An ISO image is a disk image of an optical disc. It is commonly used in the distribution of software and the name comes from the file system used with CD-ROM media. However, the term ISO image can refer to any optical disc image. The most important feature of an ISO image is that it can be easily rendered or "burned" to a DVD or CD by using media "authoring" or disc "burning" software. It can also be opened using archival applications such as 7-Zip file manager or the WinRAR shareware archiver. ISO burning is now typically a native feature of modern home and business computer operating systems.

It's easy to copy a DVD movie to ISO Image File using Any DVD Clone, but how do you use ISO images on your PC?

I. Using Deamon Tools Lite (Freeware) to Play ISO

DAEMON Tools Lite is a virtual DVD-ROM emulator based on a SCSI miniport driver. It emulates max. 4 DVD-ROM drives and works with CD/DVD images created by many burning programs. It is great on notebooks without a physical CD-/DVD-ROM drive or to save akku power and speed up CD/DVD access. In opposite to other CD-/DVD-ROM emulators DAEMON Tools doesn't use a proprietary container format. The advantage is that you can can burn the images you're using with DAEMON Tools right away or just test an image before burning it to see if it was created correctly.

1. Run Deamon Tools Lite.

2. Mount Deamon Tools Lite to DVD ISO image file created by Any DVD Clone.

Find Deamon Tools Lite icon at the bottom left windows:

Right click on the Deamon Tools Lite icon, and choose Virtual CD/DVD-ROM > Device 0: [I:] No Media > Mount Image

3. Browse DVD ISO Image File on your hard drive, and click Open button.

4. Play the ISO image file with media player.

II. Using MagicDisc Virtual CD/DVD-ROM (Freeware) to Play ISO

MagicDisc is freeware. It is very helpful utility designed for creating and managing virtual CD drives and CD/DVD discs. For anyone who deals with CD-based programs – it is a MUST. MagicDisc allows you to use almost all CD/DVD image without burning them onto CD or DVD in order to easily access your favorite games, music, or software programs ---- It works like a real CD/DVD-ROM: You can run programs, play games, or listen to music from your virtual CD-ROM. Allowing you to run your game images at over 200x faster than from a conventional CD/DVD-ROM.

1. Run MagicDisc

2. Mount MagicDisc to DVD ISO image file created by Any DVD Clone

Find MagicDisc virtual drive icon at the bottom left window.
Right click on MagicDisc icon, and choose Virtual CD/DVD-ROM > H: No Media > Mount ...

3. Browse DVD ISO Image File on your hard drive, and click Open button.

4. Play the ISO image file with media player.

Using a virtual drive to run ISO files has many uses and benefits for the user. For instance, it helps to save on wear of the physical CD/DVD drive's mechanisms; it helps prevent CD media from being scratched; can enable users to create back-up copies of discs in the case of loss or damage to the original; can be used across a network where several CD copies would ordinarily be required for other users and can make the PC run quieter, as most optical drives tend to be noisy when being accessed.

However, using .ISO images and disc emulation software also has drawbacks, not least of all is the fact that as .ISO images contain all the files and data of physical CD media, which when used in conjunction with disc emulation software, can be used to aid in the duplication and creation of software which may aid in software copyright infringement.

With the introduction of broadband internet and peer-to-peer file sharing software, it's relatively easy to find most software - whether games, utilities or other types of software - in .ISO format. Remember, however, that illegal copying of software for distribution purposes is illegal in most countries!