SAN FRANCISCO (09/22/2003) - Think you need more than one software package to take full advantage of your CD/DVD burner? Think again: Ahead Software AG's Nero 6 Ultra Edition can handle all of your burning, authoring, and playback needs-and then some. Built on Ahead Software's venerable Nero Burning ROM mastering app and InCD packet-writing software, Ultra Edition adds a capable DVD/movie file player, a much-improved Nero Vision Express 2 movie-authoring and editing application, and the brand-new BackItUp program. Augmenting the bundle are audio editors, a host of utilities, a jewel-case cover designer, and MPEG-4 encoding a la DivX.
Taking a hint from Roxio Inc.'s user-friendly Easy CD Creator, Nero 6 Ultra ties the suite together with an elegantly designed launch panel, called StartSmart, that is completely configurable and shows only the applications you use.
In my tests with shipping software, I noticed small interface glitches throughout the suite (Ahead has been quick to post fixes), and I found the new DVD player promising but not yet full-feature. I also didn't care for the strict step-by-step approaches used by Nero Vision Express 2 and BackItUp, which grow tiresome to walk through when you've acclimated yourself to the way they work.
But in spite of these drawbacks, the suite's impressive capabilities won me over.
Ahead Software Nero 6 Ultra Edition
A comprehensive suite that offers much bang for the buck.
Price when reviewed: US$100.