Gnome fans have been looking for a competent alternative to the KDE-based K3b for a long time. Their current weapon of choice is Brasero, which stakes its claim to your hard drive space on being quick and simple to use.
It certainly succeeds in this goal – launching the app presents you with a few buttons to select the type of media you want to burn, categorised by projects. With one of these selected, all you need to do is add some appropriate files, review one or two options and you're done. Easy.
That's not to say that Brasero is limited, though. It can handle rewritable (RW) media and burn ISO, CUE, RAW and TOC image files. Even if you don't have a disc in the drive, Brasero can write an ISO image for you to burn to a physical disc later.
Audio CDs can be compiled from OGG, FLAC and MP3 files, which are automatically converted into audio CD format. You can insert a pause after each track, split them up manually, divide them into a fixed number of parts, or cut them at every silence. After splitting the tracks, you can remove and merge the various slices as you please. Brasero can also import tracks using an M3U or PLS playlist. Similarly, you can use Brasero to compile a video disc.
When burning video discs, you can choose to encode the video in a different format to the original, such as NTSC, or add an external MP2 or AC3 audio file. If you're creating a Video CD, you can choose between a VCD or an SVCD too. Brasero also supports multisession burning, and you can leave discs open for adding more data later on.
Beyond the burn
But Brasero can do more than just burn files: it can also simulate the burning process to test your setup and settings. Not only that, but it includes a simple cover editor that enables you to design the front, back and spine of a jewel case cover. This is simplistic, but you can add background images, and type text in various fonts and colours, which was sufficient for most of our needs.
However, we do have one niggle – instead of the graphical disc capacity meter used in every other app to visualise the used and free space remaining on the disc, Brasero simply displays the estimated project size.
Verdict - Brasero
Brasero still doesn't rival K3b for features, but it's more than adept at burning CDs and DVDs.
Price: Free under GPL