Nero and Roxio have both just launched new versions of their burning software. In the red corner, we’ve got Nero 9, which features Gracenote integration and improved playback and editing features, and in the… er… orange corner we’ve got Roxio Creator Ultimate 2009, which has high-definition support and new backup software.
I should point out first of all that although Roxio and Nero both started out as CD burning software. They now do a whole lot more, and function as full multimedia packages. This means they’ve got almost everything you could ever need at a non-professional level to work with any kind of media – audio, video, pictures, everything.
First, let’s talk Nero 9. When you open it up, it loads StartSmart, which is a lightweight bit of software which lets you do a bunch of basic tasks, from burning and ripping CDs, to playing files and making backups. From there, you can also go deeper – down to editing song files or video, or making and burning photo slideshows onto DVD.
But what’s new in this version is mainly based around their media player – Nero Showtime. It’s got a new UI and metadata from Gracenote, as well as a new shuffle function. It’s also got a few new formats though – AVCREC, .mkv and FLAC can now all be played. It’s also got a function called Ad Spotter – when you’re watching a video, or burning it, it can autodetect the commercials and zip past them for you, based on volume changes and other factors.
It has Blu-ray support, via a plugin bought separately, but it doesn’t seem to play .tivo files, which is weird, given the partnership that Nero and Tivo have. Nero 9 is available on the tenth of October, and it’ll cost you £60, plus £10 for the Blu-Ray plugin.
Roxio Creator Ultimate 2009
Roxio Creator Ultimate 2009 shouldn’t be neglected. Its new features include Blu-Ray support out of the box (no extra plugin necessary), “BackOnTrack” disaster recovery software, for when you tip coffee onto your motherboard, something called “SoundSoap”, which cleans up music tracks, and SonicFire Pro which helps create soundtrack music for video.
Those latter two things are very interesting, particularly the soundtrack music creator. Roxio say it’s “a music creation application designed for videographers to create professional quality music that perfectly matches the mood and length of the video production or slideshow, while giving ultimate control over the music creation process”. Sounds like it generates music for you, but I’ve actually got no idea how it works. If you’ve given it a go, then I’d love to hear what happens – drop us a comment.
Roxio Creator Ultimate 2009 is available today, and costs you £70, but you don’t need to buy a separate Blu-Ray plugin. Whether that’s a benefit or not depends on whether you own an HD video camera, or burn Blu-Ray video on a regular basis. There’s also a slightly-less-than-ultimate edition, which comes with fewer features but only costs £50.
Of the two, I’d pick Roxio, but only because I’m so curious about the SonicFire Pro functionality. If you’re into authoring video, audio, or pictures, then either package will make you a very happy panda.