISO9660 [Level 1, Level 2, 9660:1990], ISO9660 + Joliet extensions, or UDF), select between burning modes (Track-At-Once, Disc-At-Once, Session-At-Once), and allows users to customize burn speed. This is a double-edged sword in the sense that the average Joe may be confused what these settings are and which option to pick (in which case I recommend just leaving the settings at default because default settings work for pretty much all situations), but this also helps StarBurn differentiate itself from rival software because most other software don’t provide this amount of control.

The last unique feature of StarBurn worth noting is the ability to share CD/DVD/Blu-ray/HD-DVD drive over local network. This is not just being able to read/view disc in CD/DVD/Blu-ray/HD-DVD drive, something you can setup in Windows without a third party program. This is allowing people on your local network to burn with CD/DVD/Blu-ray/HD-DVD drive. Unfortunately, this feature is not available in the freeware or portable versions; it is only available in the shareware version which must be installed. Fortunately, the shareware version only costs $4.99 which is a small price to pay if you need this feature.

Conclusion and download link

Overall, StarBurn is a very good burning program. It offers all the features one would expect in a burning program in Windows plus has some aspects that make it stand out above the crowd, notably the portable version.

That said, if you are happy with your current burning solution then there is no need to get StarBurn. In today’s world, disc burning is a science not an art, and all burning programs pretty much offer the same basic functionality; StarBurn is no exception — most of what StarBurn offers can be found elsewhere. However, if you are in the market for a good CD/DVD/Blu-ray/HD-DVD burning solution, then StarBurn is an excellent choice — highly recommended. Or if you are in need of a portable burning program or would like the ability to share CD/DVD/Blu-ray/HD-DVD drive over local network, then it is a no brainier — grab StarBurn.

Price: Free, $4.99

Version reviewed: 14.1

Supported OS: Windows XP and higher

Download size: 19.6MB (installer), 13.8MB (portable)

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/46 (installer) [6] | 0/45 (portable) [7]

Is it portable? Yes

StarBurn homepage [8]