Remember that beautiful summer day when you pushed your favourite CD into your car stereo, rolled down the soft top and went cruising around town, only to get home and discover your car won’t release your CD for love nor money. If only you had copied that CD before sacrificing it to the hungry jaws of your car stereo! Alcohol 52% is a free app that enables you to create virtual copies of your top audio CDs and games. Unlike the more powerful Alcohol 120%, Alcohol 52% doesn’t allow you to burn disks, but it does mean you can make virtual copies of all your data so if your disc drive does suddenly decide to give up the ghost, live can still go on! Alcohol 52% converts CDs and DVDs into images which translates into excellent reading speeds that are capable with keeping up with most gaming requirements. It also means you can stow away your previous discs and not expose them to regular usage which often results in scratches and other damage.
Not only is Alcohol 52% free, it also supplies you with two virtual drives on which to store your cherished collection. If this isn’t enough, the premium version gives you over 30 storage drives – enough for the most comprehensive music aficionado. Alcohol 52% doesn’t hang about either and can convert over 3GB into an ISO image in just over 10 minutes. Once your collection is stored, you can share the virtual drives across a network, allowing others to share your enjoyment as they seamlessly access your music and games. For avid gamers, the newest version offers improved reading engines to support faster play, while audio freaks will enjoy the newly available plug-in that converts CDs to MP3 files automatically. There are one or two negatives to this app, particularly the fact that you are required to simultaneously download Smart File Adviser as a component during the set-up. This is unavoidable but, as this component enables you to open otherwise unidentifiable file extensions, it’s not entirely a bad thing. Smart File Advisor also checks on the stability and security of your PC and makes suggestions regarding its improved performance, nevertheless, Alcohol 52% does not actually require it to run. All in all, a free app that allows you to make virtual copies of CDs that may get lost or damaged is value for money and not to be sniffed at.