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The Best CD Burning Software of 2022

Optical disc drive on a modern laptop computer.
Sinisa Botas/Shutterstock.com

It’s understandable to think that the CD is an obsolete technology. However, sales of the little plastic discs rose in 2021. There are still plenty of good uses for CDs. The most important is burning an old-school mix disc for your sweetheart. And you’ll need a CD burner program to do it.

What to Look for in CD Burning Software

You may think that a program devoted to CD burning wouldn’t have many features and tools. However, because most of these programs do more than CDs, there’s much more to dig into.

  • Disc formats: CDs are for more than just music. You can also use them for photos, videos, data backup, and more.
  • Disc types: The best burner apps can make all kinds of discs, including CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and even virtual disc images.
  • Ease of use: Making a CD should be a simple affair. Look for a burning program that makes the process as straightforward as possible.
  • Disc duplication: Want a backup copy of your favorite music album or movie? Choose a disc burner program that makes an exact copy with minimal effort.
  • Media converter: Sometimes, the files you want to burn aren’t in the correct format. Pick a CD-burning app that can switch them to the file extension you need.
  • Encryption: If you’re using a CD burner program to back up important data, make sure you get a program that ensures its security from prying eyes.
  • Platform availability: All the CD burning applications featured below run on Windows. Unfortunately, only one works with macOS.

Best Overall: Power2Go

The Power2Go interface open to the "Music Disc" window


  • Full disc-authoring toolset
  • Burns DVDs and Blu-ray discs
  • Powerful media converter


  • Expensive
  • No macOS version

Power2Go by Cyberlink has all the burning tools you need to make CDs quickly and easily. You can start authoring a new audio disc within moments of launching the program. It’s as simple as dragging your audio files into the program window and hitting “Go.” Although, you’ll probably want to take a few extra minutes to ensure you put in all the necessary metadata and ensure your audio tracks were imported in the correct order.

This program goes far beyond making music CDs. You can also use it to create DVDs and Blu-ray discs. And with its menu creator, you can build a video disc with chapter divisions, bonus content, and many other extras usually reserved for store-bought movies and TV shows. It can even make copies of your DVDs and Blu-rays. However, it’s unable to break copy protections found on commercially-produced discs.

You can even use Power2Go to back up your important data. Whether on CD, DVD, or Blu-ray, this ability can deliver peace of mind by knowing you’ll be able to access critical files even in the event of an external hard drive crash or inability to reach your backup on the cloud. Plus, you can encrypt all your data discs for maximum security.

One of the most valuable tools in Power2Go is its media converter. This allows you to get your audio files into the proper format for burning and also helps you make the perfect audio and video files for playback on your mobile device.

Best Overall

CyberLink Power2Go 13

Burn any type of optical disc and more with this disc-authoring software.

Another Great Option: Express Burn Plus

Express Burn interface open while burning an MP3 CD
NCH Software


  • Burns all types of formats and discs
  • Mac version available
  • Free home version available


  • Free version is CD only
  • Can't copy commercially-produced DVDs and Blu-rays

Express Burn Plus is a fantastic CD burning program. It features the ability to burn audio CDs, make video DVDs and Blu-rays, and create data discs of all types. It’s an excellent solution for all your disc authoring needs.

You even have the option to create a virtual disc image (ISO file). When you have a disc image saved to your hard drive, you can play it on DVD and Blu-ray player software the same way you would a physical disc. Additionally, it’s always nice to have a digital backup of all your optical media in case they get lost or stolen.

If you’re only interested in burning CDs, you can download the free home version of the software: Express Burn. This software doesn’t expire, and you don’t even have to sign up with NCH software or register the software.

Another great benefit to using Express Burn is that its part of NCH Software’s larger suite of tools. Other products put out by the company include audio editing software WavePad, video editing program VideoPad, and file format converter Prism. All of which have free home versions like Express Burn.

Another Great Option

NCH Software Express Burn

Create audio, data, and video discs with Express Burn.

Best Budget: Easy CD & DVD Burning 2

Roxio Easy CD and DVD Burning 2 interface open to the "Rip" feature


  • Lots of features for the price
  • Converts analog media to digital
  • Easy workflow


  • Can't burn Blu-ray discs
  • Windows only

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a fully-fledged disc authoring program, consider Roxio CD & DVD Buring 2. This program makes it easy to create audio discs and video DVDs in just a few minutes. It’s also an excellent solution for backing up your photos, home videos, and sensitive information in a format that won’t crash and will always be available so long as you have an optical drive to read it.

This software also has the ability to convert content on analog media like CDs, records, and magnetic tapes to a digital format. This ability makes Roxio CD & DVD Burning 2 an ideal program to rescue those old cassette tapes from that cardboard box in your basement. There’s even an audio filter that lets you take out all the pops and clicks from old analog recordings.

Roxio CD & DVD Burning 2 offers easy-to-use editing tools that let you add crossfades and other effects to your audio to give your CD a more personal feel. You can also use the program to make custom labels for your CD creations.

This program can make exact duplicates of your CDs and DVDs. However, it won’t break any copyright encryptions found on commercial home entertainment discs. This limitation should only be a problem with DVDs since CDs generally aren’t encrypted the same way DVDs are. So, you’re limited to making copies of discs you make yourself or other non-commercial discs.

Best Budget

Best Free CD Burner App: Burning Studio FREE

Burning Studio FREE interface open to the main window


  • Anyone can use easily
  • Burns CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs
  • Erases used rewritable discs


  • Limited toolset
  • No mac version

While the free home version of Express Burn is excellent, if you’re looking for something extremely simple, Ashampoo’s Burning Studio FREE makes creating your new CDs as straightforward as possible. Plus, Burning Studio FREE isn’t limited to creating new CDs like the home version of Express Burn. It also works with DVDs and Blu-ray discs.

All of Burning Studio FREE’s features are neatly lined up on the program’s home window. Making it easy to burn a data disc, make a backup, burn a music CD, create a DVD or Blu-ray movie, copy a disc, craft a disc image, or even erase a rewritable disc. The interface and workflow are basic enough that even the least tech-savvy can use the program easily.

The fact that Burning Studio FREE is free software naturally brings it some limitations. You won’t be able to make chapters and menus on DVDs and Blu-ray discs, edit audio and video or create custom labels for CD jewel cases. However, if you like what Burning Studio FREE offers, you may want to upgrade to Ashampoo Burning Studio.

Best Free CD Burning Software

Ashampoo Burning Studio FREE

Use this free burning app to make your favorite playlist into a mix-CD.


Danny Chadwick Danny Chadwick
Danny has been a technology journalist since 2008. He served as senior writer, as well as multimedia and home improvement editor at Top Ten Reviews until 2019. Since then, he has been a freelance contributor to Lifewire and ghostwriter for Fit Small Business. His work has also appeared on Laptop Mag, Tom’s Guide, and business.com. Read Full Bio »