Nero 12.5 Platinum review

Nero Burning ROM started life as a fairly simple CD and DVD burning program, but expanded as formats multiplied and uses grew. The suite is now at version 12 and comprises six distinct modules: Burning ROM, Video, Kwik Media, Recode, BackItUp and Rescue Agent. There’s a front-end called Nero Express, too.

See: more optical disc burning software.

Burning ROM is the main disc burning tool and handles CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs in just about all their forms. New features in version 12 include DiscSpan, SmartFit and SecureDisc. DiscSpan enables data to be spanned across discs and SmartFit shuffles multi-file data around to fit between different disks, getting the most data into the smallest storage space.

You might expect Nero to help you decide what combination of discs would be best before you start, but in fact it’s up to you to feed in discs until the program says stop. This is messy. We tried to burn 9.6GB of data, expecting to get it on 2 x 4.7GB DVDs and a 700MB CD, which should total 10.1GB. In fact, we needed another CD for 200MB more than this. The burn took a total of 18 min 40 s, excluding time to change discs, burning CDs at 48x and DVDs at 16x.

SecurDisc attempts to guard against scratches and other damage which can make a disc unusable. It does this by creating multiple copies of the data, which reduces the storage capacity of the disc. You can select the level of redundancy, to balance space against security.

Nero Video is a very reasonable video editor. It might not have the sophistication of Adobe Premiere Elements or Pinnacle Studio, but can handle the basics. Import and editing of files up to 1080p/60 is matched to a multi-track timeline, where video, stills, audio and a wide range of transitions and effects can be dragged.

New features include an anti-shake template, which is a good, basic stabiliser for home videos taken handheld – that is, most of them.

Nero Recode is an easy-to-use video converter. You drag the file for conversion into the program, select the output type and wait. The recoder has itself been recoded, so is quicker than before. It won’t, unfortunately, handle copy-protected commercial DVDs or Blu-rays.

Nero BackItUp 12 is as simple or complex as you want it. At the base level, just flicking a virtual switch in Nero LIVEBackup is all you have to do to backup a Windows PC automatically, using default settings.

Source and destination drives can be reconfigured, but if this isn’t enough, BackItUp also includes separate file and system backup apps.

The integration between individual modules is not good. Each separate program has its own interface and while some, like Burning ROM, are well established and relatively logical in what they do, there’s little consistency between interfaces, even down to the look of the buttons.

Nero 12.5 Platinum: Specs

  • Windows XP SP3/Vista SP2/7 SP1
  • 2GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 5GB drive space
  • Windows XP SP3/Vista SP2/7 SP1
  • 2GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 5GB drive space

OUR VERDICT

You get a considerable suite of software in Nero 12 Platinum, now actually in version 12.5. But you need to consider which elements are most important to you. Nero Burning ROM is still one of the best media burners available and Nero Video is a good entry-level video editor, although without the sophistication of the best known alternatives. Nero BackItUp is good if you want a fit and forget solution and the other modules are by no means make-weights.

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