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No media suite is complete without AnyDVD
These suites might promise the world, but there’s one crucial task that they’re plain incapable of: ripping the contents of a commercial DVD. Roxio, Nero, and other software makers must adhere to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which states that it’s illegal to provide technology that circumvents copy protection. But as we all know, there are perfectly legitimate reasons for copying the contents of a disc that has been legally purchased, such as making a backup or converting it for use on a portable player. That’s where SlySoft’s AnyDVD comes in (49 euros, www.slysoft
.com). Produced in and sold from Antigua, West Indies, AnyDVD has but one solitary purpose: to free your disc content of copy protection. Once installed, the app hangs out in your task bar; the moment you drop a disc into your optical drive, AnyDVD scans the contents and removes copy protection when necessary from standard-def content, freeing you to proceed with your activities. An HD DVD- and Blu-ray-enabled add-on costs an additional 30 euros. Check out the free 21-day trial. Purchasing the full version makes you eligible for free upgrades for life!
Testing these two massive apps has us believing that less is more
We hate to give two competing apps the exact same verdict, but Nero 8 Ultra and Easy Media Creator 10 have impressed and appalled us to similar degrees. In the end, we felt they were both merely adequate as complete packages. Yes, it would be nice to have the handful of apps that each package excels at, but all the other add-ons jack up the price and tarnish the shine on the winners. We believe we’d be smarter, savvier, more Maximum PC, if you will, by choosing just the media-creation apps that suit our purposes from the various resources at our disposal. After all, iTunes, Windows, DVD Shrink, AutoGK, and the wonderful world of the web all offer serviceable free alternatives that will augment the basic burning software that comes with retail burners. And if you require more advanced features, you’re likely better off buying a few single-purpose programs than a do-it-all hodgepodge. That’s just our two cents.