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Express Burn Plus from NCH Software is the upgraded version of DVD burning software to their free Express Burn download. Express Burn Plus holds the distinction of being the smallest burning tool we reviewed at 390kb. The catch is that it means you must already have an external burn unit (or buy one) in order to utilize Express Burn Plus. But if you already have a compatible burner, the file size and price of this program offer a slim, effective DVD burning solution.

Express Burn Plus has an easy to use interface, and supports AVI, MPG, VOB, ASF, WMV, MP4 and OGM. The software is a good option for DVD burning, video DVD authoring, and recording CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays.

NCH Express Burn Plus lets you create and burn audio CDs, data CDs, video DVDs, data DVDs or data Blu-ray discs. The drag-and-drop interface is wonderful – drag the files you want onto the basic Windows-looking work pane and click Burn. The program does the rest, including file conversion if needed. Express Burn also seemed to be the fastest CD/DVD/BD writing program we reviewed: the NCH site boasts proprietary optimizing systems that speed this process up big time. Express Burn also features more advanced features like the ability to create and record ISO images of your data discs and support for many more file formats.

The small file size and pleasantly narrow selection are ideal for the user wishing to backup data, DVD and music collections. No NCH software uses any of those suspicious decrypter functions though, so if piracy is on your mind, you won’t be happy with Express Burn Plus.

The small file size makes this the fastest install we tested. And in this case, fast equals easy as well. After the initial download, simply run the downloaded file and the install wizard will take over from there, prompting you to make decisions when necessary.

Express Burn Plus writes the following types of discs:

  • Data CDs (perfect for backup).
  • Audio CDs (for traditional CD players).
  • MP3 CDs (larger capacity alternative to audio CDs).
  • Video DVDs (such as are played on a standard DVD player).
  • Data DVDs (4.5GB+ on a single DVD).
  • Blu-ray discs (25GB/50GB - Windows version).

For video DVD authoring video files are re-encoded and can be burned to a standard DVD disc, playable on a DVD player. The video burning elements support AVI, MPG, VOB, ASF, WMV, MP4, ogm and all video formats with a codec based on DirectShow. You can also choose widescreen or standard formats for video DVD authoring. Recorded video files can be written to PAL or NTSC.

Off the beaten path of DVD copying, audio can also be recorded using direct digital recording, which maintains perfect audio quality. The audio CD burning function supports WAV, MP3, WMA, AU, AIFF, RA, OGG, FLAC, AAC and a number of other audio file formats. And you can seamlessly burn audio CDs with no pause between tracks and the program will also normalize the audio volume of tracks. This is a helpful function when you are making a compilation CD from several different sources.

Other general features include support for multi-session recording to audio CD or DVD. The program will also record CD Recordable (CDR) and CD Re-recordable (CDRW) discs (and DVD and BD equivalents).

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Express Burn Summary:
8/10

Express Burn Plus by NCH Software is an exceptionally speedy and tightly edited gem of a DVD burning program. It is ideal for someone who already owns an external burning drive and who desires to make reliable, quick backups of any type of file.

No NCH software can be used to circumvent copy-protected or region-protected discs of any kind – as the site plainly warns. Express Burn Plus is designed for backing up and copying your own content.

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Express Burn Plus

Pros
Express Burn works with CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays.

Cons
The software can't compress DVD-9s to DVD-5s.

The Verdict
: 7.95/10

This DVD burning software is easy to use, fast and affordable, though it lacks a few key features.