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Ashampoo Burning Studio 16 offers an impressive array of optical disc-authoring tools. You can use the software to make several types of CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs. Its Blu-ray burning tools are among the best we reviewed, but the lack of disc-compression and customization options kept it out of the top tier of our review of the best Blu-ray burning software.
The main window of the interface gives you access to all the burning tools in the program. To burn a copy of a Blu-ray movie, click "Copy Disc" from the sidebar. From there, the program walks you through the Blu-ray burning process step by step, thereby eliminating any guesswork. Once you've started the copy process, it can take several hours to complete – it all depends on how large the Blu-ray movie you're burning and your computer's processing power.
This application lets you extract a Blu-ray's disc image (ISO file) onto your hard drive. This can be accomplished by selecting "Create Image" from the disc image tab. This tool scans your Blu-ray and then saves a virtual copy of it to your computer. You can use this file the same way you would a physical disc in your Blu-ray player software. It's also useful for archiving purposes. If you have an external hard drive with a large amount of storage, you can save your entire Blu-ray collection so you have it long after the original discs are gone.
Additionally, if you have a disc image on your computer, you can use the burn image tool to make as many new Blu-ray discs as you wish. This is especially useful if you've lost or broken the source disc. In our tests, it took this program 42 minutes to burn a new copy of a Blu-ray movie from an extracted disc image. The results were flawless. Our video experts watched the newly burned disc and were unable to find any difference between it and the original and source disc.
More on Blu-Ray
What held Ashampoo Burning Studio out of the top tier is the lack of compression and customization tools. The best Blu-ray burner applications we reviewed can compress a large commercial Blu-ray movie to fit onto a smaller-capacity blank disc – and even onto DVDs. The award-winning products in our review also allowed users to burn a movie-only copy of their discs, eliminating the special features and menus. If either of these options were present, Ashampoo would rival them for their places at the top of our side-by-side comparison.
Ashampoo Burning Studio 16 is a handy disc-authoring program that allows you to burn new copies of your Blu-ray movies. It also has an array of tools that allow you to create CDs, author DVDs and back up important data. When combined with its Blu-ray burning abilities, this application earned a spot on our side-by-side comparison chart, but the lack of compression and customization tools kept it out of award-winning territory in our review.