How to Choose Mac DVD Burning Software
Editor's Note: Some of the products reviewed here allow you to circumvent copy encryptions contained on commercial discs, an act that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) forbids, even for personal use. Top Ten Reviews does not endorse piracy or any other illegal activity. Some consumer advocates are actively seeking exceptions to the act's provision for personal use of copyrighted material purchased by consumers. There's no evidence that any consumer has been prosecuted or sued for circumventing copy protections for personal use.
The top performers in our review are DVD Cloner for Mac, the Gold Award winner; Any DVD Cloner for Mac, the Silver Award winner; and Tipard DVD Cloner, the Bronze Award winner. Here's more on choosing software to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of these 10 applications.
First there was the VHS tape, then DVDs and Blu-rays, which gave way to the streaming services many of us use today. People will always love movies, but the way we watch them will continue evolving.
Despite the success of online streaming, these older media formats are preferable in certain situations. After all, Netflix and other streaming options have a limited selection of movies and TV shows. And if you want to enjoy content offline, you'll need a local copy that works on your devices. That's where DVDs come in handy.
You've probably dropped a lot of money on your DVD collection. Like all optical discs, DVDs are vulnerable to scratches, breaks and theft. Even when you take good care of your collection, nobody is safe from loaning a DVD that will never return. These are good reasons to make copies of your movies to protect your media purchases.
If you use an Apple computer, then Mac DVD burning software is a great solution to protect your entertainment collection. Burning software has multiple uses. You can make backup discs, digitally archive them on your hard drive or combine multiple DVDs onto a Blu-ray disc. DVD burn software ensures that you’ll keep your favorite movies and TV shows long after DVDs have gone the way of VHS and cassette tapes.
How It Works
The ISO file, or ISO image, is the blueprint of a DVD. Mac DVD burning software extracts this file and copies it so you can save it to your hard drive or burn a new copy. Mac burning software gives you the power to select what you want to copy. You can burn a whole disc with the full movie menus, audio tracks and bonus materials.
All commercial DVDs are protected with anti-piracy encryptions. The best DVD burning software for Mac can bypass these protections so you can make copies for personal use. Without these tools, you can only copy homemade DVDs and other discs without protections.
The best Mac DVD burning software goes beyond duplicating discs. Most of the DVD burners we reviewed can archive a disc’s raw ISO image or Video_TS folder directly to your hard drive. This means you can burn new DVDs without the original. You can also save these files as virtual discs that will play on compatible media player software.
When you're ready to burn new copies, you'll need blank discs. These come in two sizes, DVD-5 and DVD-9. The numbers on each disc indicate the amount of storage, whether 5 or 9 gigabytes of storage. Exact copies require more memory, so you'll need to use the larger-capacity DVD9s. Although they are harder to find and often more expensive, DVD-9s create a more faithful copy of your movies.
The best Mac DVD burners have the ability to compress content to a commercial disc that fits a blank DVD-5. However, this may cause a loss in video quality.
The best Mac DVD burn applications allow you to select which parts of a disc you want to burn to the new disc. Most have a preprogrammed option to burn the feature presentation without the menus and special features. Others allow you to use smaller discs by splitting your movies into two DVD-5s. This eliminates loss in video quality that occurs when you stuff the whole ISO file onto a smaller disc. For more information, read some of our articles about Mac DVD Burning Software.
DVD Burning Software: What We Tested, What We Found
Top Ten Reviews seeks, whenever possible, to evaluate all products and services in hands-on tests that simulate as closely as possible the experiences of the average consumer. We purchased each of the applications that we reviewed. The software publishers had no input or influence over our testing methodology, nor was the methodology provided to any of them in more detail than is available through reading our reviews. Results of our evaluations were not provided to manufacturers in advance of publication.
When we rated and ranked Mac DVD burning software, we subjected each application to a battery of tests to determine which performed the best. We split those tests into three categories.
To evaluate Mac DVD burning software, we created a compressed and uncompressed copy of the same movie. From there, our video experts inspected and compared both discs against the original. They watched for common imperfections such as compression artifact, motion blur and interlacing issues among others. Every application we reviewed burned a flawless copy to blank DVD-9 discs.
If you go this route, you won’t be able to tell the difference between the original and the duplicate. The Mac DVD burners we reviewed performed better than their Windows counterparts did when it came to the compressed copies. We assigned a letter grade from A to F for our evaluation. No product scored lower than a C and our experts were hard pressed to find imperfections in the discs made by our award-winning programs.
It generally takes an hour to burn a movie – whether compressed or uncompressed. The best applications can complete the burning process in about 45 minutes while lesser applications take almost an hour and a half to perform the same task. Additionally, it usually takes more time to compress a copy than leave it uncompressed. In any case, expect to devote about an hour to each new disc you want to burn.
Ease of Use Tests
If you use free software, using a Mac to burn a DVD can be a complicated process. The products on our lineup simplify this process into just a few clicks. You can usually start the copy process in less than a minute. The best Mac DVD burners balance accessibility with extra features for users of any experience level.
Our Verdict and Recommendations
At the end of our analysis, DVD Cloner for Mac, Any DVD Cloner for Mac and Tipard DVD Cloner earned top spots on our evaluation.
DVD Cloner for Mac – Along with its Windows counterpart, DVD Cloner has owned the top spot on our lineup since we began ranking DVD burning software over a decade ago. The Mac and Windows versions make exact copies quickly and easily. The results are and have always have been the best of any DVD burn software we’ve come across.
Any DVD Cloner for Mac – In this software, you can access all the burning tools from the main window. It makes great compressed copies of your DVD movies. It’s missing a few of the advanced features found in DVD Cloner, but those are forgivable given the overall usefulness of the program.
Tipard DVD Cloner – The Mac version of this software performed far better than its Windows counterpart. Our video experts found minor imperfections when they examined the compressed videos. However, this program was the easiest to use of all the Mac DVD burners we reviewed.
DVDs may be giving way to streaming services, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon your movie collection. Mac DVD burning software helps you protect your movie library from scratches and other damage. You can use all these programs to make new discs, back up your favorite movies and archive them so you’ll have access to the movies you’ve paid for long into the future.