Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vista burning CDs

Shows you how long it's been since I've had to burn a data CD in Vista. DaBoss needed some photos burned using his laptop; I popped in a blank CD, left the title as the date and showed him how to drag the files from Gallery onto the disc (Hey Microsoft a "Send to CD" would be handy here).

He happily got on with that, and then started complaining it was taking too long. Hmm it's burning as it's going why is it doing that. Oh shit it's Microsoft Vista's wonderful Live File System. I forgot about that.

Yep by default throwing any burnable disc at Vista defaults to using LFS which tries to treat the disc as a hard drive, being able to just add and delete without the 'hassle' of having to remember to burn it at the end. This is great except a) it can be very slow when burning b) it takes an age for the disc to be read again once you insert it, c) that's assuming whatever you're trying to read it with can actually read it.

Now I won't begrudge the system in that for beginners it makes sense and allows them to treat it as they do everything else. Except for those of us who understand how these discs work the option to switch the format is the nondescript "More info" tab on the pop-up. Forget to do it and you're stuffed. Oh at least you can set the universal "Mastered" format as the default - oh wait no you can't it always defaults to LFS and you have to change it every single time.

Given that the chances are people burning CDs in this way are to give to other people; what's the reasoning behind making the default burn option one that only works with a select range of products rather than the one that works with everything. At least ask rather than hide the option.