Disco Review


Disco is a brand new disc burning application. Disco logo.

The coolest thing about Disco is that, when you’re burning a disc, it smokes.
Literally: Disco smoking.

Many people see Disco as simply a run-of-the-mill disc burning app that has a fun little effect. I, however, dissagree. I think that, in addition to the smoke, Disco has a lot of other great features to differentiate it from the rest of the disc burning pack.


Disco has a great feature called Discography:
The Discography.
Discography is a window within Disco that lists every disc you’ve ever burned and what day you burned it. Unfortunately, I feel that the Discography has a little ways to go before it’s really useful. For example, it doesn’t tell you whether an item is a physical disc, or just a disc image. (Yes, Disco burns disc images, and Yes, they show up in the Discography too.) Also, it doesn’t tell you the size of the discs you’ve burned.

Another problem with the Discography is its detail view. When you double click on an item in the Discography, it shows you that item’s contents:
The Discography's detail view.
However, this view won’t tell you how many items there are in total, nor will it tell you any individual file’s size. (And it still won’t tell you the total size of the disc!) In addition, while will tell you any file’s path, you can’t get to that file with one click (why not have a standard magnifying glass button?). Also, the only way to leave the detail view is to click the X in the search field, even though I didn’t necessarily search to get to this view.


Disco can automatically span files between two discs if they are too big to fit on one disc. This works beautifully, is completely seamless, and Disco’s interface makes it dead simple.
This is one area where the Disco team definitely got it right on.
Spanning a disc.
Spanning a disc.


Disco includes 7 presets for different types of smoke: Smoke, Fire, Goo, Icy Mist, Purple Haze, Red Sea and Steam. You can also make your own smoke (you get to specify colors, transparency, FPS, blur, and mouse intensity), although, unfortunately, you cannot save your own smoke creations as presets.


Disco has a surprising number of bugs, considering it had such an extensive public beta. I could’ve sworn the whole point of a public beta was to eliminate all the bugs before release…
For example, Disco became semi-unresponsive when I tried to skip verification between two spanned discs. I say semi-unresponsive because I could still click buttons, there was no spinning beach ball, and the Force Quit dialog didn’t list Disco as “Not Responding.” At this point, some of Disco’s features still worked. However, I couldn’t quit Disco or move on to the second disc, so I had to Force Quit.
There were quite a few other bugs that I found in my testing.

Other Weird Things

Disco also has some design problems.
For example, the icon in the dock looks to small:
Disco icon in the dock.

And I have no idea what this button in the Discography does:
Weird button.

I’m often annoyed by the fact that Disco behaves as a one window app – if you close the main window, Disco quits. This means that you can’t use the Discography without having the main burning window open.

Some other things are also unclear. For example, I’m still not sure why there are two different colored rings inside the disc burning progress bar:
Spanning a disc.

Other Great Features

The Disco team definitely paid attention to the details when they made this app. I love all the nice little touches, like how it shows your disc’s progress in the dock:
Disc progress in the dock.

Also, I really like how it presents information about your disc burner:
Info about your disc burner.

In Conclusion

Overall, I think that Disco is a great disc burning app, even if it is not quite mature yet. At this time, it is my disc burning app of choice, and, I think that by version 2, it will be far better than anything else out there.
If you’re looking to buy a disc burning app, I’d definitely recommend Disco to you. However, if you already own a disc burning app you’re perfectly happy with, I’d reccomend you wait until version 2, unless you really like the smoke effects (which I must admit are pretty awesome).

Use coupon code APPLEBLOG to get 25% off when you buy Disco.


London Calling

Crap app, crap support. I bought it specifically to create an ISO from an audio CD I needed to send for mastering, and it didn’t work as advertised. The ISO files were empty…

I queried support on it and they still haven’t replied a week later. Fully expecting a refund from these f**kers.


I tried to buy the Disco product in January 2010 having run the trial version. Although the website accepted my order, no product codes were sent, no replies to my emails and Paypal duly refunded my money. I assume the company behind Disco are no more, although the website is still live.


Julian, the button in discography that you weren’t sure about indexs the current disc. Just thought you might want to know :-)


It’s not like we’re getting a kickback or anything.

Ah, fair enough – apologies for assuming the worst and thinking you’d be getting a cut from purchases made with the coupon code.


In addition to all of the comments above, it also should be noted that Disco does not support Disc at once (DAO), which tape traders rely upon.


I have to say that this is the best app for people who just want to quickly burn things– and it’s a great no brainer interface for parents or those who are less technically savvy. Toast is indeed wonderful, but there are tons of features most people will never use. Disco is for the 90% who just want to burn DVDs and CDs.



I liked your post and just wanted to let you know I linked to it from my site. I look forwarding to checking out Disco for myself and seeing it in action. I have a feeling I will stick with Toast, but that smoke effect is pretty sweet.


Well we’re comparing Toast to Disco because, Disco lied to us . . . they said “Disco . . . we’re having Toast for breakfast.” If you didn’t notice they no longer use that tagline nor are they claiming to be a Toast killer. It was the Disco guys that said we weren’t going to need Toast anymore, we all bought . . . then we all were disapointed/sad/mad and complained about it. Now instead of addressing the lack of features, they just change the tag line.

Jim Dempsey

Comparing Disco to Toast is like comparing iPhoto to Photoshop for image editing. They are two entirely different beasts. Toast has all the features of Disco (including Discography and Spanning) and MUCH more. It’s far and away the very best burning app available.

That being said, Disco offers little in the way of features that can’t be found in several disc burning shareware apps and even a few of the free ones.

It’s always nice to have options, and Disco certainly isn’t the worst disc burning app available… but it’s far from the best or even the one that offers the most value.

Julian Bennett Holmes

Jack: I understand what you mean about the coupon code at the end, but I though people who wanted to buy Disco would appreciate this. It’s not like we’re getting a kickback or anything.


I’m in the less impressed camp – Disco just doesn’t have any features beyond those built in to OS X, or free apps like Burn, excepting ‘discography’, which you can improve on by doing ls -al > my_burned_files.txt in the directory you just burned from.

(And, you know, it’s kind of hard to take a review seriously, even one as well put together and balanced as this one is, when it ends with “Use coupon code APPLEBLOG to get 25% off when you buy Disco.”!)

cheap junk

…with a marketing twist to it — not enough to add up. ’nuff said.


scralpha, i couldn’t agree with you any more. i too paid only 5 bucks for it. and i couldn’t be any happier with the app. yes it lacks in features and what not, but i’m not mad at the appealing interface and ease of use. i mean, you get what you pay for, right?


I don’t really disagree with any of the above comments, but I do have one thing to add. I pre-bought Disco for 5 bucks because I fell victim to the hype. Turns out, for my simple needs it does the trick. And, I like the eye candy. It only costs $15 now. Toast, on the other hand, costs a whopping US$100. It’s a great program (I’ve heard) that does everything you could ask of it. BUT, it costs 20 times what I paid for Disco. Why shouldn’t it do alot more? People are comparing apples to oranges as far as I’m concerned. Use what you like. Eventually Disco will be complete, and for now, it does pretty much what it says it does. Why all the hate?


I used the beta, but not the final 1.0, have they improved disc spanning? When I tested it, it was terribly inefficient. In order to maintain a certain folder structure it would sometimes leave hundreds of megs of unused space on one disc, when it popped it out and asked for another.

I have to say that Toast is far superior in spanning. It can actually breakup a single file across multiple discs. This makes it better at using all the available space on a disc. It also is a necessity if you’re backing up a file that won’t fit on a single disc (like a large video).


‘Some other things are also unclear. For example, I’m still not sure why there are two different colored rings inside the disc burning progress bar:’

The darker one is the size of the data you’re burning in relation to the disk’s capacity and the lighter one is how much you’ve burned so far (also in relation to the capacity).


It’s simple marketing – AppZapper sold very well, they hyped the couple of guys that did it. They pre-sold the crap out of Disco, cause everyone thought they were going to make another cool app. Well it sucks. I own it, I never use it. The features are just plain lacking, there are a few FREE apps that do a better job than disco. Toast is still the best.

Phil Bowell

I like the idea behind Disco and its a nice interface for burning discs. But I have to disagree with you about the attention to detail. Yes they have done nice little bits in the design, like the disc burn % on the dock icon. But there are some pretty big bugs, which you highlighted and which I have experienced, which now its out of Beta should be gone. They are still there though, so a lot of attention to the detail is mis-placed, the functionality needs to have been dealt with over the eye-candy.

J Phill

I just got Disco last week, and I like it alot simply because it’s so easy to use. I agree that it’s not quite crisp yet, but I like it alot.

Matt J

Disco is over-hyped, has too few features, and does little more than OS X out of the box (This is mainly due to the fact that it uses the OS X burning engine). The only new feature that it brings to the table is discography, and it doesn’t seem very useful. I wouldn’t use it even if it was free.

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