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I just ditched Nero 7 Essentials

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May 13, 2011 4:41:13 AM

As a newcomer to the Windows environment there are things that I'm still learning about my new operating system. Before, when people would talk about burning a DVD/CD one word always seemed to come forward: Nero.

I'm not quite sure why Nero is so popular but to be honest I never heard of that many other CD burner software for Windows (although there are tons) just not mentioned as often... (well now that I remember my husband's old HP had CD Now, and I heard that Roxio also makes burning software for PC) apart from that I was pretty much oblivious.

The times I used Nero in the past though, I always found myself not too happy about the quality of the burn. It seemed to me that my old 1.33Ghz iBook G4 could do so much better with Roxio Toast Titanium. I wasn't wrong, for when I received my Acer Aspire AS5736Z-4801 laptop, first thing I did was retrieve the Nero 7 Essentials CD that came with the CD/DVD burner I bought for my son's eMac a few months ago. A few CD burns worked well, but DVDs not too well (specially with motion picture movies). But I just brushed off the ocassional pixelation, or stuttering. It didn't last too long anyway.

Not knowing anything about how specific DVD speeds can affect a way a disc is burned; I just happily went to Amazon and grabbed myself a 100 DVD-R 16x pack. Wow that was the straw, 8 out of 10 DVDs didn't come out too well, and two of them halted completely somewhere in the middle (upon playing on my home DVD player)! I found that my writter can write at maximum 8x (like I said this was new to me) and the DVDs seem to be optimized for 16x burning. I tried to find ways to fiddle around with Nero, ran a bunch of simulations, Nero DID NOT give errors, didn't complaint, didn't advice... In fact all simulations ended satisfatory but the next DVD I burned was just as bad.

I searched in the web to see if there was a solution to the issue. Most sites and forums say, it CAN'T be done, most of them say they will come out poorly burned, due to my drive being too slow. Remember though, this laptop was purchased brand new in February!

Someone said, it "could" be done without a problem with the right filmware update. My filmware is up to date. Then I found this: http://forums.afterdawn.com/t.cfm/f-44/dvds_keep_messin...

It says to convert the video to DVD with "DVD Flick", and burn it to disc using "ImgBurn", which happen to be both FREE programs! As a last resort I decided to give it a try, it was either that or I'd have to shelve my 90 remaining DVD-Rs until I could get a 16x burner.

To my surprise, the proccess was not only faster, it was flawless, and the burn was PERFECT. I used a couple of web tutorials to help me out:

http://www.afterdawn.com/guides/archive/burn_dvd_folder...
http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/418814

But like I said, it worked great. Let me clarify, the web is FULL of "resources" that say a 16x DVD-R will only burn with errors on 8x burning media. This post is here to challenge that. I've confirmed that either that is:

A- not true
B- true, but my DVD burner is King Kong in disguise
C- true, but DVD Flick and ImgBurn are amazing FREE programs that will perform wonders

What do you all think? And BTW, Nero should have had to replace my 10 bad burns but I guess it's ok, I'm happy anyway.

Lil
a b G Storage
May 13, 2011 12:21:45 PM

if you have a 16x burner and only 8x disks then there should be no issue. i haven't personally tested the opposite situation. keep in mind that the faster you have your write speeds set to, the more likely you are to have errors created.

from personal experience i've also found that really really cheap media or very cheap dvd writers can products lots of coaster disks (failed disks only suitable for glass coasters..) in fact the difference between such things can be huge. i know someone with a cheap laptop burner and perhaps 1 out of 10 burns is successfull. in my old desktop with a high end burner i never had 1. in my current budget burner i've had a couple of issues but i don't think it was a problem with the actual burning process.

i've used nero for years. copy cd and copy dvd with disk validation set to on... are wonderful. yes there are other options available and individual results may vary... but it has worked well enough for me. some dvd players might not recognize disks burned by a pc.. but other ones do.
a c 353 G Storage
May 13, 2011 2:21:44 PM

Use to do a large number of Back-ups to my DVD collection - over a hundred DVD movies copied.

Used Nero almost exclusively, with no problems. Later on switched to Imburn.
With Imburn saw no improvement in burn quality BUT it IS FREE and with less boat to the program
But I was very picky on writer - Used the pextor 716 and 755. At the time they were the King of writers, But very expensive around $100. They quit making their own DVD writers.

Some comments about DVD movie copies:
(1) I never Copy a Movie at the Highest speed, Normally used 1/2 speed (media rated speed, not max of writer vs media)- Takes longer but with much less errors, and Yes all Disks will have errors on a DVD. A very good burn will still show several thousand correctable errors.
(2) I not only looked at brands, but also what country they were Manuf in (some brands where manuf in more than one location). Japan -> Taiwan -> India (India produced the worst media.
(3) Each DVD writer model generally works best with given media and speed of recording. Firmware updates generally provide a listing to the drive on media and max speed for recording. Drives also have (Had anyway) a "learning mode" for DVD media not in its database.

Both Plextools and Nero have a program to show both recoverable errors and NON recoverable error (this one you want to be zero).
Plextools came with their drives. Nero uses CD speed for SELECT drives- does NOT work with all drives. For some drives - No workee, For some you could edit the registry as the Installation placed a "Block" on allowing the Drive to be used (ie Samsungs where blocked but removing the Drive from the list in the registry allowed the test to run on them).

On errors: PIE errors are recoverable errors and as I said ALL Disk will have some. A really great burn will have up to 20 Thousand errors or less. A hundred Thousand errors are not uncommon. PIO errors are unrecoverable errors and should be ZERO.

Some don't for DVD:
Do Not use the "stick on" label. As even a very slight off centering can create center of gravity error which increases the probabilities of wobble - Not good for drive and may affect playback. More on this in Story"
Do not use permanent markers, unless they say for "use on DVDs” the ink can etch thru the top and destroy the media.
If you want a label, use either the Kind that you can write to the top - What I use is the “Printable” ones and uses my inkjet to print directly to the DVD/CD.
Side Note: DVDs will NOT last as long as claimed; On DVDs with cheap media can become unusable in rather short order. Temperature and relative humidity while stored play a big role in how long they will last.

@ ssddx
"Some DVD players might not recognize disks burned by a pc...but other ones do."
This normally only on +r disk that were not closed correctly. Of course you cannot play a +R on a Player that will only work with -R. But nowadays, most players recognize both formats - BUT +R must still be finalized.

Story, When this was in its infancy (When the ability to write DVDs first came out).
MY Son was commissioned to produce a DVD movie for Michael David Ward chronicalizing his paintings (My wife is in the credits, she help with the chorography) After completion Michael took the DVD over to Uhura's house (actress from Star Trek), the DVD would not play in here DVD player - Turned out the Stick-on label cased excessive wobble

PSS - Nice website Lil
Related resources
May 13, 2011 3:44:08 PM

ssddx said:
if you have a 16x burner and only 8x disks then there should be no issue. i haven't personally tested the opposite situation. keep in mind that the faster you have your write speeds set to, the more likely you are to have errors created.


Oh yeah, I've known that bit for years since the days of 1x and 2x drives (I remember that bit from the 90s early burning days). In this case it's best to stay as close as possible to the speed specific to the DVD-R in question (in my case 8x for a 16x disc).

"The burner must be able to support the speed of the DVD-R disc as well. Most all new burners support 4x and 16x."

Found here: Differences Between DVD-R 4X & 16X | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_8032278_differences-between-dv...

I believe drives nowadays are perfectly capable of burning at their specific speeds (I could be wrong but so far so good at 8x). I also found that leaving the laptop alone to burn the disc will indeed generate a higher quality burn, than if I stay browsing the web and moving the laptop to and fro (I tried that with Nero and still got low quality burns). You don't really need to do that with a desktop computer since they aren't mobile at all, and motion is not an issue. I don't mind putting the laptop down for 10-15 minutes as long as I don't lose DVD-Rs (100 might seem like a lot but as you can see I've lost 10 already)...

However, I believe what you say about cheaper equipment, my laptop was $400 brand new and at the time I got it, I wasn't willing to spend a penny more. I don't have any complaints about it, but this is the only thing that didn't seem to work right. And I've found a good workaround. So far 3 DVDs I've burned this way have all been satisfactory! And I burned all three at 8x speed. I'm very pleased, it's a good thing I acquired Nero for free with a purchase of a DVD burner a few months back. If I had actually bought it I would have been very upset. Like I mentioned before, Nero should have given a warning about the speed, or the quality, or chosen the best speed; or perhaps decode the DVD better. Not sure what these FREE programs did, but it is certainly better than what Nero has done. Just don't assume a program you pay for is better than what you can get from the web for free.

Thanks for your feedback!
May 13, 2011 4:04:15 PM

RetiredChief said:

Do Not use the "stick on" label. As even a very slight off centering can create center of gravity error which increases the probabilities of wobble - Not good for drive and may affect playback. More on this in Story"
Do not use permanent markers, unless they say for "use on DVDs” the ink can etch thru the top and destroy the media.
If you want a label, use either the Kind that you can write to the top - What I use is the “Printable” ones and uses my inkjet to print directly to the DVD/CD.
Side Note: DVDs will NOT last as long as claimed; On DVDs with cheap media can become unusable in rather short order. Temperature and relative humidity while stored play a big role in how long they will last.

@ ssddx
"Some DVD players might not recognize disks burned by a pc...but other ones do."
This normally only on +r disk that were not closed correctly. Of course you cannot play a +R on a Player that will only work with -R. But nowadays, most players recognize both formats - BUT +R must still be finalized.

Story, When this was in its infancy (When the ability to write DVDs first came out).
MY Son was commissioned to produce a DVD movie for Michael David Ward chronicalizing his paintings (My wife is in the credits, she help with the chorography) After completion Michael took the DVD over to Uhura's house (actress from Star Trek), the DVD would not play in here DVD player - Turned out the Stick-on label cased excessive wobble


I do not use labels, I very much frown upon them. I really don't care much what the DVD looks like, what's more important is that it plays.

I am not too sure if I agree completely on your permanent markers advice. I am sure is true, but being a Mac user for 20 years and being a PC user since February; I've marked ALL DVD-Rs and CD-Rs with permanent markers after they were burned (any brand really, but mostly Bic and Sharpies) never had problems due to it. I did find however that marking the CD-R/DVD-R with marker BEFORE burning it would end up in a bad burn (90% of the time) but only before burning, not after.

I am sure a lot of things have improved since the early recording DVD days. I want to clarify I never had problems with any of my CD-R burns, just DVD-Rs. I got rid of Nero because the only use I really had for it was DVD burning, since I can do CD burning in WMP or iTunes. CD burning programs are all over (I have a few that also came with my laptop) so I really have no use for Nero for now. Next time I WILL surely buy 8x DVD-Rs without hesitation, and might try Nero once more to see if I find any improvement. But I recon I'm learning a lot about DVD burning in just this thread alone.

PS. Thanks for the advice about Imburn, I will be sure to give it a try and see how it works! (edit: did you mean ImgBurn?)

Lil
a c 353 G Storage
May 13, 2011 5:54:06 PM

(1) Yes, Imgburn.
(2) On the use of permanent markers. That was from an artical I read a number of years ago. Is it valid or not, I don't know. It is also possible the the composition of the ink has change. If the DVD is for short term, I also just use what is on the desk, but if for long term storage I do use the markers labeled for use on DVDs.

As I indicated, I use to do alot of creating movie DVDs. Note the past tense, still do on occasion. Primarily if I want to take a couple ove movies with me on vacation, and sometimes burn one to watch at work - NOTE on on company time. I also have a couple of large USB thumbdrives (32 gig and 64 gig) and I find this works great - copy the DVD to HDD, then copy to Thumbdrive. Side benifit - Laptop use less power when playing movie on long plane rides.

What I find I'm doing more of is recording a TV show on a standalong DVD recorder so that I can take that with me - I love SF, but wife hates it (LOL). For this I use my 4x stash. I down think you will find a lot of "good" 8 x blanks, most are 16x. just record at no greater than 8 x. What I did was try it at 16x, verify, if no good then tried on at 8x. if good at the 8x, but not on 16x I marked them "Use only at 8X"

Edited, Added
Quote: The easiest way to label a CD-R is to whip out that permanent marker and write directly on the disc. It's also a great way to assure that the disc won't be readable later on.

The damage won't happen today, or even next month, but at some point the ink will leach into the reflective layer of the disc and it'll be the end of your data. END Quote

Ref Link: http://www.tapeonline.com/articles/using-permanent-ink-...
A 2nd source:
http://www.osta.org/technology/dvdqa/dvdqa9.htm
!