Friday, February 12, 2010

Alcohol 52% – Free CD/DVD emulation software

No I’m not talking about the spirit you consume on late night parties. I’m talking about the unusually named optical disc emulation software. I’m pretty sure you have heard about Alcohol 120%, haven’t you? Now meet Alcohol 52%, his younger brother but unlike his elder sibling, this one comes free (although there is a paid version).

Alcohol 52% is a disc emulation software that allows you to create fully functional copies of your CDs and DVDs and also play them without needing the actual physical disk. It lets you do so by copying the images of your CDs/DVDs on to the hard disk and then mounting them on virtual optical drives that emulates the behavior of actual optical drives.

alcohol52

The result is that your CDs and DVDs are saved from wear and tear, you don’t have to rummage through your drawers for the disks when you need them, and they also give better performance because hard drives run faster than an optical drive. It’s a win-win situation.

Does you disk use encryption technologies? Don’t worry because Alcohol 52% can tackle them with ease. It can handle copy-protection methods such as StarForce, SecuROM, and LaserLock, saving copy settings for audio, game, data, and other types of discs. That makes it possible to create virtual versions of copy-protected discs, which can otherwise be difficult to use.

Alcohol 52% supports up to 6 virtual CD DVD-ROM drives, all at once and the reading speed of a virtual CD-ROM is 200X. It supports all kinds of CD/DVD formats including rewritable, Mixed Mode and Multi-session CD DVDs.

Difference between Alcohol 52% and Alcohol 120%

The main difference is: Alcohol 52% is free while Alcohol 120% is not. This means that Alcohol 52% is a downgraded version of the paid edition but nothing extreme that makes it unusable.

  • Alcohol 120% supports up to 31 virtual drives, Alcohol 52% supports up to 6
  • Alcohol 52% does not have a CD/DVD burner, but it can still make images.
  • Alcohol 52% comes with an optional adware toolbar.

See? it’s as good as the paid version; the perfect alternative.

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