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"Disco" CD Burning Software Review
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: April 14, 2007 03:19PM
Yesterday's MacZOT listed an app called Disco. I had 13 minutes to decided so I quickly took a look at Disco's site and decided to pull the trigger.

I burn a lot of discs. Some music, some data, some video and a lot of custom hybrid discs.

At first I thought "never heard of it, it's cheaper than Toast, only has a one page site... it must just offer basic burning options." Their site, however, states "Powerful burning for anyone" in the tagline as well as "Disco does more than just look pretty, though. Pro users will be glad that they can take advantage of the seamless multi-session support, many different file systems, and tons of disc image burning options[...]"

With statements like "Powerful burning" and "Pro users will be glad" I thought for sure I had found some great Mac app that appeased pro users and offered me some powerful options. After trying the app out, I've discovered their other tagline "Legal in 48 states" is probably because two states have kicked them out for false advertising.

To be fair, I can't really compare a $30 app to Toast. So I don't expect Disco to do any multimedia slideshows, DVD menu authoring... just for it to burn discs and live up to its claims.

Many different file systems FAIL
It supports HFS+, Hybrid, PC Joliet, ISO 9660 and UDF. "Many?" Not even close. It supports a few, or a handful... but not many. If their tagline was "basic burning software for anyone" then their exaggeration of "many" wouldn't be so bad.

Tons of disc image burning options FAIL
For disc images, it provides three formatting options - DMG, ISO & CDR. It also lets you pick where the image goes. There are a total of two options, but choosing the save destination is a given so there's really only one. And with that one option, it provides fewer choices than an app that's free and included with Mac OS X - Disk Utility.

Another step below mediocrity is their spinning wheel status window when crediting an image. It gives you absolutely no indication that the image is being created, how far along it is or how much of the image is left to create. I had to bring up Activity Monitor just to make sure it was writing to the disk.

Crossroads???
We have dubbed the workflow technology we created for Disco "Crossroads." Crossroads lets Disco assist you through the process with a beautiful animated interface, while also offering you full control. Crossroads doesn't try to think for you, instead it works with and for you based on your actions. We sought out to make the most straightforward disc burning utility out there.

Sounds nifty, doesn't it? Really, it only does the absolute most basic functions you would expect from any any burning software. Here's what it allows you to do:
- Change the name of the disc
- Click "burn"
- Cancel the burn

That's it. Sure it's pretty, but they claim Disco does more than just look pretty. Thus far, that's all it does.

Smoke PASS
With Disco we tried pushing the boundaries of interface, usability, and utter functional simplicity. Well, once you realize that Disco is emitting real time interactive smoke as you burn, we start redefining the boundaries. Want to push it out of the way? Blow into your microphone and the smoke will react accordingly. Or, go ahead and flick at it with your mouse. Remember, you'll need a recent mac to play with the full interactive smoke.

Although that's pretty, it's painfully poignant. Not only does the app blow smoke, but the company blows plenty of smoke with their claims.

Honestly, I can't find any logic in their statements. They claim the app is powerful, it makes pros "glad" and the app does more than look pretty. It doesn't do much more than look pretty. Their site is pretty. The app it self is very clean and has some pretty features.

Sadly, this is Mac software at its worst. It perpetuates and provides substance to anti-Mac arguments that Macs are only about fashion and not function. They could at least drop the claims of function and rebutting of fashion.

If you just want to watch your computer blow smoke, this app is for you.




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Re: "Disco" CD Burning Software Review
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: April 14, 2007 03:28PM
I find that a lot of the Zot apps are just AppleScript Studio projects slapping a poorly conceived GUI on a few command line tools.

Some of those apps are nevertheless occasionally handy and there's even (rarely) a gem in the rough. I seldom see anything worth the shareware fee they're asking, but I think that the $13 dollar deal was just about right for what was offered.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/2007 03:30PM by MacMagus.
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Re: "Disco" CD Burning Software Review
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: April 14, 2007 03:32PM
Yeah, out of the $13 group the one that interested me the most was Disco.




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Re: "Disco" CD Burning Software Review
Posted by: Kramerica
Date: April 14, 2007 04:10PM
$13 is a steal for RapidWeaver alone. I paid the regular price for that one awhile back, and got another license in the MacHeist deal,which I gave to a friend.

I got Disco in the MacHeist deal as well, but the Finder has gotten decent at burning, and I already have Toast as well, so it hasn't gotten much use. The first time I burned something with it, it annoyed me a bit as I either didn't get (or may have missed) the option to name the cd, so it ended up with a computer-generated name. Regardless I credit them for making a beautiful simple little app but it is not ideal for power-users or going to "have Toast for breakfast" like they advertised, IMO.
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Re: "Disco" CD Burning Software Review
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: April 14, 2007 04:19PM
I was looking forward to getting RapidWeaver for $13. Alas, at the appointed hour I was indisposed...



It is what it is.
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Re: "Disco" CD Burning Software Review
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: April 14, 2007 04:29PM
I'm looking forward to checking out AppZapper. That might be worth it.

N-OS X-tasy!, I might take RapidWeaver for a spin, but considering my background, I probably don't have a need for it. Depending on how the licensing works, I might be open to transferring it.

Edit: OH MY! Regarding AppZapper, make sure you turn off sound effects in the prefs or at least don't have your speakers cranked. That startled me.

Edit2: AppZapper has now also disappointed me. I wanted to delete Zinio and it only found the two apps in the apps folder. I searched and found two related install packages that it didn't fine. Plus, it'd be useful if it would search for files associated with app's you've deleted, and delete those files.




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Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/2007 04:36PM by M A V I C.
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Re: "Disco" CD Burning Software Review
Posted by: Silencio
Date: April 14, 2007 05:21PM
For cheap/free CD burning, I really prefer LiquidCD:

[www.maconnect.ch]

Disco garnered a lot of early hype for its UI, but the emperor really has no clothes there. It is not a good example of Macintosh shareware, which I still feel is generally much better than comparable offerings on the Windows side.
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Re: "Disco" CD Burning Software Review
Posted by: cyclemax
Date: April 14, 2007 06:03PM
So, I guess what you are saying is that "Disco sucks"!:-)
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Re: "Disco" CD Burning Software Review
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: April 14, 2007 06:47PM
Quote
cyclemax
So, I guess what you are saying is that "Disco sucks"!:-)

Still true after all these years.

VERY nicely done, Mr. Max. :-)



It is what it is.
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Re: "Disco" CD Burning Software Review
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: April 14, 2007 06:50PM
Quote
M A V I C
N-OS X-tasy!, I might take RapidWeaver for a spin, but considering my background, I probably don't have a need for it. Depending on how the licensing works, I might be open to transferring it.

I would appreciate that, F. I have a few duplicate licenses from various MacZOT! bundles -- maybe I have something you'd be interested in in return.



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Re: "Disco" CD Burning Software Review
Posted by: jimbrady
Date: April 14, 2007 07:15PM
Disco came in handy for me when I wanted to span several DVDs and Toast 6 wouldn't do it (I was tired of paying $80 after rebate every generation). I might make do w/Popcorn and Disco here on out.

My cousin who was 18 when I was 11 (1979) had a T-Shirt that said "Disco Sucks" and I figured it must be true.



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Re: "Disco" CD Burning Software Review
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: April 14, 2007 07:24PM
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
M A V I C
N-OS X-tasy!, I might take RapidWeaver for a spin, but considering my background, I probably don't have a need for it. Depending on how the licensing works, I might be open to transferring it.

I would appreciate that, F. I have a few duplicate licenses from various MacZOT! bundles -- maybe I have something you'd be interested in in return.

Let me know what you've got. I just took RW for a tour. It seems like a nice app for beginning to intermediate users. If I wanted to stick with one of their templates (and many are nice) it would be okay. But I'm not interested in learning another template system.




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