Nero 7 Premium Reloaded vs Roxio Easy Media Creator 9 Suite review

Price when reviewed

The trend with disc-burning software has been to include an increasing bloat of extra applets, and these latest entrants are no exception. Roxio is back with its Easy Media Creator (EMC), with an update to Nero’s Premium suite the challenger. However, whereas EMC is a whole new release, the latest in Nero’s empire is the existing version with a few more bells and whistles.

Nero 7 Premium Reloaded vs Roxio Easy Media Creator 9 Suite review

The newest members of the Nero bundle are Nero Mobile, Nero Sipps and Nero ScratchBox. Nero Mobile is an attempt to expand the Nero Digital system to handheld devices. It’s a media player for Pocket PC and Windows Mobile devices, but also supports UPnP media streaming of Nero Digital files from the latest version of Nero Home, also included.

However, Nero hasn’t made Mobile an easy proposition. There’s no mention of it in the Start Menu entries for Nero, nor is it included in the Nero StartSmart or Home front ends. Eventually, we found the installers in the Nero Program Files folder, but it entirely failed to install on a supposedly supported Pocket PC 2002 device. It did install on a Windows Mobile 5 PDA, but – aside from UPnP support – we remain unconvinced that it holds any real advantage over Windows Media Player.

Sipps is yet another new direction for Nero, combining instant messaging (IM) with Voice over IP (VoIP). It’s based on the open-source Jabber system for IM and the SIP system for VoIP. However, Nero hasn’t yet added any gateways for placing calls to and from landlines, so you can only communicate with My Nero users or those with a SIP account via another provider. With so many companies vying for the VoIP market, it’s hard to see why Nero considered Sipps a worthwhile addition, even though it worked well during our testing.

ScratchBox is more focused on Nero’s core market of audio and video. This is a new module within SoundTrax 2 and, it’s claimed, allows you to mix audio files like you would with vinyl. The interface mimics twin record decks and does let you do most of what you’d expect in terms of scratching and speed changes, but since you can only use one feature at a time with the mouse pointer ScratchBox is of severely limited use.

This version of Nero 7 also trumpets support for creating Blu-ray and HD DVD discs, although that merely extends to burning data discs or copying non-copy-protected existing discs. You’ll still need to have a compatible drive installed: if you don’t, the features won’t be available and you won’t even be able to create an image. Disappointingly, no HD-authoring abilities have been extended to Nero Vision 4 yet, although you can capture from HDV camcorders. The remaining additions are fairly minor, including support for mp3PRO and AC3 files and a camera denoiser effect in SoundTrax 2. Nero has also added the ability to use an existing TV tuner as a PVR card within its Home media centre interface, with XMLTV services taking care of the electronic programme guide.

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