Nero Multimedia Suite 10: Nero

What is Nero Multimedia Suite 10?

Nero Multimedia Suite 10 is a collection of tools that allow you to get the most from your photo, video and audio files, as well as performing common disk burning tasks and file and system backup.

MediaHub is new to this version of Multimedia Suite. It provides a unified library for managing and enjoying your audio, photo and video files. The interface is clutter-free and easy to navigate, although multitasking – playing audio while tidying your photos, for example – is not particularly intuitive, and it doesn't always follow Windows standard shortcut conventions.

You can use MediaHub to rip and burn CDs and perform basic touch-up editing on your photos. Unfortunately there are no batch tools like rename, tag or convert, which would have been particularly useful for both photos and audio files.

You can create photo and video slideshows directly within MediaHub, but you need to switch to Nero Vision if you want to add your own music; a strange omission given the supposed tight integration of different media. Given the absence of powerful management tools, and the missing interlinks between media types in the few instances where they would be useful, one has to question to wisdom of bringing all your video, photos and audio files together in one interface. Audio files in particular are better serviced by more accomplished freely available audio players and library managers - including iTunes and Windows Media Player. One advantage, however, is the ability to publish all of your content directly from the main interface, either to disk or uploaded to Myspace, YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and My Nero, Nero’s own media sharing service.

Nero Vision is the main video editing and authoring application. Unlike previous versions of Nero Multimedia Suite, Vision supports Blu-ray authoring out of the box. It has also had an interface overhaul this time round, so it’s more in tune with Windows 7 look. It uses a simple step by step project approach to producing a finished DVD, video CD or Blu-ray from individual clips and photos on your hard disk or camera.

First, you simply drag and drop clips and photos onto the smart timeline and add transitions, captions and sound. For projects that require less tweaking, the timeline can be viewed as a story board with individual scenes simply represented by pictures divided by transitions. A preview pane lets you keep track of the eventual output. Here, effects and transitions are processed in real-time, which is handy, but don't expect an exact, error free depiction of your final cut.

Once individual chapters have been specified, a menu is applied for playback in most DVD players. A range of customisable simple 2D, animated 2D and 3D come as standard and, unlike those supplied with most media suite packages, these are actually tasteful. Finally, you simply burn the final product to a DVD, BD or CD, or save it to your hard disk.

BackItUp&Burn has also been given a facelift in this version of Nero Multimedia. You can schedule file or system backups; file backup scan be added to later either incrementally or differentially. It’s not as versatile as dedicated backup applications from Acronis, Paragon or Norton, but it's a doddle to use and the tools on offer are sufficiently robust to provide piece of mind.

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