CyberLink Power2Go 6 is the best form of a simple and easy to use burning software. CyberLink Power2Go 6 can be run as a splash-screen-based “wizard" or by simply dragging files to the application window and then adding them to the current project. CyberLink Power2Go 6 integrates into your version of Windows, allowing you to perform various media-related functions from a right-click pop-up menu.
Additional music extraction and conversion tools are included, making CyberLink Power2Go 6 a one-stop application for all of your disc-related tasks. New to version 6 is support for Blu-ray and HD DVDs for those who have a burner supporting these formats.
Help & Support (3 out of 5)
The support for CyberLink Power2Go 6 was “okay." Every question I had (and then some) was located within the help. I actually learned some feature settings (such as the program preferences) from the help file.
The help was written for multiple versions of the application, so more than once I noticed references stating; “Note: In your version of CyberLink Power2Go, this feature may be limited or unavailable." Creating a general help file for multiple applications causes confusion for the general user and is something that should be corrected.
Performance (5 out of 5)
CyberLink Power2Go 6 performed without issue, was always responsive, and worked 99 percent of the time. Not a single bad CD or DVD was created by CyberLink Power2Go 6 and my burner always performed at its highest recording speed for CDs, DVDs, and dual-layer DVDs.
During one project creation, CyberLink Power2Go 6 faulted and closed down. I can't say 100 percent that the problem was an application issue versus a Windows issue, but it was CyberLink Power2Go 6 that crashed. In all fairness, my machine didn't have a “clean image" of Windows and the application only crashed once.
Price to Value (5 out of 5)
CyberLink Power2Go 6 offers the end user the ability to quickly burn a CD or DVD immediately after installation. The $39.99 price tag is easy to justify for the functionality offered. This is a no-frills application that delivers what it's designed to do which is master a data/music CD, VCD, or DVD, as well as Blu-ray and HD DVDs. Also included in CyberLink Power2Go 6 are the abilities to rip music CDs and convert audio formats, making this application an all-around great deal.
Installation & Setup (4 out of 5)
Installation was easy and straightforward. CyberLink Power2Go 6 is supported on Windows Vista and automatically checks for system compatibility. System requirements are minimal, with free hard drive space being the largest obstacle. If you are going to burn a Blu-ray disk, expect to have 30 GB of hard drive space available for temporary swap files. The program itself consumed 150 MB of hard disk space for installation.
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Like most Windows applications, there are hardware compatibility limitations. If you are using an older burner, there is a possibility that CyberLink Power2Go 6 will not function correctly. CyberLink does include an extensive hardware list on their website, but your devices are not checked against their list during installation. If you are having burning failures, make sure to check the hardware list online.
User Interface (4 out of 5)
Using CyberLink Power2Go 6 was easy and straightforward. An initial wizard starts the process and helps to make it easy and understandable. I greatly appreciated that using the wizard was optional since I prefer to get into the application, update my burn list, make my DVD, and get out. However, the average home user will appreciate the assistance. I have been an Easy CD Creator user since its Adaptec days and have continued to see it bloat with features I don't use (and have a tough time removing to preserve system resources). CyberLink Power2Go 6 returns the burning process back to the basics, which I appreciate. The application integrates into the Windows shell nicely, allowing you to right-click a CD drive icon and launch the program and a task immediately.
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The basic installation starts the CyberLink Power2Go Express 6 application as well. I didn't like the extra application and immediately closed it down (and prevented it from starting automatically). This is a feature CyberLink touts, but something a power user like myself finds annoying.
Finding settings and options can be a little time consuming until you begin to use the program and learn where things are placed. This fact forced me to use the help file more than I am accustomed to.
Product Features (5 out of 5)
CyberLink Power2Go 6 is a CD/DVD burning software first and foremost. It has the ability to burn bootable media (use the included boot image, or make your own), video CDs/DVDs, and Blu-ray and HD DVDs. CyberLink Power2Go 6 can master the discs quickly and efficiently with minimal steps. The software also allows you to extract CDs/DVDs to files, split projects over multiple discs, and even create an auto-run disc automatically.
Extracting music from your CD collection to MP3, WAV, or WMA formats is just as easy. When inserting a music CD to extract to files, the track and album information are updated from the Internet, from the CDDB, I assume. However, this isn't mentioned within the application.
The ability to change your extracted music formats is limited to the preset bitrates. This is odd, since I have used CyberLink’s MP3 Power Pack for years because of its ability to use custom bitrates.
As previously mentioned, I would love to see the help file be unique per application. Having a single file for multiple versions of the software makes the application feel cheaper than it really is.
CyberLink Power2Go 6 is a great product that delivers exactly what I was looking for, the ability to burn media quickly and efficiently. The added audio extraction program is nice and simple. It's also functional, although I would have liked to have been able to modify the MP3 bitrates to my preferences rather than the presets. Still, for $39.99, CyberLink Power2Go 6 is a true bargain.
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