Product Type: Ahead in CD & DVD Burning
Newest Review: ... on all your disks. There is a good article in PC Answers August 2003 about this. As mentioned Ahead have an excellent website with lo... more
Nero Burning ROM 5.x in general
Member Name: MichaelR
Nero Burning ROM 5.x in general
Date: 06/05/01, updated on 06/05/01 (2382 review reads)
Advantages: Reliable, stable, copies anything, on-the-fly MP3 burning, good packet writing program, reasonably priced.
Disadvantages: Poor manual, InCD (packet writing) software not really supported
I first became aware of Nero Burning ROM (a rather clever play on words, add an "E" to the end of the product name and you might get it) when I received a free copy with my Hewlett Packard based Medion CD Rewriter which I bought from Dixons almost exactly a year ago.
I can only say that I am very glad that I did!
Nero is streets ahead of the opposition. (I am thinking particularly of the dire Easy DC Creator software bundled with most CD Writers).
Nero is manufactured by a German company called Ahead Software. It really is their flagship product and as such they make a big effort to constantly improve what has always been a superb piece of software. The first version that I had vas V4.0 - which was superb - but it was definitely worth upgrading to v5.0!
Nero offers a choice of ways to compile a CD. You can either use the inbuilt wizard to guide you through the compilation process, (It allows you a choice between audio or data CD's and also allows you to start a new CD or continue writing on a half-used CD) or you can put your compilation together manually.
Whichever method you choose, you can make use of a friendly file explorer interface to drag files from your hard drives, other CD's, etc etc and drop them into the compilation. When you're ready to burn, you simply chose the speed to test and burn at, sit back, and wait.
Nero is the most reliable piece of CD writing software that I know of. It copies virtually anything (CD Audio, Mode 1, Mode 2, Mixed Mode, CD-XA, VCD, absolutely anything) and will even produce good copies of CD's from scratched-up originals.
It also has the ability to read non-native file formats for image files, such as those created by Adaptec Easy CD Creator and CDRWin.
There is also on-the-fly conversion from MP3 to WAV format, so if you want to burn an audio CD you don't have to spend hours decoding all of your MP3 files. It's a big pro
blem with many CD burning programs as you have to find huge areas of hard drive space to store these WAV files in too. An 80 minute CD can take up a lot of hard drive space...
Nero also comes with a neat hard drive backup utility that can create an image of your hard drives spanned across multiple CD's. You can then restore your system from these CD's by running the DOS Program "NRESTORE.EXE" from a boot floppy. It only really makes reliable copies if your hard drives are less than 90% full - and of course you need to use good quality CD's - but it does work well and is surely the most cost-effective means of backing up a system as you don't need any extra expensive drives - Just your CD writer to create them and approximately one CD per 500 megs of data you are backing up, as the remaining space on the CD is used to record data that the restoration program uses for piecing your system back together.
There are a whole host of customisation features within Nero - virtually every parameter of the reading and burning can be changed, but at the same time it is easy for the non-technically minded user as the software is 'intelligent'. It knows what kind of CD you have in the reading drive, and it loads what it considers to be the best set of default parameters for reading before asking you how fast you want to burn. (Lower speeds obviously offer better reliability)
Another really great feature of Nero is that you do not have to 'close' a CD before you use it in a normal CD ROM drive. Most programs require you to close out a CD first, meaning that no more data can be written to it. Nero however simply creates an open CD that can be read in any multi-read CD ROM drive. (Almost all modern CD ROM drives are multi-read by the way).
I just cannot recommend this software highly enough. For stability, reliability, ease of use, and full control of the whole burn process. There's just nothing on the
market to touch it.
And it is so cheap! Only a penny under £33 (although it comes bundled for free with lots of CD Writers now) with cut price upgrades for existing owners of Nero software.
If you have a CD Writer you really should not be without it.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention!
Nero also includes a packet writing system known as InCD. This basically allows a CDRW to be formatted so that it can be read from and written to in much the same way as a hard drive.
It has advantages over its major rival (Adaptec Direct CD) in that it is much faster to format a CD (it takes around 20 minutes) and it is also faster in accessing and writing to the CD. The major criticism of Direct CD has always been that it is slow.
You also get more space per CD with InCD. It allows you to use 630MB per CD as opposed to DirectCD's 600MB (I think it's 600 for DirectCD, I can't quite remember). The rest of the CD contains file system information and so is not available for your data.
The trouble is though that not many people support InCD and so it's not really very practical for moving files around. Therefore it's really a case of DirectCD or nothing when it comes to packet writing as you can't run both (they conflict with each other) and they use slightly different writing techniques and file systems.
I therefore use Nero as my main program and Adaptec Direct CD as my direct access program.
If you only work on one machine though, then InCD is an excellent means of backing up large amounts of volatile data (such as office documents etc that might get regularly changed).
The only small gripe is the manual. Being German, Ahead doesn't really provide very good help in English. There shouldn't really be a major need for it though as most of the functions are very straightforward and self-explanatory.
Nero really is a superb package. Well worth thirty quid of anyon
Burn baby burn!
More info/order: http://www.ahead.de