PROS / Creating, copying and ripping CDs and DVDs with this application is easy, even if you've never done it before.
CONS / Blu-ray functionality is not included. If you want to copy Blu-ray discs, you must upgrade to the platinum version.
VERDICT / From duplicating discs to authoring new creations and downloading online videos, 123 Copy DVD Gold is an invaluable application for nearly all of your copying needs.
As its name suggests, burning CDs is not 123 Copy DVD's primary function. This application is an optical disc toolbox that lets you copy, create, and share video, audio, and data on a variety of optical disc formats. And it does so in a way that is intuitive and accessible to users who have little experience in authoring optical media.
Because this software has so many tools, it can seem overwhelming for the casual or novice user. You'll have to spend some time getting to know the application and its workflow before you can effectively use all of its features. But it's well worth the effort considering how much you can do with this software.
While none of the audio CD copying, ripping and authoring features are found in the quick-launch menu, they are conveniently organized under the Audio tab. 123 Copy DVD Gold has a wide array of audio CD tools. Features include "Copy an Audio CD," "Create an Audio CD," "Create an MP3 CD," and "Rip an Audio CD." This CD-burning software application also lets you convert audio files and edit metadata for any track.
Copying an audio CD with this software requires only the disc you want to copy and a blank disc. This is a fairly simple operation: Select "Copy a Disc from the Audio tab," insert the disc to be copied, and then click "Copy Disc." When this CD burner program has finished duplicating the disc, it automatically ejects the new disc. In our test, this process took less than five minutes to create an audio CD. For a data CD, 123 Copy DVD took nearly three minutes.
The features for creating and copying data discs with this CD burner application are found under the Data tab. They operate in the same fashion as the audio features. These features are great for making backup copies of your most important files. While backing up your data to a CD may seem absurd, consider what would happen if your computer went down and you didn't have access to the internet. Even if your files were backed up in the cloud, you couldn't access them. Having a backup to your backup is essential for your most important documentation, and having a physical copy that's easily accessible is always a good thing.
Another reason 123 Copy DVD Gold took the top spot in our review of the best CD burning software is its near universal compatibility for both audio and video formats. This means you don't have to worry about the alphabet soup of letters and numbers that follow a media file. With rare exceptions, this software can import and export any file type you wish.
One tool missing from this CD burner software is the ability to burn Blu-ray discs. If you want that ability, you'll have to spend extra money to upgrade to the platinum version of the software. This may seem minor and unnecessary for CD-burning software, but the top three products in our comparison offer this functionality without the need to upgrade.
When burning or copying an audio CD, expect this program to take about five minutes to complete the process. You can also burn a data CD to capacity in under three minutes. While these were not the fastest times we recorded – they're short enough to allow you to make multiple copies of your CDs without much waiting time.
The final tool in the feature set is the program's ability to erase a re-writeable disc. This is great for situations where you have run out of blank discs to write to, or you've made a mistake when burning a disc. This tool greatly increases the life of a writeable disc and saves you money.
The very nature of 123 Copy DVD makes it an excellent choice if you want to build and burn customized CDs and DVDs. You can either create a new disc from the ground up with the content on your computer or pick and choose content from an existing disc to transfer to a blank one. Once you find the customization tools you need, it shouldn't take long to learn them. The biggest obstacle is navigating the program's interface to find the right tools to suit your purposes.
123 Copy DVD is far more than just CD-burning software: It's an all-purpose DVD and CD toolbox that allows you to create, duplicate, and back up your CDs and DVDs. All of its other features are just icing on the cake. It has a bit of a learning curve – but that should be expected in a program with as much functionality as this one.