Category: Label

Ashampoo Burning Studio 18 In-Depth Review:

Ashampoo Burning Studio 18 In-Depth Review:

You may recall that I reviewed the flagship burning suite from Ashampoo, called Burning Suite 16, not too long ago. Now they have released the updated replacement, entitled Burning Studio 18, and it is packed with nice features and improved functions. Everything that you loved from the prior entry is here, only better, and easier to use. Now, let’s get into the details, and see what is on offer.

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If you are like me, you enjoy listening to your tunes, when you are out and about. This extends to traveling in the car, and this time of the year, singing along with Christmas music. Many newer automotive makers have vehicle product lines have A/V smart radio receivers are factory installed. This is nice to have, without adding an after-market unit, but it comes with some hurdles. Many different radios can only playback certain file formats, while excluding others from the list.

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Burning Studio 18 has a sure-fire way to make it possible to make a disc that will be compatible for whatever device is in the car, and playback is a breeze. The program is designed to allow you to select from numerous presets for radios/playback devices that take the guesswork out of this process, an excellent program feature for 21st Century music disc authoring. This is a must-have feature for disc authoring of today’s digital music.

People this time of year make numerous photos, video, and memories of the holiday festivities. When they sit down to compile the images into a cohesive whole, and lay out albums, it can be overwhelming and in disarray as to how best to present them to the group. Many have elected to turn them into slideshows and add in music and transitions, so they can be shown on the computer and/or TV.

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Since the release of Burning Studio 18, this excellent program has added the support for MPEG-4 H.264/AAC audio-video file formats. This allows you to create state-of-the-art HD videos that give you the sheen of a Hollywood production, yet star you and your friends and family. Now when you add transitions and sound effects, you will how numerous ways to make your memories sparkle.

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Data breaches and e-mail scandals make the headlines, it seems weekly. From the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government, and the recent election fiasco, on down to local government office being ransomed by hackers, to ordinary people getting their personal computers locked out, unless Bitcoin is paid for its release. Now, more than ever, people need solid, controlled environments to backup and secure their data for these and other reasons. Burning Studio 18, and the stable of single and multi-span volume backups/archives. Knowing that you can put your trust in this program, and know that if the worse happens, you can get your data (and to a certain extent, your life) back. This cannot be understated and brushed aside, as a core feature for burning software.

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These are but a few, key features that have been added and/or improved with this edition of the software. I know that if you try this version, you will be very happy with these changes. If you act now (December 2016), you will find that many of Ashampoo’s products are on sale, with significant discounts to be had. As always, the trial version of the program will allow you try it out for yourself. Until next time, Merry Christmas and keep on techin’ . . .

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Ashampoo Burning Studio 16 Review

You, my avid readers, know that I am still in full support of disc media, particularly high-capacity and archive formats. The newer players, such as Ultra 4K Blu-ray for HDR video, and the new storage archive format, M-DISC, hold many promises for high quality and long-term preservation. While the ability to create the super high-capacity, 4K video discs is a ways off, the routine of making HQ DVD and BD-R discs still requires top-tier creation and production software.  In answering this call, the fine folks at Ashampoo have taken the best of the field, and created the best, feature-rich disc burning suite on the market, today.

 

In the last twenty years, burning software had come and gone, with formats, audio tools, and disc structures, moving in and out of vogue. Learning from the ups and downs of these changes, and bringing their own innovation into the mix, Ashampoo’s Burning Studio 16 icon_burning_studio_16_256x256takes their policy of intuitive GUI development, and their sense of features their customer’s deserve; publishing the new standard of disc creation to be beat. They have incorporated the ability to create multi-volume disc archives, without fear of corrupted backups, discs that support AutoStart menus (as seen on commercial pressed discs, put out by major publishers), and the ability to import and embed subtitles and themes for your video disc projects, among others. These are just a few of the tools in the toolbox, with many, more at easy reach.logo_w10_comp_blue

I am the first to concede that freeware burning software can be found on the web, and many of these programs I have used. However, they have always felt lacking in tools, which would allow me the nuanced and customized projects that I have always wanted to make. Fortunately, I discovered Burning Studio 16, and I have not looked back. In discovering the ability to pull metadata tags for my audio files, so I can include this polished feature, along with sound normalization, makes making custom mixes for friends and family; excellent for gift giving. I also love the ability to create slideshow discs, which my wife can use to share her artwork and projects, in both promoting her work, and bringing awareness for children’s illustration. These, are just two slivers of the numerous features that this suite contains.

scr_ashampoo_burning_studio_16_welcomebox_ashampoo_burning_studio_16_110x110If you do not have such a narrow-focused outlook, you will find that Ashampoo has you covered. For the bulk of my disabled audience, you will find that their burning software will make solid, reliable discs. If you have come to embrace the clean UI, present in Canonical Ubuntu, Microsoft Windows 8/8.1/1, and Apple Mac OS X, the ability jump right in making your discs will come very naturally. You are presented with a clean window, which has categories/tools on the left, with sub-category pop-ups on the right. Each option is very easy to comprehend, follow systematically, and implement without hassle. As someone, who has severe arthritis, being able to make discs with minimal steps, via Burning Studio 16, makes the whole process worthwhile.scr_ashampoo_burning_studio_16_presentation_skin

 

I could bombard you with the bursting at the seams feature sets, but I will cut to the chase. Right now, you can purchase Burning Studio 16 for $59.99 USD. If you are already an Ashampoo customer, the cost is $29.99 USD. If you have owned a prior version, the upgrade is $17.99 USD. If you are still unsure if you need the full suite features, they have a free version, which will give you a taste of what the program can do for you. Of note, within the next day, they have a software bundle, that includes several pieces of software (Burning Studio 16 is not included, but it is a good value of other tools), for $31.99 USD. Check out their homepage, and you might want to jump on this sale. No matter what you choose on this time-limited deal, I know that you want to get Burning Studio 16 for all of your disc creation projects, going forward. Until next time, stay warm/stay dry. . .

AudioLabel 6.0 Review

It has become a twilight era for disc-base media, but such media is still needed for large file-size projects such as the upcoming UHD video (4K Video) and for the foreseeable future, console games will still be available on discs. Be that as it may, identifying and marking such media is vital, and graphic design has only been growing since the mid-1990’s decade. One sector of the marketplace that is still growing is the burgeoning area of personal media creation and disc production. While major O/S’s ship with basic video editing tools, such as Windows DVD Creator, their ability to create nice, clean labels for discs and storage cases is very lacking. You can try and use Windows Paint or a software plugin for the office suite, but the results will be less than stellar or hard to format for the end product. A nice, clean saving grace for this pipeline development problem comes in the form of AudioLabel from CDCoverSoft.

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This excellent software presents itself with a clean, GUI; instantly familiar to anyone who has used any Windows-based program. Once you open the program, you have a screen layout that combines the best of Windows Paint and GIMP. You have text panel on the left side, color swatches and buttons, up top, and an image browser (akin to a slideshow/clip art strip) on the right side of the screen. From here, you can setup your disc, layout the case inserts, and finalize the project. The process is straight forward, easy to use, and very intuitive. It is as easy as that, to do.

When you go to undertake making an insert for your projects, as a custom replacement for a commercial disc, or if you have submitted metadata to the software, AudioLabel has you covered. This great tool can both retrieve a disc’s metadata from the web or by reading the CD-TEXT off of the disc. The creator of a disc could also go the trouble of \having it listed in Internet databases (though there could be added charges and licensing agreements to undertake). Being able to just drop your disc in the optical drive, read the info, and populate your labels can quickly speed up making labels. My regular readers know how I love software to aid me in adding tag data to my files, rather than depending on manual insert. I have been a huge proponent of putting CD-TEXT on any recorded discs since the late 1990’s, and it is nice to know that AudioLabel has my back and yours too!

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I have always used various paper stocks for my printing projects, and my labels are no exception. Whether cost, product availability, texture, and the like, having the flexibility to have a graphic layout program accommodate these variances is a big plus. Baked into this great program are templates for the top major brands of label manufactures, so choosing the right one is at your fingertips, and ready to put into place. Going from an Avery label to a Neato format works, flawlessly, and helps me get done anything, in a quick fashion.

 

While printing on discs is a new phenomena that has come to the forefront of media print technology, spearheaded by HP with its LightScribe technology. New players have come forward since HP hit the scene, including Canon, EPSON, and others, nevertheless, AudioLabel has you covered. Using an inkjet-capable disc, and a supported printer, you can print your layout right on the disc, without needing a separate label or paper. As is noted on their website, using an inkjet-capable disc does cost more; I can attest that the results are far superior to any label that I have used, for durability and longevity. In fact, the results are even crisper, when dealing with grayscale images, which can be accented by being etched on the top surface, such as seen in LightScribe discs that I have burned. Also, they are not susceptible to having a label peel off in one’s optical drive.

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No matter what projects you may have to make discs for, AudioLabel is the easiest way to complete things done. If you are unsure, they have a 15-day limited trial that allows you try out the software, and print some samples. After that time period passes, $29.95 USD will give you the full version that will not have any time or printing restrictions. Check out this software, and you will see that making labels and inserts will not get any easier than this. I hope you love this software, as much as I. Until next time, folks!