An unbalanced media suite with a commendable video toolbox
Nero 11 is a Jack-of-all-trades media suite – a collection of applications principally geared towards managing, manipulating and publishing your music, video and photo files. Previous versions have had no start centre or launch control binding the applications together, but version 11 has Kwik Media, a media browser that provides indirect access to the suite’s principle applications. Kwik Media searches your computer for images, videos and audio files and presents them all in a unified interface for easy access.
The benefits of having all of your media files presented together must be weighed against the relative mediocrity with which Kwik Media handles these files, particularly your music and photos. Dedicated free applications like iTunes and Picasa make a much better fist of managing, playing and displaying your music and photos, which for most people is more important than having them under one roof. In addition, the Kwik Media browser interface is not as responsive as these other dedicated applications and navigating through your photos, music and videos can quickly become frustrating. Kwik Media does have, however, a useful photo book tool, which allows you to quickly and painlessly create and order display books for your favourite photos.
The first application, Nero MediaBrowser, is a pared-down versions of Kwik Media which holds your library ready for quick and easy access from within the other applications in the suite, allowing you to import from a library view rather than sifting through files and folders. This is a good idea and does streamline your workflow, but the sluggish browser interface borrowed from Kwik Media again detracts somewhat from the experience.
Slinging your video clips together into a presentable final cut with NeroVideo is child’s play
Next, Nero Video is a comprehensive video authoring tool that allows you to compose and publish 1080p high definition videos to CD, DVD or Blu-ray. Raw video files can be imported directly from your camera, an optical disk, your hard disk or a TV tuner and editing them together into a final cut complete with transitions and effects is refreshingly simple. You can compose videos using a story board, simply dropping clips in the desired order, adding transitions, effects, music score and text, or switch to the advanced editor to have more control. The latter allows you to add picture-in-picture composition and overlapping tracks, as well as providing precise adjustment over the properties of each clip. The videos you create can be burned to DVD, Blu-ray or video CD, saved to disk or uploaded to YouTube or Facebook, while Nero Recode lets you convert video files, with pre-defined profiles for a variety of mobile and media devices.