Years ago Nero was just a great way to burn CDs and DVDs, but it has grown. Nowadays, the new Nero 10 MultiMedia Suite Platinum HD may be the only software bundle you need for multimedia! You can of course still burn DVDs and make backups with Nero, but you also get a label designer, audio editor, several disc utilities, a full-featured multimedia player and my favorite: Nero Vision, A very powerful and easy to use video editor.
StartSmart is basically the starting point for Nero’s many different apps. But if you (like me) don’t want to waste time with an intermediary window, you can just jump directly to the application of your choice from the Start Menu.
Another little app is the ControlCenter. It works well for managing updates. Many programs assume the user does not know what they want. Not Nero, they let you choose what you want to download and when, not forcing you get everything all at once.
Before I go on, I have to say that I love the animated logo that is displayed while loading. It makes the load time so much more enjoyable.
If you need to copy one of your DVDs or rip it to a MPEG-4 video file, you can do that with Nero Recode. You are also given the ability to remove subtitles, audio tracks or even trim the video.
MediaHub works better than Premiere Elements’ Organizer. Though not as full-featured, it is straightforward and uncluttered, it is also a player/viewer for all your multimedia content. Seems to be a bit of a processor hog, not that that is a bad thing, but it’s best to avoid multi-tasking while using this program.
You can sort your audio, images and video in a manner similar to Picassa. Double-clicking images opens for basic editing (e.g. red-eye, cropping, etc.). From here you can also prepare and save a slideshow. It is very simple and straightforward to use and it comes with a few very cool templates.
This aspect of the suite is the highlight for me. I have been using Adobe Premiere Elements for a number of years and thought I’d never find something as full-featured and easy to use. But this is it. I have nothing but good things to say. The start screen gives you several options, among them burning an existing project to DVD, Blue-ray, etc. I did find it a little odd that the main controls are on the bottom of the screen, breaking away from the typical ‘top of the screen’ menus. But it was easy to get used to.
Another great improvement over Adobe Premiere Elements is the way you work with Keyframes. Instead working within a separate window off to the side, Keyframe and effects all appear just below your clip in the main timeline. So when you adjust the opacity, scale, position, etc. it is easy to see where you are in relation to the video.
There are also a ton of effects to apply to your videos. Several of these are available as presets (e.g. PiP, pan-zoom). But even though the bulk of the work is done for you, you are still able to tweak the effect just the way you like it. PiP is really nice, I like to do this in my videos and these presets make it so much easier and faster.
Among the Text effects is one that I really liked, “Computer Code.” Though it’s kinda hard to see in the still shots, the code is constantly changing, similar to a “Matrix” effect.
Transitions in videos are often overused, but they do serve a purpose and Nero offers some original ones like “Erosion” and “Melt.”
And of course there is much more contained in Nero Vision. Suffice to say that whatever you want to do with regards to creating cool movies, you can do it with this program.
If you are (or you want to be) serious about video editing and creating DVDs and Blue-ray Discs then Nero Multimedia Suite Platinum HD is for you. There is not a better deal for the price ($129.99) and the ease of use. I have not been an advocate for multimedia suites in the past, since many times they are bloated with un-needed apps. However, Nero 10 MultiMedia Suite Platinum HD has changed my mind. Everything you need is here, and it all works! And although Video Premium HD, the video editor, is also available separately, for the price ($69.99), you can’t go wrong getting the whole package.
The Good: Easy to use, truly an all-in-one package for your multimedia needs
The Bad: Somewhat pricey