Sunday, August 20, 2006

How hard can it be?

Yesterday I tried to write a CD on the family PC. I've been taking digital photos almost exclusively for the past couple of years, and we went through the accumulation and decided to get a few printed off properly. Simple - just burn them to a CD and take it to the nearest supermarket.

So the family PC has a writable CD drive, and a popular user-friendly operating system that's supposed to make this a breeze. So it should be a doddle, right? Wrong! I go to my photos and click where it says "Copy all items to CD", and failed completely to produce a CD with any pictures on. Several coasters, for sure, but no viable CDs. (My understanding of the way this is supposed to work is that it just copies the files to a holding cell, and when you open a writable CD it's supposed to ask you if you want to burn the CD. Nope, just trashed the CD every time.)

The PC has a number of utilities, that either came preinstalled, or as part of some other package, that allow you to write to a CD. None of those did the job either (I know the thing works, because I've written backups or VideoCDs, but I wanted something terribly simple. No dice.)

Unwilling to waste any more time, I simply copied the files to a real computer running Solaris. A couple of simple commands later and I had burnt a CD, first time, no problem.

Oh, and the pictures came out great.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's pretty easy, actually. You go to google and type "free cd burner" - and voila, there's tons of pretty good cd/dvd burning software for Windows.

I myself use DeepBurner (they have a free version) - second on the google list.

Dmitri

Kimmo said...

Continuing on the free software advice: www.imgburn.com

It's really designed to burn cd image files to discs, which it does superbly, but as of version 2.0 it also has a "build" mode - just click a button, select the files you want on a disc and click write to disc. Couldn't be much easier. Just for the next time you need to burn some photos.

I wouldn't use the built-in stuff in Windows on a bet, though, so I agree with you there.

Peter Tribble said...

Thanks for the links!

It sort of reinforces my point, though - don't you think? It is an advertised feature that just didn't work. Not even an error message...

carlo-43 said...

I've encountered this same problem myself before and I know the feeling sucks. It's just a waste of time and CD's. I think it's important to have a reliable software and burner.