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.
In our evaluation of the best DVD copy software, 1Step DVD Copy ranked in the middling portion of our side-by-side comparison chart. It has enough copy and customization tools to make it useful, but it doesn't have everything we look for in our review.
The program itself is easy enough to use. Once a DVD is loaded into the software, you can begin a conversion with a single click. You can choose to make either an exact copy of your DVD or compress it to fit onto a smaller-capacity blank disc. Once the copy process begins, it takes between 30 and 45 minutes to make a new disc. Anyone can learn and use this program with few problems.
If you choose to make an exact copy of your DVD, you must use the larger-capacity blank DVD-9s. The video will look and play flawlessly in your DVD player. If you use the less expensive, smaller-capacity blank DVD-5s, the program needs to compress the movie to fit. This compression results in noticeable quality loss on the copied disc. The video looks pixelated and blurry, especially when played on a large, high-definition television.
You can avoid this quality loss by removing content from the original disc before you copy it. This program lets you pick which tracks and features you want to burn to the new disc. Generally, the feature presentation of a commercial disc fits onto a DVD-5 without compression. This is a great tool if you don't mind losing the bonus features of a DVD.
One of the tools this program has that most of the other programs we reviewed don't is the ability to convert the movie on your DVD into a stand-alone video file. This allows you to watch your movie on pretty much any device you own.
While the core functionality of a DVD copier is present and works well, this program is missing some of the tools we look for in the best software. For example, you can't use this program to save a DVD's ISO file to your hard drive. An ISO file is the blueprint of a disc, and saving it to your computer creates a virtual disc that you can use in DVD player software. You could also use this file to burn a new copy of the disc without the original. This ability would be good for archiving your DVD libraries digitally.
1Step DVD Copy is a good enough program to warrant a middling spot in our review of the best DVD copy software. It's easy to use and makes copies quickly and effectively. But it lacks some of the advanced features found in the programs that ranked higher in our lineup.