Burn: Burn CDs and DVDs on Mac

There are many different programs for burning DVDs and CDs on the Mac. These include some very good paid apps. However, there is with Burn Energy Drink a good free alternative. The Burn app, which works from macOS 10.9, is continuously being developed, the last update is from January 17, 2021 and there are many options: add disc icon, create DVD menus, burn audio and MP3 CDs, copy data carriers and much more. In the following I have compiled the information about the current version Burn 3.1. You can download it for free with this link.

With the Burn Mac app you can burn video DVDs, music CDs, data discs and copies of data carriers. The current version Burn 3.1 is from January 2021.

With the Burn Mac app you can burn video DVDs, music CDs, data discs and copies of data carriers. The current version Burn 3.1 is from January 2021.

Burn App for macOS - download and installation

If you have clicked on the page linked above, you will find the green download button on the right-hand side. If you click on this, you will be taken to the SourceForge website, where the Burn Download should start automatically after a few seconds. A .zip file of approx. 32 MB is downloaded. The Mac can unzip it by double-clicking it.

After unzipping (in the Downloads folder, for example) you will find the Burn program there. You can move it directly to the Applications folder or click the appropriate option when you run it for the first time. And done, you can use Burn to burn CDs and DVDs on your Mac. The operation is very easy, as you will see below.

Use Burn on the Mac: Simple structure, understandable menus

On Website for the app you will mainly find information in English. But don't let that put you off, the program ends up in German on your hard drive. It is a small, clear window with four tabs: data, audio, video and copy. So you can choose directly whether you want to burn files and folders, create an audio disc (e.g. with music), a video CD or DVD or a copy of the disc. Different formats can be selected for this.

Burn data to a CD / DVD

If you select the "Data" tab in Burn on the Mac, you can drag your files into the middle part of the window. The total size of the data packet is then displayed below. So you can better decide whether you want to burn a data CD (up to approx. 700 MB) or a data DVD (up to approx. 4 GB). In addition, next to the text field for the disc title, you will find a menu for selecting the appropriate file system:

  • Mac (HFS +) - Disc is optimized for use on Apple computers
  • PC (Joliet) - The content is optimized for use on a PC (with Windows)
  • Mac + PC - This offers the maximum compatibility for data exchange between macOS and Windows / Linux
  • DVD (UDF) - This allows DVD players and TVs to read the data (if compatible)
  • Advanced ... - here you can choose ISO9660, HFS Standard and Joliet 103 characters in addition to the ones already mentioned

Burn audio to CD / DVD

If it is more like a music CD, an MP3 disk or a DVD with audio content, then click on the second tab called "Audio". Here, too, there is the option of selecting different formats in order to establish a certain compatibility:

  • Audio CD - Regular CD used by CD players, computers, and other devices that can play them
  • MP3 Disc - Burn an MP3 CD with more tracks for devices that can play them
  • DVD-Audio - A lot of high quality audio data can be burned onto a blank DVD

Burn video to CD / DVD

If you want to capture a video, several videos, a film or simply your holiday recordings on a blank disc, then select the third tab "Video". In addition to the format menu next to the text field for the disc title, you will find a menu for the region under the file / clip overview. PAL is used in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and many other regions. NTSC is intended for North and Central America and parts of South America. The selectable formats are:

  • VCD - The video CD, or VCD for short, can be played in appropriate players and on the computer
  • SVCD - The Super Video Compact Disc offers better image quality, but less running time, so that only 700 to 35 minutes of material fit on a 55 MB blank
  • DVD-Video - The classic format for DVDs that are to be played on a DVD player or similar
  • DivX - This MPEG-4 compatible codec can highly compress large video files while maintaining reasonably good quality

Create a CD or DVD copy with Burn

The last tab in the Burn app for macOS on Apple Mac, iMac, MacBook and Co. is called "Copy". Here you can select the media and image files in the drive to burn them to a new blank disc.

Add your own icon and menu

As mentioned at the beginning, Burn on the Mac not only offers the option of burning a video DVD or backing up data on the Mac. Menus can also be created for DVDs and Video CDs to simplify navigation between the various contents on the DVD player and television. In addition, the disc symbols can be customized for display on Mac and PC. 

However, only after installing the appropriate add-ons, which are referred to as extras. These cannot yet be seen in the screenshots above. The download can be found at this point. "MenuEdit" ensures that you can create your own themes and menus for DVDs. “Icon sets” provides you with icon sets, ie collections of symbols that you can use. 

Some functions of the Burn app for burning CDs and DVDs on the Mac must be downloaded as an extra.

Some functions of the Burn app for burning CDs and DVDs on the Mac must be downloaded as an extra.

Install Burn Themes: How It Works!

On the website shown above, click on the download button to the right of "MenuEdit (create your own themes)". The download from the SourceForge site should then start again automatically. Start the downloaded program MenuEdit, create your own theme and save it. You can use it in Burn by simply opening it with the same app. The whole thing only works in older systems that can also use 32 bit apps.

Therefore, the note for users with current operating systems such as macOS 10.14 Mojave, 10.15 Catalina and 11 Big Sur: The MenuEdit app will probably not work here because it has not yet been updated for these systems (32-bit instead of 64-bit application ). It is not clear whether and when an update will come. Information as of February 3, 2021.

Install Burn Iconset: Here's how!

You can download icon sets from the SourceForge website via the extra page linked above. You can use these as disk symbols in Burn using the following procedure:

  • Navigate to the Applications folder on the Mac hard drive in the Finder
  • Find the Burn app in it and right-click on the icon
  • Click in the menu that opens "Show package contents"
  • Opens the "Contents" folder and in it the "Resources" folder
  • Replace “Burn.icns” there with the downloaded content
  • Opens the localization folder "de.lproj" and replaces (if available) the files "Burn document.icns", "Copy document.icns" and "Theme document.icns" with the downloaded content

Burn CD, data and video DVD on your Mac

What do you think of the Burn app for macOS? Do you still burn CDs, DVDs and data discs at all or have you already completely renounced such data carriers? Feel free to leave a comment on the topic;)

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4 comments

  1. Dieter says:

    Thanks for the contribution. I hardly ever use DVDs on the Mac. After all, Apple removed the drive from the iMac (my iMac: Retina 5K, 27 inches, end of 2015). Too bad. I don't need the discs very often for my customers, but I always need them. Since I don't have a macbook etc., I help myself out with an older Microsoft laptop and burning software.
    But now my question for the opposite case: many have DVDs and can no longer use them themselves - so they have to "rip" the DVDs. Push the disc contents back onto the computer, then onto a USB stick and the data can be used again for the car, television, etc.
    Can your featured software also rip or do you have a suggestion for it?
    What do you think of the correspondingly expensive all-rounder software Roxio Toast? Thanks.

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Dieter! If you are only interested in data, you can simply drag and drop it from the CD or DVD to your Mac. In principle, you only have to do "ripping" on film and music DVDs or CDs. Music CDs are recognized by the system itself and macOS suggests that it can rip them to you. This is a little more complicated with video DVDs. Most DVDs are copy-protected and cannot be ripped on a Mac. That works more on the PC, since the system does not intervene here if it detects copy protection.

      Regarding your question about toast, this is still a very nice program. I had it in use for many years and it let me do a lot of things intuitively. Anyone who has to do with the subject of CD or DVD burning more often and is prepared to take almost 100 EUR in their hands, gets solid software with it. If necessary, you can also buy an older version, because little has changed in terms of features. Then maybe you can get away cheaper.

  2. Horst Deinert says:

    DVDs and Blurays can be ripped on the Mac with the free software "Makemkv". An mkv file is created. If you prefer to have the mp4 / m4v format, you can also install the freeware "Handbrake".

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Horst! Thanks to you for the info. And the software is unimpressed by copy protection? Or is it also blocked by it?

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