Pros streamlined interface, idiot proof, hi def support
Cons streamlined interface, hi def support
Summary nero 8 definitely has taken strides to make it THE app for all of your burning needs, but it still has a ways to go before it truly replaces your various collections of other programs.
the things i like about nero 8 are mostly cosmetic, that seems to be the biggest change of all. the new interface is very appealing, but selecting any burning/storage/vide-photo editing options navigates you away from nero start smart, making an incorrect menu selection a hassle as you have to back track or simply close and restart the app until you find the one you were looking for. that said, nero still performs basic backup jobs with ease, although when using start smart you may find yourself hunting around for more detailed status information, since all that is provided is progress.
the new stuff: hi def support, nero mobile, and all the other "add-ons". firstly, these add-ons don't come with nero 8 ultra, contrary to the websites information. nor do they come cheaply, at about 25 bones a pop you could well spend over 200 dollars to get the fully decked out nero suite. i was excited to get my hands on the HD add-on since i've been looking for a program to replace the latest cyberlink offering. cyberlink fails to play HDDVD discs with web-enable content through an xbox 360 add on drive. now i'm not sure if this has to do with the hardware i'm using, but since the box is MS you would expect it to work, or is simply a software failure. whatever the case i can't watch disc 6 of heroes on my high end pc, that blows. how did nero do? well astonishingly worse actually. according to nero my device isn't AACS compatible, or at the very least has some problem with the AACS system. in other words nero won't even play an HDDVD disc when using the 360 drive, 25 dollars well spent. since blue ray drives are still a ways out from being reasonably priced i'm stuck with a piece of useless software and 25 fewer greenbacks.
nero home works well enough, as configuring it to begin indexing libraries at startup is very simple. this praise is only relative because home still doesn't play well with the 360. the box recoginsises the "nero" pc, and you can even view video files in any format, as opposed to .wmv and .mp4 files. the problem starts with streaming and encoding. i'm running a q6600 quad core at stock speeds, and never see any of my cores near 40% while streaming, yet home crashes again and again. i was able to view about 16 seconds of an .avi file on my box, a first for me let me assure you, but nero quickly froze on me, and required a manual system reboot to straighten itself out.
overall nero 8 works well for basic tasks, but if you're looking to do hd dvd playback or back up hddvds you will be disappointed. the same goes for streaming non windows formatted videos to an xbox 360, while there are clunkier solutions out there that address this deficiency it would've been nice to see nero pull this off in a what is a really nice package. the pay to play add-on system is a disappointment to say the least, and the only add on you may want (the hd package) doesn't play well with others, at least in the hddvd camp. while it's still very early in nero 8's lifespan i can only wonder at the lack of promised functionality in nero 8. if you already have nero 7, and can manage to get it working on a vista system, stick with that, you're not missing out on anything special here. at least not yet, nero is well known for being a prolific updater of software, but they have a long hard road ahead of them there.
Pros Very detailed.
Cons Not for average users.
Summary Needs to be simpler and more descriptive. If you are developing a software for consumers, make it for all consumers. Obviously developed without the average consumer in mind.If you include advanced features, provide simpler interface options for those of us who are not software developers.
Pros Excellent quality AVCHD video even with still photos, very versatile
Cons The video editor is a bit clunky, but the results are great
Summary I purchased Pinnacle Studio 11.1 Ultimate to edit AVCHD video from my Panasonic HD camcorder. Then I found I couldn't edit video & send it back to the camcorder to view - only create a DVD for a blu-ray player (which I don't have). Also PS11 made still photos in a video look blurry, even after lowering the resolution to 1920x1080 or less as they suggested.
I did have performance issues with Nero 8 that were solved by flashing my BIOS & latest video driver's. I was able to take video from the camera, add stills & a sound track, and export it directly back to my camera, or save on the HDD or send to DVD (regular DVD or HD on DVD media). The quality is EXCELLENT!! The stills in the video are very sharp - as good as any display I've seen on my LCD HD panel.
The editor in Nero 8 (Vision 5) is clunky to use compared to PS11. There's no way to animate stills (pan/zoom,etc), you need to split an audio track to lower the volume in a section, it's cumbersome to preview your files, it doesn't mark the files to have already added to the track - things like that. However, you can put together a nice HD video and the quality is GREAT.
I haven't even touched the other modules in Nero 8 - the video editor alone is well worth the price.
Pros CD Burner and labeler seem to work
Cons Not compatible with my capture device
Summary I tried and purchased Nero 8 to transfer video tapes to DVDs. After a Nero update the transfers had no sound, and the sound control on Nero Video was grayed out. After several email exchanges, Nero finally revealed that not all sound capture devices are compatible, but would still not refund my money. They said I should have looked up the list of compatible devices before buying. Not a way to keep customers, or get new ones! Windows Media Encoder works with my device, so I use that now.
Pros None that I've really found as yet...
Cons Difficult to download and install
Summary The Nero 6 worked without any problems that I can recall. However, the upgrade to Nero 8 has so far been only failure after failure. It took over a week just to get a download from the site and now I am getting error message after error message. Daily email to the site and company are only "Form Emails" and so far none of the suggestions have solved the problem(s) of installing the upgrade.