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Are Do-It-All CD/DVD Packages Worth It?

Do-It-All Or Do Less With More?

Be sure to read the sidebars Adobe Production Studio Premium, Why We Didn't Test On Vista, Bonus or Bloat? and Do You Really Need Another Decoder?. Sidebars follow the Conclusions section.

The packages we will look at are used for creating, compiling and burning CDs and DVDs: whether to create the ultimate mix, to immortalize home videos, build looping slideshows with music and voiceovers or simply to keep ancient vinyl or tape recordings alive. As far as we can tell, the race is on between Nero and Corel/Roxio to take the top spot in this latest go-round of "Clash of the Titans." Fortunately for consumers, this kind of battle offers tremendous value and lots of outstanding capability for a relatively small amount of money.

Neither package is particularly large nor impressive, but both include tons of useful functionality inside.

Product Summaries

Though we hesitate to suggest, let alone claim, that the information in the following table does justice to the extensive capabilities of either product, this data does capture the high points of both Nero 7 Premium Reloaded and Roxio Easy Media Creator 9. That said, we still have plenty to say about both products - and many alternatives that at least some readers will already own, if not be willing to consider - as they decide if these products offer capabilities that they want or need.

Category/ItemNero 7 Premium ReloadedRoxio Easy Media Creator 9 Suite
Price range$50-100$60-100 (Deluxe $120-150)
$20 rebate currently available
Download size190.61 MB492.51 MB
Audio
Surround sound5.1 & 7.1 recording, editing, mixing5.1 & 7.1 recording, editing, mixing
Mix and editYesYes
Capture Internet music, radioYesYes
Looping libraryYesYes
Video
Burn & copy to CD & DVDYesYes
Support for Lightscribe drive labelingYesYes (Labelflash also supported)
Keep or remove audio tracks, titles, subtitlesYesYes
DVD decodeYesYes
Photos
Photo editing & digital retouchYesYes
Photo index & organizerYesYes
Create slideshowsYesYes
Photo cards, calendars, etc.YesYes
TV
TV captureYes, with suitable capture cardYes, with suitable capture card
Convert DVD movies, video (transcoding)YesYes
Batch encoding for videoYesYes
DVD creation
Import formatsDVD±VR, DVD-Video, SVCD, VCD, DVD-1DVD±VR, DVD-Video, SVCD, VCD, DVD-1
Auto-create chaptersYesYes
Manually create chaptersYesYes
DV time code scene detectYesYes
Pre-defined DVD templatesYesYes
Split and merge titlesYesYes
Create DVD menus, buttons, text creditsYesYes
Download & burn MPEG-4 movies to DVDYesYes
PC Backup
Complete backup solutionYesYes
Calendaring & scheduling backup jobsYesYes
Shadow copy for verified backupYesYes
Backup to disc imageYesYes
Create bootable restore diskYesYes
Disaster recovery supportYesYes
Multi-play features
Blu-ray, HD-DVD playbackYesYes
Playlists with pictures, music, videoYesYes
Time-shift TVYesYes
Streaming music, video, images to UPnP gearYesYes
Specialized media searchYes (Nero Scout)Yes
Media download to mobile devicesYesYes
Extras
Automatic updatesYesYes
Repair option for installsYesNo
In-place updatesYesNo
VoIP applicationYesNo
Create custom ring tonesNoYes
Analog video capture cardWorks with third-party offeringsDazzle included with Deluxe edition
Input formats
VideoDVD-Video, miniDVD, MPEG-1/2/4,VOB, DV, VCD, SVCD, AVIAVI, DV, HD-V, DV-AVI, MPEG-1/2/4, MPEG2-HD, IFO/VOB, DivX, DivX HD, XviD, DVR-MS, TiVo, ASF, MOV, WMV, QuickTime, 3GP, MPEG2 transport stream, H.264, OpenDVD
AudioMP3, MP3Pro, wma, VQF, AIF, OGG, ACC, MPEG-4, Dolby Digital AC-3, LPCM, numerous third-party plug-ins availableMP3, WAV, WMA, Dolby Digital AC-3, OGG, FLAC, MPEG-1/2, M4A, AAC, Playlist (WPL, M3U, PLS, XSPF, HighMAT, MPB)
PhotoJPEG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, GIFDitto
DVDDVD+VR, DVD-VR, DVD-Video, SVCD, VCD, DVD-1Ditto
Output formats
VideoDVD-Video, miniDVD, MPEG-1/2/4,VOB, DV, VCD, SVCD, AVIAVI, DV-AVI, HD-V, MPEG-1/2/4, MPEG2-HD, DivX, DivX HD, WMV, WMV-HD, H.264, MP4, 3GP
AudioMP3, MP3Pro, wma, VQF, AIF, OGG, ACC, MPEG-4, DTS, numerous third-party plug-ins availableMP3, WAV, WMA, Dolby Digital AC-3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, MPEG-1/2, M4A, AAC, Playlist (WPL, M3U, PLS, XSPF, HighMAT, MPB)
PhotoJPEG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, GIFDitto
DVDDVD, VCD, SVCD, Mini DVDDVD, VCD, SVCD, Mini DVD, BDAV

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