Editor’s Note: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) forbids circumventing copy encryptions contained on commercial discs. The DMCA makes no exceptions for circumventing these encryptions for personal use. Top Ten Reviews does not endorse piracy or any other illegal activity.
Blue-Cloner 6 stands head and shoulders above the competition in our review of the best Blu-ray copy software. It's quite easy to learn and use, and it provides a wide array of copy, compression and customization options. It also possesses decryption algorithms that can bypass the anti-piracy protections found on commercial discs so you can back up movies you've bought. Additionally, this program gives you the ability to select which Blu-ray content you want to copy onto a new disc – something no other Blu-ray copier on our lineup offers. For these reasons and more, Blue-Cloner 6 earns the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award for Blu-ray copy software.
This Blu-ray copy application has two modules: Express and Expert. Express mode allows you to begin the copying process as quickly as possible. Expert mode gives you access to the program's customization and compression tools, features which are conspicuously absent from the vast majority of the Blu-ray copiers we reviewed.
When you launch the program, Express mode opens by default. All you have to do is load the Blu-ray disc (or disc image) into the program, select the type of blank disc you have and click Start. Of all the Blu-ray copiers we reviewed, Blue-Cloner's Express mode provides the simplest method to begin the copying process.
Expert mode is where you'll find Blue-Cloner's copying tools, which include the ability to compress a commercial Blu-ray movie to fit onto a smaller-capacity blank disc or even onto a DVD.
You also have the option of extracting the Blu-ray's ISO file (disc image) and saving it to your computer's hard drive. This is useful, because it acts a digital Blu-ray disc that you can then watch with your Blu-ray player software, archive on an external hard drive and even make new physical copies of – all without needing the original source disc.
The default option in Express mode is to perform a disc-to-disc copy. The process can take several hours due to the fact that the program must scan and extract a Blu-ray's disc image (ISO file), temporarily save it to your hard drive, then burn it onto a blank disc.
This program is the only Blu-ray copier on our lineup that can compress a movie to fit onto smaller-capacity blank Blu-ray discs and DVDs. During our testing phase, we compressed a commercial movie from a 50-GB disc to fit onto a 25-GB blank disc. This process took over 10 hours to complete. If you want a compressed movie, you should start the process before bedtime and let it run overnight. That way, your computer's processing power isn't being sucked away from other tasks you'll be working on.
Surprisingly, compressing a Blu-ray movie to fit onto a DVD takes substantially less time. In our timing tests, it took Blue-Cloner two hours and 24 minutes to complete the compression and burning process. This may be due to the fact that the program only has to create a disc image that's only 5 to 9GB large. It should also be noted that Blue-Cloner is the only program on our side-by-side comparison chart that has this ability.
If you're planning on making multiple copies of a Blu-ray disc, you can save a lot of time by extracting the ISO file and burning new copies from that rather than copying from the physical disc. Blue-Cloner took 48 minutes to create a new copy of a Blu-ray from an extracted disc image. This saves your hours of waiting time over making disc-to-disc copy.
During our testing phase, we made exact, uncompressed copies of several movies using Blue-Cloner 6, and our video experts inspected the results. They found that they were all identical to their source discs. No flaws in the video, menus, audio tracks or navigation. This is great, because it means you don't have to worry about losing quality, but every Blu-ray copier we reviewed achieved the same results.
Similarly, our video experts examined the quality of the compressed copies. They watched for quality degradation, a natural byproduct of compression. They found that Blue-Cloner's compression quality is excellent.
Imperfections such as pixelation, compression artifact, motion blur and interlacing issues were minimal and probably won't be noticed by an untrained eye. The only time you may notice these flaws is if you watch a compressed a DVD on a large, high-definition television. This is typical though of any DVD that's been scaled up for an HD display.
One important thing to know is that Blue-Cloner requires a special Blu-ray disc to make a compressed copy. You'll need to buy BD-RE discs. This type of disc is not commonly sold in retail stores, and they're expensive; you'll most likely have to order them online.
One of the main reasons Blue-Cloner 6 topped our rankings is that it has the most customization options of the products in our lineup. You can choose to make a movie-only copy. This option strips away menus, special features, extra audio tracks – everything except the feature presentation. An alternative option is split disc, which copies the main movie onto one blank disc and everything else onto another. These are good options if you want to save space on your hard drive or reduce the need for compression.
Additionally, this program allows you to pick and choose which Blu-ray tracks you want to copy onto a new disc or save to your computer. This is more time consuming than other options, but it's worth it to get the exact result you want. It's also worth mentioning that Blue-Cloner is the only Blu-ray copy program to have the above-mentioned customization tools.
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Open Cloner, the creator of Blue-Cloner, offers several technical and customer-support options. If you run into problems, the first thing you should do is consult the FAQs and tutorial sections on the company's official website. Most common issues can be resolved there.
If you can't find the answer there, the website also provides a dedicated chat room where you can get immediate help from a customer service representative. You can even email the company if you prefer using their email ticket system, but expect a 24 to 48-hour response time.
This is the most expensive application we reviewed. If you're on a tight budget, consider our best value pick: BurnAware.
Blue-Cloner 6 earned the top spot in our review of the best Blu-ray copy software because it is the only product to include nearly every copy, compression and customization tool we look for in this category. It makes excellent-quality copies, even when compressed to fit onto smaller-capacity blank discs and DVDs. Our only complaints are that you need special blank Blu-rays for compression and how long it takes to complete that process. It's a fine piece of software you won't regret purchasing.