Disco 1.0

Disco 1.0

Your Mac's not on fire - Disco creates virtual smoke as it burns a disc.


When it comes to optical-disc-burning software, there's Roxio's Toast ($99.99, www.roxio.com) and there's everything else. So when an affordable disc-burning app like Disco comes along, you pay attention, especially when the developers claim on their website that Disco will be "last media-burning app you'll ever need." The reality is that Disco has a ways to go: Although it offers novel features, it gets some of the basics wrong.


The inflexible, nonstandard interface is Disco's most obvious differentiator - and its biggest flaw. The transparent, smoke-colored windows make the application easy to use on the one hand, but irritating on the other. The large, helpful icons are great, but since you can't resize the window, file names longer that 25 characters can't be completely displayed. Long lists of files rapidly become tiresome to navigate because the window shows only six files at a time. Also, you can't edit file names. However, when it comes to burning media, the application performs well, offering user-friendly progress displays.


Disco offers two innovative features that aim to set it apart from its contemporaries: Discography and Spandex. Discography tracks every file on the discs you burn, providing a Spotlight-like interface to search them with. We'd like access to the entire directory of each disc, but that's a minor quibble. Spandex, a tool that automatically divides large burns across multiple discs, doesn't work as well. It can't split folders that are larger than the target media volume, and the way it organizes items is sometimes wasteful - in one of our tests, a mere 900MB of data was spread across three CD-Rs.


The bottom line. Disco needs a few improvements before it becomes the last media-burning app you'll ever need.


CONTACT: www.discoapp.com
PRICE: $29.95
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.4.3 or later
Automatic cataloging. Generally simple to use. Uses recent notebooks' motion sensors to warn you of potential bad burns if the computer is moving.
Inflexible, nonstandard interface. Lack of file-list editing. Spandex a disappointment.





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