Disc image do-it-all

Need to convert files to ISO images? Here's a free tool.

ISO images, also known as disc images, are archival files found on optical discs like CD-ROMs. Many software publishers support the ISO file standard (.iso), and most CD- and DVD-burning software only works with ISO images and their own image formats. If you have software, presentations, archives, or other data to burn onto optical discs, you'll need to convert files in a wide range of formats into ISO images. AnyToISO from CrystalIdea is just the tool. It converts a wide range of file formats into ISO images, including BIN, MDF, PDI, CDI, NRG, B5I, and IMG files. It supports all the popular CD and DVD formats, and it will also mount any CD or DVD image found online to your Parallels/VMWare virtual machine. It's free, too.

The developer touts AnyToISO's small and nimble size, and with a 4.2MB download for the Windows version, it's certainly not bloated, considering its versatility. It offers a lot for freeware, such as the sort of user interface we love: just a clean, simple, and efficient Windows dialog box with a graphical layout that manages to be almost Spartan and yet attractive at the same time. Using AnyToISO couldn't be easier, which may reflect the fact that it's a larger and more powerful tool that's been pared down to the essentials for freeware.

The free AnyToISO is a "Lite" version of the Pro software, but it's fully functional with no limitations. It supports all recent versions of Windows as well as Mac OS X.

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