Nero 11 Platinum does it all

Nero 11 Platinum is a one-stop tool shop that lets you rip, burn, back up, convert, edit, and organize all of your digital media.

Nero 11 Platinum is a one-stop tool shop that lets you rip, burn, back up, convert, edit, and organize all of your digital media. We think it's a solid multimedia work flow solution for casual media enthusiasts and prosumers alike. But be warned--the installation file is massive, tipping the scale at pretty close to 1GB. And installation takes quite a long time as it takes up about 2.5GB of memory. But, with 11 programs making up the powerful multimedia suite, we can see why, and we aren't complaining.

One of our biggest issues with Nero 11 is its footprint on our system, with its 11 applications and corresponding shortcuts. Not only does it take up quite a bit of memory, it's slightly overwhelming to navigate at times. Luckily, the user experience is now anchored by Nero's media management hub, Nero Kwik Media and the new MediaBrowser window, which gives you quick access to your libraries from all of the applications. Nero has obviously heard users' comments and attempted to streamline the experience. While the suite is somewhat overwhelming in size, we do appreciate that the fixes help us zip around without any issue.

As for what Nero 11 Platinum can do, the short answer is just about everything you'd expect from a multimedia suite. It's an audio, video, photo, data, and home entertainment workhorse that lets you edit MP3s, capture and edit HD video, record and playback TV, create slideshows, back up data, recover data from damaged disks, convert audio files, check your hardware specs, and design disc covers with ease. Further, it performs with impressive speed and has a relatively simple user interface that shouldn't be alienating to novice media enthusiasts.

So what's new? Well, for one thing, Nero Video now includes an Express Editing mode that gets users out of the multitrack timeline and into a comparatively simple storyboard, making it easy to quickly throw together basic projects. And with this simplicity, Nero has brought some more advanced features like picture-in-picture overlays, support for AVC Camera files, and 3D effects. While they may not be professional-level features, many of the new additions do spill over into prosumer territory, which means quite a bit more bang for your buck.

There's also LIVEBackup, which provides automatic and continuous back up security with a single click. And now, with Kwik Media joining the suite, users can even create and order nifty photobooks right through the application. While Kwik Media does provide a convenient hub to manage all your media, one thing we're not so sure about is the integrated Market. While in-app purchases of new features might make sense in theory, we aren't confident it's going to catch on.

Nero has also gone to great lengths to improve file-conversion and sharing capabilities. With the much-improved Nero Recode, it's easier than ever to convert media between virtually any file formats and to output to virtually any device. There are also built-in tools for sharing to YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, and for burning high-quality Blu-ray and DVD discs. What's more, you can even sync your media between your PC and Android via Wi-Fi or USB. Considering the increasing importance of mobility these days, these improvements are arriving just in time.

From what we've seen so far, Nero 11 Platinum appears to be a winner. Sure, it's huge, and takes quite a bit of time to install, but with its 11 applications, it packs some huge features on top of the bread-and-butter functionality that made Nero 10 such a popular download. Plus, it comes completely reconstructed for improved performance and a more streamlined user interface.

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