DVD Cloner 4 is fast. Really fast. It combines an incredibly simple interface for new users with an advanced interface option that will satisfy even the uber-est of users.
Basic (or Express) mode offers a foolproof way to copy DVDs, and it takes only one click to copy your DVD. Basic mode is perfect for beginners, though the lack of any options in this approach seems almost too spartan to me. Advanced (or Expert) mode is more professional and customized, and you will become a DVD copy expert with it. There are lots of options in the Advanced mode. For example, you can shut down your computer after the process completes automatically–very convenient for making overnight copies or for slower systems. The Full DVD Disc Copy function is also enhanced. Now it can remove various protections (Region, CSS, ARccOS, and so on) during copying.
Other cool features and tools in DVD Cloner include an enhanced decrypter to defeat all up-to-date DVD protection mechanisms. The software comes bundled with free DVD-to-AVI, DVD-to-MPEG, and DVD-to-SVCD format capabilities, making DVD Cloner effectively four great products in one. Finally, the burning engine has been redesigned to make burning more stable and dependable, and DVD Cloner 4 is fully compatible with Windows Vista.
I found little to complain about in the software. If I had to nit pick, the "remaining time" meter is slightly deceiving. It shows the time remaining for ripping a DVD, but in actuality, that's only 50 percent of the process, since you still need to burn it. DVD Cloner's flexibility to do more than just copy, however, makes it a great value at $59.99.
Price to Value (5 out of 5)
Installation & Setup (4 out of 5)
Installation and setup couldn't be easier. The install is quick, with very few dialogs. Setup varies: the basic interface requires no configuration at all, while the advanced mode has several easy checkbox options. It's as simple as one would hope, and allows users to be able to instantly achieve their goals without having to read any manuals–or even very many dialog boxes, for that matter!
The only complaint I had with the setup is that there's no option to take users to the advanced UI. While it was simple enough to get to the advanced settings once I launched the application, it would have taken the addition of only one screen to ask the user which interface they prefer. And it wouldn't be a bad way to show your customers the advanced side of your interface for when they feel comfortable and want to experiment further.
Product Features (4 out of 5)
The features DVD Cloner 4 includes are not only useful, but also a breeze to use. For example, the Copying feature lets you copy just the movie and saves you some space, allowing for a higher bitrate. If you must have the menus and other extras on your copy, you can pick and choose which to install. DVD Cloner will also automatically choose the best compression, or you can just copy the entire movie and extras and be as aggressive on the compression as you'd like. The quality is much better than you would think, but even better when you leave off the extras and copy just the movie. I found the quality of my copies to be very close to the original; no pixelating in the dark, action-packed scenes, even!
User Interface (3 out of 5)
Functionality-wise, the interface is great. In the Advanced mode, icons are clearly associated with a task, such as "Copy a Full DVD & Extras from a DVD9 to a DVD5," and there's text when you roll over the images as well. In Basic, the Start button is clearly visible and red, with as few customizable options as possible. Basically, this mode makes it really difficult to make mistakes copying a DVD.
Performance (5 out of 5)
Help & Support (4 out of 5)
For support, the DVD Cloner website has some nice FAQs that are fairly detailed. Their organization is not the cleanest, but they do a good job of answering some common questions.
There isn't a feature I can think of that DVD Cloner does not have, and the inclusion of DVD9 support covers future-proofing. It's just a matter of time, however, until high-definition formats become the buzz, so DVD Cloner will eventually need to add that support.
To put it simply, DVD Cloner 4 is one of the best copying tools I have ever used, and is currently my preferred choice. Its dual interface makes it a product I can recommend to novice users and pros alike. It's fast, effective, and does its job as advertised.
DVDShrink, Clone DVD, 1Click DVD Copy, DVD Decrypter