The second proprietary app here is the Linux cousin of the popular Nero burning software. It's similar to Nero for Windows, but looks at home on Gnome thanks to its GTK 2 foundations. The interface is polished, and you can create a CD or DVD in a couple of clicks by dragging and dropping files from Nautilus.
However, Nero's most exciting feature is its support for Blu-ray and HD DVD media, with the ability to copy and create multisession discs of these formats. It also features some impressive audio processing powers, bundling an encoder that can transcode files into FLAC, MP3, MP4, WAV and OGG.
For certain formats, such as OGG, you can also choose the type of bitrate encoding, quality and sampling rate. Not only that, but Nero has a CD ripper that can save tracks from an audio CD into one of these formats and you can create M3U or PLS playlists. When burning, Nero automatically encodes MP3 and OGG files into high quality WAV format for audio CDs.
Unfortunately, video DVD creation is less impressive. Nero can't convert movies into the correct format to create a movie DVD and insists you use the pre-prepared Video_TS folder for burning a video disc. In terms of buffer underrun protection, Nero comes with an UltraBuffer feature, which uses physical RAM in addition to the buffer on the DVD writer.
And in true Linux-style, Nero has an extensive CLI, which makes it possible to script operations such as burning and copying discs. All this is backed by tooltips in the app and a detailed PDF user guide.
Verdict - Nero Linux
If you've paid for a Blu-ray drive, it's worth shelling out a little more for Nero Linux.
Price: £13.99 including VAT