PROS / This program is as easy or easier to use than any of the CD burner applications we reviewed.
CONS / Its DVD and Blu-ray copy functions cannot bypass anti-piracy encryptions, meaning you can't copy commercial DVDs.
VERDICT / Express Burn's utilitarian design makes it a great tool that anyone can use to make not just CDs but also most DVDs and Blu-ray discs.
When we reviewed the best CD burner applications, we found that Express Burn has some distinct advantages. Chief among them is how easy it is to burn and copy CDs and most DVD and Blu-ray discs. But it has some drawbacks that kept it out of the top tier of our review – it clocked some of the slowest burn times of the 10 applications we tested.
We put each of the CD burners on our side-by-side comparison through a battery of tests. In our Ease-of-Use test, Express Burn earned the highest score – which it shares with only one other program: our Gold Award winner, Roxio Creator. Anyone can learn and use this program with minimal problems. This is due to the utilitarian interface. All of the burning tools are well organized, easy to find and located on the main window of the interface. There's little to no guesswork and nearly no learning curve.
Building a custom audio disc is quite simple: Simply drag the tracks you want to burn into the interface and arrange them in the order you want. This program also gives you the ability to input metadata for each track such as album title, track names, artist, genre and more. It only took us a few minutes to build our customized test disc. Building a custom data disc is similarly easy; the only difference is that you drag in the files you want to burn rather than audio tracks.
After we built our test discs, we timed how long it took the program to burn them onto a blank disc. It burned the audio disc in six minutes and the data disc in four-and-a half minutes. These were some of the longest burn times (or, in the case of the audio disc, the longest) in our review. If you're planning to mass-produce multiple discs one at a time, you might want to try an application with a faster burn speed (Refer to our matrix for the complete list of times for each product).
Not only does this software allow you to copy, build and burn CDs, you can do the same for DVDs and Blu-ray discs. This is very useful because these higher capacity discs can store far more data than a CD. However, if you plan to copy commercial DVDs or Blu-rays, this software application will not circumvent anti-piracy encryptions, so you're limited to homemade movies and unprotected DVDs and Blu-rays.
It is a good thing that Express Burn is so easy to use because its help and support is limited. If you want responses to questions submitted via email, you need to purchase a technical support plan, which can be pricy. Product support can cost between $33 and $64. The $33 Silver Support plan gives you up to three, 10-minute consultations whereas the $64 Platinum Support plan allows up to nine, 10-minute consultations. There is an email form that you can use to contact the company if you need to, but our questions were answered best with the paid support plan.
Express Burn is an easy-to-use CD-burning software application. Anyone can use it to copy discs they already own or make personalized discs from the files on their computers, but the trade-off is it takes longer to burn both audio and data CDs. And while its DVD and Blu-ray tools are very useful, this application lacks the ability to copy protected commercial DVDs, and their customer support leaves much to be desired.