Saturday, March 27, 2010

How to complete a burning job using fewest number of optical disks

Here is the situation: say you need to burn a gigantic amount of data that could require several DVDs. You don’t know how many disks you will need but you want to carry out the job using the fewest number of disks as possible. If you try to calculate the space used by each folder and files, and then try to organize them into chunks that would fit on a DVD and at the same time try to achieve the best fit, it will probably drive you crazy.

In order save time and keep your sanity intact, you can use one of these two software that will do the thinking and calculations for you. You simply select the files you want to copy, tell it the media you have, and then let it decide how to distribute the files on the media in a way so as to leverage all the available disc space.

The first one we will look at is called Burn to the brim.

Burn to the brim (BTTB) uses different algorithm to analyze the files and folders in a folder you specify, and group them in the best possible way. The first priority is to fill the media to the brim, second is to minimize the number of items (so the larger, harder to fit items are filled first followed by the smaller items to ‘fill the gaps’).


When you start the program for the first time you will notice that there is no option for DVD under Media. You have to create the DVD media yourself. To do this, click on Add and enter the highlighted values as shown in the screenshot below. Other values will be taken by the program automatically.


Once the new media is created, select it and click on Start. Now add the folders you want to burn. Immediately, the program will start to scan and determine the best arrangement of files for the selected media type. When it's completed processing the files, you will see a list of discs that will need to be created. The amount of space filled is shown in percentage within parenthesis.


Each of these disks could now be converted into ISO image files which you can then burn using any disk burning program.

BTTB has additional options like the ability to split and rearrange folders, copy empty files and folders or move the files to another location to be burned.

The second program named SizeMe functions identically. You can select any media type - floppies, CDs, DVDs and also create custom sized media. Like BTTB, it can split folders if allowed by the user to better fit into a disk.


Once the list of disks are created, you can convert them into an image files or copy or move the files to another location.

However, there is one major flaw with both the programs - you can’t scan multiple folders at the same time. This means that all items you want to burn must be collected first under a single directory, although there can be multiple sub-folders. But you cannot select two-three folders together and let the program scan the contents.

Both the program are pretty old and hasn’t been updated for years, but they work surprisingly well on Windows 7.

1 comment:

  1. You can also use Filebot for the same purpose: under the Analyze tab there's a split tab to the right, if you simply drag'n'drop the folders/folder you want it'll split the files into separate folders.


Popular Posts