RecordNow Max 4.0 review:

RecordNow Max 4.0

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CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Solid performance; powerful features; low price.

The Bad Poor online support and documentation.

The Bottom Line Despite its weak online technical support, you should get RecordNow if you use a CD burner on a PC--it's that good.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

9.0 Overall

Adding a CD-ROM burner to your system can make your life a lot more fun if you have the right software. We suggest RecordNow Max 4.0, a CD-recording software package. Sure to please beginners and experienced users alike, this powerful program can burn everything from data discs to VideoCDs (VCDs). If you have a DVD recorder attached to your system, you can even use RecordNow Max 4.0 to create archive copies of your favorite DVDs. While we found RecordNow's documentation and online support weak, the program's easy-to-use interface and flawless performance made it a joy to work with. If you burn CDs or DVDs on a PC, you should use this app. Adding a CD-ROM burner to your system can make your life a lot more fun if you have the right software. We suggest RecordNow Max 4.0, a CD-recording software package. Sure to please beginners and experienced users alike, this powerful program can burn everything from data discs to VideoCDs (VCDs). If you have a DVD recorder attached to your system, you can even use RecordNow Max 4.0 to create archive copies of your favorite DVDs. While we found RecordNow's documentation and online support weak, the program's easy-to-use interface and flawless performance made it a joy to work with. If you burn CDs or DVDs on a PC, you should use this app.

Interface for every occasion
One of the first things you'll notice after installation is that RecordNow Max 4.0 provides separate interfaces for casual and power users. On start-up, you see the RecordNow Max Wizard interface, which guides you quickly through basic CD-R-burning tasks. Using the RecordNow Max Wizard, you can copy discs or make music and data discs, such as a disc full of MP3s, with just a few clicks. However, if you close this window, the underlying interface comes to the front, offering access to much more powerful tools. For example, using the advanced Warp Drive feature, you can set up multiple CD-recording tasks with up to 64 CD-R drives, effectively turning RecordNow Max into a low-cost CD duplication system.

Format extravaganza
When it comes to CD formats, RecordNow Max 4.0 can record just about anything. It burns CD copies, data and bootable CDs, discs from a live audio source, VideoCDs, and even--with a DVD burner--DVDs. However, while RecordNow Max 4.0 can record DVDs, it is not a DVD-authoring program. You'll still need a separate application, such as Pinnacle Express DV, to create and format your video files for playback on DVD players.

Sound delivery
We especially like RecordNow's ability to adjust sound resolution. This app lets you rip MP3 files at bit rates of up to 320Kbps, for pristine MP3 recordings, or set the resolution lower for recording longer-duration audio. We easily burned an MP3 disc and played it without a hitch in everything from computers to car stereos. In addition, RecordNow Max's DJ Burn tool lets you record sound sources directly through your PC's sound card. It's no studio recording, but DJ Burn could be a fun way to capture a family sing-along on the spur of the moment.

Mixed support
We found RecordNow Max long on features, but its documentation and online help could use some work. The 28-page manual provides some help with basic functions but lacks detail on the more complex functions, such as setting up multiple CD-R recorders to work in tandem. Stomp's Web site doesn't offer much more information, either, just a basic FAQ page and a list of supported drives, which hasn't been updated in nearly six months. Given the power of the program, we're disappointed that RecordNow Max doesn't come with better documentation. Still, Stomp gives you 30 days of unlimited free, but not toll-free, telephone support, Monday through Friday. Otherwise you can e-mail RecordNow Max tech support and get an answer back within two business days.

It burns
Despite somewhat weak documentation, RecordNow Max remains one of the most impressive CD-R-burning software packages available for the PC. The RecordNow Max Wizard interface and advanced features make RecordNow Max a great tool for both beginners and advanced users.

RecordNow Max 4.0 offers two different interfaces: a Wizard mode for basic CD-R-recording tasks and a full interface for more complex jobs.

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