If you're looking for a cheap way to author movies, including Blu-ray movies, then Ashampoo Burning Studio 12 deserves your full attention. An all-purpose optical burning and multimedia utility, Burning Studio's big improvement for version 12 is a better organized, more logical interface. There's also a new compact mode with the look of a separate applet that resides on your desktop for you to drag and drop files to.
Other than the interface, Burning Studio 12 is a relatively mild upgrade. The program already covered most of the basics: data disc burning (all types), burning movie discs (all types), authoring movie discs including Blu-ray, creating slideshows, and backup. It also covers a host of smaller disc-oriented chores, such as creating and burning images, copy discs, finalizing, and allows you to print labels.
New to the Burning Studio feature party are normalization of audio tracks during authoring, Ken-Burns effects and some editing improvements for slideshows, ripping audio tracks to FLAC and OGG as well as the MP3 and wave formats that were already supported, and new slideshow themes.
Using Ashampoo Burning Studio 12 is about as easy as it gets, and for the most part the beta behaved well in my hands-on. I did receive two error messages when loading video files across the network, but the files loaded without crashing and all tasks completed successfully.
I would like to be able to trim by frames with Ashampoo Burning Studio 12, but milliseconds will work for most purposes. There's no commercial Blu-ray playback as you get with Nero and others, but Burning Studio 12 costs considerably less and few users will need more than it provides. All in all, a must-see if you're looking for disc authoring and burning software.