Hey folks, Valkor here. Ya know, it's been almost two years since this next company has made their presence in the Val-Cave, but to this day Nero and their products has always been a welcomed staple in the house that Val built. A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to get a good look at Nero's latest – Nero Multimedia Suite 10 and after some extensive testing, there's a reason why this company will always receive the TOV Stamp of Approval.
Nero Multimedia Suite 10 is three products packed into one, originally it was just one package but then people realized that they could use product more than others, i.e. the burning rather than the video editing and backing up. First you have "The Burning", next is "The Video", and finally you have "The Backup". Again you can either install the entire package or just what you need. And you can also purchase the suite via download (rather than buying the physical disc) and download each suite separately or the entire package. For Val-Cave testing we went with the entire suite, which also gave us the option of installing the "Ask.com" toolbar. But you can opt out of this. Once the installation is complete, you can jump right into Nero's StartSMart, which is your one stop to the entire suite.
The Burning (You won't need crème for this itch):
When Nero began, they were called "Nero Burning Rom" and it was the premiere software to own when it came to burning CDs (now we can include DVDs and Blu Rays into the mix). What made the software so popular was it's easy to use interface, which continues in Nero 10. You have the option to burn whatever from Data, Audio, Video, copy a disc, or copy from an ISO or back-up file. Don't think you hardcore burners were left out because Nero's got you're back as well because if you need to burn at specific speed, or specific data file, wanna burn a multisession disc or finalize it when it's finished, BAM! It's there! Speed of the burning is dependent on the type of computer you have i.e. processor, RAM, OS, etc. I'm running Windows 7, with 1 GB of RAM with a dual core Intel processor and a 16X DVD read 8X burning, so burning is pretty quick. A full CD (700MB) takes about 5 – 6 minutes while a DVD (between 2 – 6GB) takes about 10 – 15 minutes, give or take a minute or two. So essentially this is Nero Burning Rom that if you're familiar with it, you'll get the same experience and if you're new to it then you'll understand why it's the best.
Vision Xtra (a sight to behold):
Here is where you can play with all your pics and vids. For pics you can compile them all into one spot and view em as a slideshow where you can change the transitions and also add music (either included or add your own). You can also edit your pics – brighten, sharpen, rotate, and remove red eye; simple yet very effective. Now the video portion was built from the ground up. The first time I used Nero's video editor (Nero 9), I found the video editing to be a bit cumbersome and difficult to use. And At first glance the editor in 10 looks very, VERY intimidating. And it pretty much is. If it's your first time editing you will be overwhelmed because the video editor takes some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it you'll editing like a pro in no time. You have a wide array of professional options to choose from - different transitions, cuts, wipes, as well as add in different images, your own music, plus you can even do a split screen with different video and pics. If you need something done quick you can apply a theme to it and then edit it further from there or just leave it as is. When you've completed your project you can burn it to a CD or DVD, and if it's a DVD, you can apply a chapter menu with a variety of themes to choose from. Overall it takes some getting used to, but what video editor doesn't have a learning curve?
Nero Backitup (Back it up and burn, baby burn):
When I was shown the backup features of Nero 10; there was one feature in particular that I was dying to try (I'll get to that in a bit). However with Nero Backitup you can perform a backup of your entire drive or just certain files and folders. Choose autobackup to keep a constant watch of your hard drive and restore it when, if anything should go wrong, you're prepared. You can perform a file backup or drive backup to either a DVD or an external drive. So now you've backed up all your data on a disc, but uh-oh little Jimmy took an important one and started using it as a Frisbee. Now the disc is scratched and the DVD/CD drive can barely read it. Enter Nero RescueAgent. With this feature you can attempt to save that scratched up disc to rescue the data on it. I've had a disc that held video and music that I've been holding on to for years, simply because it was good music and the videos… well they're pretty much hard to find. After popping it in the disc drive and starting up RescueAgent. You can choose from either a fast scan or deep scan. After an hour and fifteen minutes later I had all the music and most of the vids safe on my hard drive. Those that it couldn't save it saved as a partial file, which is pretty much no good audio. Otherwise it was quite a successful test.
And now we get to the meat of this dish.
After spending time with Nero 10, I have to say I'm impressed with it. The burning has always been great but now it's faster and smoother on the load and burn. And kudos to bringing back that "classic" look when you're using the data/ISO burn (only accessible when you go to Nero 10 Burning direct), which makes it easier when you need to burn something a specific way. The video editing, again, kinda daunting but it doesn't take forever to learn like I had to do with CyberLink's PowerDirector (that took me days to figure out). Finally the backitup is a dream come true. Not only is it easy to use, but the RescueAgent is like an added bonus. I'm amazed it actually read that old disc I tested out on it. Believe me I've tried to get the data off after numerous attempts on several disc drives and I could not, for the life of me, get the info on the disc recovered. But after RescueAgent I now have my music and vids from my heydays of scouring the internets. SWEET!
Ahhhhh nothing gold can stay can it? In the burning and backup department we have no issues. However with the video editing editor I have just a few qualms. First up there's the themes. I know I compare the video editing to CyberLink's and while I find PowerDirector a chore, it does one thing waaaaay better than Nero and that's in the themes department. When using PowerMagic it not only applies the themes just like NeroVision, but it also adds edits such as transitions, and effects. NeroVision's video editor only adds the opening and ending, nothing special. With the image editing you can't resize (I mentioned that at the meeting) and that looks to be something that's simple to add in a future update *wink, wink*. Another addition which would work in a future update would be face recognition and tagging.
When all is said and done, Nero Multimedia Suite 10 is the perfect addition to any PC (sorry MAC users, you need not apply… yet). All your burning, viewing, and editing will be satisfied in one package and trust me you will be satisfied. And out of TOV 5 stars, I give Nero 10 4.5 stars and it's been Valkor tested and TOV Approved.