I’ve been a Nero user for almost a decade now, and can say it’s one of the most reliable and well-designed programs I’ve ever used, both for its intuitive interface and well-polished feature sets. Nero 7 Ultra is a significant update to this powerhouse multimedia package, and offers a whole slew of features for watching, copying, editing, and managing your audio and video content.
Disc-mastering and copying is still Nero’s core function, and it supports a wide range of data, video, audio, and mixed-mode formats—MP3, WMA DVDs and Blu-ray data discs among them. NeroVision is a versatile DVD authoring tool that lets you drag and drop videos into a timeline and then add video and transition effects, as well as custom menus to drive the disc; it supports a variety of output formats, including VCD, Super VCD, VCD Slideshow, and DVD-Video. The program will also capture video from an external device, such as a camcorder, and the Enhanced release this fall features Nero Mobile, which allows video to be downloaded to portable devices such as mobile phones, iPods and the Play Station Portable (PSP) gaming system.
When I first used Nero’s new media player, I was somewhat skeptical—or stuck in my ways, perhaps—but was soon swayed. I compared some of my video files on the Nero viewer and my default Windows media player, and noticed better contrast and resolution in Nero. On the audio side, the Nero WaveEditor is a great tool for cleaning up audio, splitting tracks, and other common editing tasks. I use it for everything from taking commercials out of Internet radio broadcasts to removing scratches and pops from LPs I import.
In terms of performance, Nero has always been a premier disc copying program, and rarely fails a burn. I did run into a few bugs and hangups using Nero 7, but they were minor, and in an upgrade with so many new features, this isn’t surprising. I still feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface of Nero 7, yet I’ve used it for a wide range of audio and video editing tasks, as well as playing and burning files. In sum, there’s not a better bargain I know of in today’s tech world than the $99 Nero 7. TPV