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Are Do-It-All CD/DVD Packages Worth It?

Last response: in Tom's Guide
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March 19, 2007 10:42:08 AM

Multi-function CD/DVD software packages record and play a dizzying array of media types and formats. Are they worth your time and money?

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March 19, 2007 11:42:09 AM

"We asked Craig Campbell, Americas Technical Director for Nero, point blank how he felt about the occasional accusations that Nero 7 Premium Reloaded qualified as "bloatware." While acknowledging that the package includes a lot of functionality, he maked the point that users can install only those elements they actually plan to use, and thereby cut down considerably on what some might regard as excess adipose tissue in the Nero framework."

How come when I installed Nero on my Vista PC and told it NOT to install Nero Scout, it still installed it? Why would I need another indexing program running in the background when Vista has its own indexing?
Come on Nero, you're not giving this software away for free, so why can't you truly let the end user decide what to install and what not to?
March 19, 2007 12:18:11 PM

I wonder what the time was between install and the running of the tests. I purchased Easy Media Creator 9 Deluxe and after 12-24 hours of the program being installed i get a message that the "trial has expired". Thing was, i never installed the trial, i purchased a full retail version.

On the other hand, during that first 12-24 hours when the software is working the Roxio suite is very nice to use. Just be quick with what ever it is you are doing.
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March 19, 2007 12:47:07 PM

I recently purchased Nero 7. It's one of the few "certified for Vista" apps out there. Works great on Vista - even installs a Vista gadget.

The two problems I have with it are the limited video output formats (no WMV or DivX), and the product activation. Especially the product activation. I would have to purchase a separate copy for each of my 3 Windows computers. No thanks - time to switch.

I've been using Xilisoft DVD Ripper for video, which supports plenty of video formats and also DeCSS. With this I can finally build a video server from my DVD collection.
March 19, 2007 2:08:07 PM

Hi,
I was looking for a DVD Ripper for a long time. Something like XMpeg but commercial quality. I just want to take all the VOB files, then convert to divx (using all the divx options). I don't need DeCSS.
I Media Creator 9 or Xilisoft DVD better for this?
I know of some DVD Rippers, but they don't allow you to manually pick the codecs and codec features.
Thanks!
March 19, 2007 7:10:03 PM

I too got used to Nero so that is what I have used. It oddly had some Video editing and creation tools that a number other basic standalone video editing programs did not. It will be interesting to see where COREL takes Roxio and its Photo Editing, Video Editing, and DVD play since it now owns Paint Shop Pro, Ulead, and Intervideo.
March 20, 2007 11:01:49 AM

I hate both programs. They both try to take over your system for all kinds of file formats and you have to "opt out" rather than "opt in" for these formats.

They are way too large file wise and take way too long to install. Updates are usually required for either your burner or to use one of the functions; and then you have to register to get the updates. Just annoying and typical of yes....BLOATWARE!!

Horrid programs. If I want those functions ill go get them, All they do is eat system resoruces, slow your pc down and annoy!

I thank you

:) 
March 20, 2007 11:08:52 AM

During the install it asks if you want to change all your audio/video file associations to Nero defaults. I unchecked each box and still it changed all me file associations. A lot of trouble to un-do the damage.

This program wants to take over your PC. It is a piece of shit.
March 20, 2007 12:53:25 PM

i the only thing i left associated to nero showtime was .vob and other dvd rip files and .mp4 files. i cleared all other associations to all other modules. when done with the install, that's all that was associated to it. so, sounds like problem is in front of the keyboard, not inside the computer. 8O
March 23, 2007 10:50:33 PM

I'll stick with the free versions for now. The version that came with my drive has always been good enough for my needs. That along with the appropriate freeware does everything I need.

Its kinda funny, Last time I tried to backup one of my DVDs, Nero wouldn't let me (DRM issues). I switched to my Ubuntu box and had my backup in 30 minutes, no issues whatsoever.
March 26, 2007 1:17:14 PM

Quote:
Hi,
I was looking for a DVD Ripper for a long time. Something like XMpeg but commercial quality. I just want to take all the VOB files, then convert to divx (using all the divx options). I don't need DeCSS.
I know of some DVD Rippers, but they don't allow you to manually pick the codecs and codec features.
Thanks!


I use yasa dvd ripper platinum. It does a good job on ripping dvd to avi mpeg mp4 and other various video format. It is quite reliable and very easy to use.
http://www.yasasoft.com/
March 26, 2007 5:29:29 PM

Quote:
Hi,
I was looking for a DVD Ripper for a long time. Something like XMpeg but commercial quality. I just want to take all the VOB files, then convert to divx (using all the divx options). I don't need DeCSS.
I know of some DVD Rippers, but they don't allow you to manually pick the codecs and codec features.
Thanks!


I use yasa dvd ripper platinum. It does a good job on ripping dvd to avi mpeg mp4 and other various video format. It is quite reliable and very easy to use.
http://www.yasasoft.com/

The yasa allows me to manually pick my own codecs. This was hard to find, even though many other converts support divx. (I don't know what codec is used exactly)
I will try this and see if I can select specfic divx functions.
Thanks again for the link!
April 29, 2007 2:46:08 PM

Quote:
Multi-function CD/DVD software packages record and play a dizzying array of media types and formats. Are they worth your time and money?


I really hate apps that by default install programs that run at startup and are always running on your toolbar, taking up valuable CPU and ram. Nero installs something called 'Nero Agent' which does this. There's no sign you need it because everything works if you edit your registry to stop it running. Why the hell should a DVD burner app have something that always needs to be running? Is this some kind of spyware or something?

Nero also by default installs 13!!! different apps now, which includes a whole bunch of media players, media library collection/management stuff and even a something that looks like a frontend for a media center player. Apart from the fact that most of this is just replicating the stuff already in Windows and Media Player so is totally redundant.
I only ever wanted 'burning rom'. Nero is SO BLOATED its awful.
April 30, 2007 4:54:39 AM

Looks like we're stuck with these two apps for all that they do - even if they give us a ton of stuff we don't need. I don't see too many alternative apps that can do as much as Roxio and Nero. If I were to buy a package, it'd be Roxio. Since my digital camera takes movies in quicktime format, I can make a dvd out of the files where I'm hosed with Nero.
April 30, 2007 5:37:30 AM

I totally agree with MUCH of the sentiment here. I spent the better part of a week arguing with the forum 'gurus' at Roxio about bloatware and how to limit it. They finally told me that I should have bought something else... so I did. I did spend another week ripping their crap out of my system (the registry will never be the same, I may wind up doing another clean install as I am still getting error-log messages about some missing roxio dll - but I'll find the little bastard).

From the review... "The best advice we can offer you when dealing with these packages is to take the custom install option and to install only those components that you think you will actually use." -- I didn't really see an option for a 'custom install'. I would recommend installing any of the, ONE AT A TIME. I wound up with 4 running apps (startup), several (6) services and had MANY loaded dlls. Has anyone tried technet's autoruns, its great!

I now have a select few, really nice programs in Vista 64 that do just the things I want. I don't have Roxio trying to _contact its servers_, and when just idling, trying to take up to 9% of my x6800 cpu while it scans directories for media (a 'feature' I never asked for).

I am totally suprised that Tom's Hardware gave them basically a skate on the bloatware issue - they mentioned early on that there was a problem (which means the reviewer also saw it early-on) and then a white-wash when it came down to it - shame on Tom's.

If anyone reads these forums for follow-ups and a possible different opinions (i.e. to get the real skinny):

LET ROXIO & NERO KEEP THEIR KITCHEN SINKS!

I have a real cheap, legal copy of Creator 9 w/extras, works really great in Vista (32 & 64)! I don't want it - you can download it yourself from Roxio, you just need the key - pm for info.
May 20, 2007 3:24:32 PM

As far as my personal production environment goes, I use MS Virtual PC and created VMs for both products. When I need to dig into one or the other, I simply load the relevant VM and do what needs done. When I'm finished I roll it back out and go back to my normal desktop routine. It's not an ideal solution (especially in terms of disk space consumed) but it's one way to keep the bloat from creeping over into other parts of my computing life. Just a thought...

--Ed--
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