Open Source CD Recording in Windows

Just last year I was lamenting about the lack of good open source CD recording software for the Win32 platform. I’ve been thrilled with k3b for Linux and was hoping that someone would come out with something similar for Windows. As the formally great Nero Burning ROM software has become more and more a bloated piece of junkware there have been several interesting developments on the CD recording software front.

First, the very unofficial “Nero Light” and “Nero Light Micro” setups of the Nero software have become increasingly popular with people “in the know”. Not produced by Ahead Nero Software these are slimmed versions of the Nero trial version from the Ahead software page which can be activated with a regular Nero key but which contain far less bloatware (13-35MB instead of 170+). While I haven’t tried them myself I hear they provide the most used functionality without throwing in the kitchen sink. Nero has grown far beyond simple disc burning software which is all I ever used it for and which has caused me to leave it behind.

Second, there are now two open source contenders for CD recording in Windows. Both are technically frontends to a Windows port of the command line cdrecord engine but so is k3b (requires Linux) which has been my favorite since dumping Nero. Even though I do most of my burning with k3b in Linux these days it is occasionally useful to burn something in Windows so I’m testing these as replacements for Nero on that platform.

Both cdrtfe and InfraRecorder provide basic CD burning capability on the Win32 platform though there are a few advantages and disadvantages to each. Cdrtfe is a bit more mature software but is also more complicated, has a less familiar interface and, let’s face it, not the best name in the world. On the other hand InfraRecorder is a lot easier to remember, has a clean, slick interface and is quickly gaining momentum but is quite a bit newer and has fewer configuration options at the moment. Personally, I really like the way InfraRecorder looks and feels which does count for something in software design and I’ve heard great things about the primary developer Christian Kindahl so I look forward to watching this product mature. Both packages allow for basic CD/DVD creation as well as ISO image burning and should already serve the majority of users’ needs, best of all they are both free and open source solutions.


  1. is the shiiitsnick!