Nero 7 Premium Review

very good
key review info
application features
  • Quick & easy access to all your digital media files from the comfort of your living room using a remote control
  • (6 more, see all...)

When you are dealing with an application as complex as "Nero 7 Premium", reviewing it becomes quite a challenge. There are so many features; you don't know what to begin with!

In concept, "Nero 7 Premium" is pretty much the same as the previous version and the application still burns CDs and DVDs. In addition, the application now supports HD-DVDs and Blu-Ray discs, although there aren't any on the market yet.

The major difference relies in the users' expectations from what burning an optical medium means, and a quick look at Nero 7 Premium makes you realize how much the digital entertainment preferences have evolved.

From burning CDs to a multimedia center

The complexity of the "Nero 7 Premium" suite is revealed from the very moment of the installation. Although the kit comes on one CD, the full install requires approximately 1.3GB of hard disk space.

We advise you to choose the full install, because only then you will be able to see what Nero is really capable of. Nero 7 Premium will create in the Start Menu a new entry with 22 shortcuts, organized in folders such as Photo and Video, Audio, Data, Labels, Play, Share, Tools.

As you can already imagine, Nero 7 Premium's goal is to provide users with all the necessary tools to create a CD or a DVD. If you want movie DVD, use Nero Vision to create it, Nero Show Time to view it and Nero Share to share it over the network. The same applies to CDs and DVDs with images or audio files.

Let's take the components in "Nero 7 Premium" one at a time and see what they're capable of.

Although it has an impressive number of options and features, Nero 7 Premium still manages to be a simple and intuitive solution. An important contribution to this is brought by Nero StartSmart, an application which will prove ideal for the beginners and for those who need a disc burned fast.

Nero Start Smart has a drop-down menu which can be used to select medium type (CD/DVD). The only thing left to do is to select the desired content type (Data, Audio, Photo and Video or Backup). Because of the high number of options (for instance, from the Audio category, the user can create a MP3 CD, a MP3 DVD, a WMA DVD or CD, or he/she can compress audio files with Nero Digital Audio), the ones used more often may be added to the Favorites menu. Therefore, if you mostly burn movie DVDs, choose "Make Your Own DVD-Video" from Favorites and Nero will guide you step by step through the rest of the process.

If you like your applications to be as simple as possible, Nero Express is the interface you need. Basically, the options are the same as Nero StartSmart's, the only difference being the stripped down appearance.

Nero Burning ROM is designed for long-time Nero users. Its unchanged interface eases the migration from the previous version to Nero 7 Premium. The menus are located in the same places, but there are some subtle changes; for example, users can now use Overburn on DVDs. Obviously, before choosing this option you'd better use testing tools such as Nero Info Tool, Nero CD-DVD Speed or Nero Drive Speed, which now support Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs.

Much more than a burning tool

The truly amazing trait of Nero 7 Premium consists of the so-called auxiliary applications that come together with the suite.

We were telling you earlier that in concept everything is basically the same, but when reviewing the applications proposed together with the burning engine, we realized that the Nero team puts an equal amount of emphasis on the quality of the material saved on the discs as on the burning process itself.

Nero Sound Trax and Nero Wave Editor allow many operations regarding the audio files. For example, Nero Sound Trax is able to digitize LPs or cassettes; demanding users will benefit from a high level of control while those who want to keep things simple have predefined templates at their disposal.

Nero Wave Editor is ideal to make changes to an audio file, the supported formats covering a very broad range. In fact, Nero Wave Editor's features remind of the first versions of Cool Edit.

From effects like Chorus, Delay, Doppler, Flanger, Modulation to Enhancements like NoiseReduction and DeClicker, Nero Wave Editor has everything an average user can ask from an audio editor.

The same goes for two other applications, Nero PhotoSnap and Nero PhotoSnap Viewer, which are designed for working with digital images. The products support all the important formats and, in a matter of minutes, you will be able to view images and use tools like Red Eye Removal, Lens Distort, Crop or simply apply Auto Fix.

For the video editing part, Nero Premium 7 offers Nero Vision 4, which also includes a capture module. If you have a TV tuner, you will be able to burn your favorite show on DVD, the application allowing many details to be configured, from the quality of the recording to the preferred compression codec. Similarly to Nero WaveEditor, you won't have all the options and features offered by a specialized program, but the ones present in Nero are enough to create or to recompress a DVD in a very short time.

Nero is also providing a tool which allows any movie or DVD to be viewed.

Having an interface which reminds of BSPlayer or Power DVD, Nero Show Time supports all the options offered by such a software player.

After burning the disc, all you'll have to do is to access Nero CoverDesigner, which can be used to personalize your CDs and DVDs.

Not only entertainment

If you thought Nero is only about images, movies and music, then you are wrong. The suite also includes Nero BackItUp, which makes backing-up the hard-disk or certain folders a piece of cake.

Nero BackItUp can also be used to schedule backup jobs. The presence of wizards which allow backup copies to be made with only a few clicks makes this an ideal application for beginners.

Nero has also other surprises, such as Nero Drive Image, a tool similar to Daemon Tools, which allows two virtual drives to be created.

Until now, we have talked about the applications included in the Nero 7 Premium suite. Next, we will discuss about performance.

Compared to the previous version, Nero 7 Premium is more stable and sometimes even faster when used with certain DVD-RW and CD-RW drives. Nero 7 has even succeeded to reduce the burning time by 20 seconds in some cases.

The suite you needed

There are many things to say about Nero 7 Premium and almost every application included needs its own review.

Despite all the features and configuration options, Nero 7 Premium is still extremely easy to use by anyone, regardless of his/her computer knowledge. What is really amazing is the way in which the applications interact, guiding the user step by step towards the final goal.

Overall, Nero has succeeded to make a complete solution (although taken separately, the included applications are not the best on the market) and it's unlikely that it will be matched by another software product in the near future.

Over the next weeks, we will try to offer you a separate review for every application included in the Nero 7 Premium suite.


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user interface 4
features 4
ease of use 4
pricing / value 4


final rating 4
Editor's review
very good
 
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