Pros / Despite the technical nature of the program, the various copy and burning wizards are easy to learn and use.
Cons / This program has almost none of the customization or compression options found in the best products we reviewed.
Verdict / If you're an advanced user, you'll find great utility in Alcohol 120% beyond Blu-ray burning. Casual users probably won't understand or use the non-copying features.
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.
Alcohol 120% is a disc-authoring application that allows you to build, copy and burn CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs and more. While this program is geared toward more advanced users, burning a new copy of a Blu-ray disc is quite easy – even for the average user. It therefore earns a spot in our review of the best Blu-ray burning software applications.
The most important thing to know about Alcohol 120% is that it's not for the everyday user. The program involves a series of wizards that allow you to create and burn disc images. A disc image is the blueprint for an optical disc whether it be a DVD, Blu-ray or game disc. Once a disc image is on your computer, you can use it to burn as many physical copies as you want. If you're knowledgeable about building disc images, this is the application you want. If you don't know much about it, you should probably get another program that's less technical.
That said, Alcohol 120% makes burning a new copy of a Blu-ray disc quite easy. All you have to do is select the copy wizard from the main interface and load the disc you want to copy into the program. A couple of clicks later, the program begins the copy process. If you're performing a disc-to-disc copy, the process can take several hours, and this is true no matter which Blu-ray burning program you use.
Alcohol 120% also allows you to extract a Blu-ray's disc image. This feature is found under the "Image Making Wizard" tab. And it, too, is relatively simple. Once you open the wizard, you just select your Blu-ray drive and click "Start." This will scan the disc and save the disc image (ISO file) to your hard drive.
Once a disc's image is on your computer, you can then use the image burning wizard to burn new copies of your Blu-ray movie even without the original disc. It takes this program about 48 minutes to burn a disc using this method. If you're making more than one copy of a disc, we recommend that you extract the ISO file to your computer first, then use the image burning wizard to make new copies. This will save you hours versus performing individual disc-to-disc copies.
What kept this program in the lower half of our side-by-side comparison chart is that it lacks nearly every customization option we look for in this category. It cannot compress large commercial discs onto smaller blanks or DVDs. It also doesn't allow you to pick and choose what content you want to make it onto the new disc. Additionally, there is no movie-only copy feature for users who don't want to back up all the special features or extra content found on commercial Blu-rays.
- Ease of Use
- Time to Complete Identical Blu-ray Copy
Burning new copies of your Blu-ray movies is a good idea – it protects the investment you've made in your entertainment library. While it is easy to burn new copies and extract disc images, casual users won't understand or be able to use all of the other features found in Alcohol 120%.