"good but not great"2.5 starson by jahpeople
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.