The Value of K3B: CD/DVD Burning Software January 19, 2007Posted by NAyK in Linux, OpenSUSE, Recommendation, Reviews, Screenshots, Software, Ubuntu, Ubuntu Christian, Windows, Working with Linux.
Of late, in my ‘only-Linux’ binge, I’ve had to rely on Linux-only solutions (using a combination of openSUSE 10.2, Ubuntu 6.10 and Ubuntu CE 6.10) for my work. The latest such attempt has been using K3B for CD/DVD burning.
K3B is a KDE based burning app, and it’s quite a neat software. The last CD I burned was the Dreamlinux 2.2 Linux .iso, and now I’ve just downloaded and burned another Ubuntu derivate (on which I will be writing about later).
The value I have seen in K3B is that it checks the MD5 SUM file before burning… reducing the need for burning and then checking the disk for errors. This is particularly important when you want to burn a bootable .iso linux distribution. There’s nothing worse than reaching the CD-media check and finding errors in Disk # 4! (I’ve had horror stories with Fedora, so I know). This process does not guarantee that errors will never come up, ie, there could be something wrong with the CD itself, K3B at least helps to immediately in checking whether the downloaded file is corrupt or not, before wasting another disk. I wish I had used this programme to burn all my Fedora .iso CDs… but sadly I used Lenovo’s own Multimedia Center, and it doesn’t have this feature.
I must say that I’ve had plenty of negative experiences with Nero (not NeroLinux, which I haven’t used). Nero for Windows is bloated software and it makes doing the simple tasks quite difficult. I feel overwhelmed by its options and wish it had a simpler interface. In fact, I have shifted all my Windows (desktop) based burning onto the Cheetah Burner. (latest update: September 2007. Realising that Cheetah is not free, I have now shifted to InfraRecorder, an opensource CD burner. So far I like it’s simple interface and it has done all the CD Burning I need. I haven’t still tested it with multimedia, but that should be done soon).
Back to K3B, I’ve done both DVD and CD burning through it, and it’s ‘comic’-style interface is fun (in the spirit of Linux) but not overly distracting. I hate the closing trumpet sound though, which invariably is too loud and sudden. I really need to stop that sound!
In comparison to Nero or Cheetah, K3B is miles ahead. In both speed (K3B is adequately fast)! But I find InfraRecorder better in terms of interface. Too many panels open up when trying to burn a CD/DVD in K3B.
Finally, in favour of k3B, this MD5 SUM checking alone is a real value-added service, enough to warrant doing all CD/DVD burnings on Linux rather than on any Windows-based machine. 10 full points to Linux and the open source movement!
Some comments about K3B.
Regarding Top-10 killer apps in Linux… in this list makes number 6.
Windows users would say Nero is way better than K3b in terms of features and I would be forced to agree. But why the hell does a person who just wants to burn some discs also need a media player, an always-on media cataloging software, audio editor and other useless crap bundled ? K3b does what its supposed to do from a good interface and does it perfectly.
Also see this review about K3B in softpedia. It also has screenshots.
There are a lot of things on the good side, the most important being the ease of use and the very good functionality. The DCOP interface allows the control of K3b from other software or from the distribution.
K3B doesn’t have an option to burn bootable CDs and I find this a very big inconvenience. Another thing that I don’t like is that it doesn’t warn you to install the appropriate dependencies to convert from mp3 when burning audio CDs.
K3B is the best option for every user because it is both easy to use and powerful. The only place where is not suitable is when you need to write files over the network or make bootable CDs.