Nero all-in-one authoring updated

Ahead Software is unveiling at Nero 6.0 Ultra Edition, a suite of updated CD and DVD recording tools that includes such features as a video editor, a full backup program, and a software DVD player.

The package, announced at CeBIT America here this week, is scheduled for release July 18.

Ahead designed the new package as a one-stop shop for optical disc recording, says Udo Eberlein, Ahead's president. Unlike some companies that buy up other software makers to incorporate the features of existing products into theirs, Ahead creates its own programs--a more effective approach than adding tools piecemeal, he says. "All of the encoders were done in-house--that's a big deal."

Nero 6.0 will be available both online and in stores. The retail version will cost US$99, the downloadable version $70, and an upgrade version for owners of 5.0 and later versions will cost $50. Eberlein expects many drive vendors to ship trimmed-down versions of Nero with their products, too.

New Authoring, Editing Tools

Ahead designed Nero 6 to be easy to run by either a novice or an experienced user, Eberlein says. The product's StartSmart application helps make it easy to access the program's numerous tools, and the Nero Express interface makes it easy to operate them.

Chief among the new tools is NeroVision Express 2, an authoring tool for video CD, super-video CD, and DVD. It offers easy-to-use video editing features, Eberlein says.

Another new feature, built by Ahead engineers, is Nero ShowTime--a DVD player that lets you view your own creations as well as standard DVDs. "You no longer need a separate player like Intervideo's WinDVD," he says.

Ahead also moves into backup software by including the new Nero BackItUp. The program offers full, incremental, update, and differential control of data backup, he says. Plus, you can use it to span your backups onto multiple CDs or DVDs.

Other major features include InCD 4, which lets you drag and drop and save files within an application, and Wave Editor 2.0 and Nero Soundtrax, used for multitrack audio editing. Of course, the package includes Nero Burning ROM 6, which handles burning of CDs and DVDs.

Ahead has also created its own standard for audio/video compression, called Nero Digital.

Limited MP3 Encoding

While Nero 6 supports a wide range of audio and video encoding standards, it's notable that out of the box the software provides the capability to rip and encode only 30 CD album tracks into MP3s. After that, users must purchase a $15 plug-in through Ahead's Web site to encode additional MP3s.

Ahead's decision to limit the number of MP3 encodings to 30 is sure to irritate some users, but company executives say they expect MP3 encoding to be used less frequently in the future. They consider it inferior in quality to other audio encoding standards.

"MP3 is not the future," Eberlein says. Newer, better formats such as Advanced Audio Coding will soon overtake MP3's popularity, he says. Nero 6 supports unlimited ACC encoding.

Besides, providing unlimited MP3 encoding would drive up the price of the package, says John Tafoya, Ahead vice president of business development. "The burden to include MP3 is too high," he says, referring to licensing fees companies must pay to include MP3 encoding.

Tafoya notes that often when software makers offer unlimited MP3 encoding, it is because the company has a less expensive MP3 licensing deal. "Musicmatch has a good relationship with the MP3 guys. If we had the same relationship, we could add that," he says.

Eberlein is confident the MP3 limit won't bother Nero 6 buyers.

"We have all of this other stuff (competing products) don't have," he says. He says that buying separate software packages to match Nero 6's features would cost more than $200.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Mainelli

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?