A Kwik way to manage media

Nero Kwik Media is a light and free media manager with which you can organize, edit, and share your music, photos, videos, and data.

Nero Kwik Media is a light and free media manager with which you can organize, edit, and share your music, photos, videos, and data. Imagine iTunes and iPhoto rolled into one, then trimmed in half. While this download is technically "free," there is one caveat: you'll have to purchase some of its functionality in the form of "apps" listed in Nero's built-in store. Sure, most of these add-ons aren't too expensive, but it's a shame that a few of them (like Nero Kwik Play, a video decoder) don't come with the download. That said, if you're mainly looking for a single hub through which to access all your media, along with maybe a few basic editing and creative tools, Nero Kwik Media is a great option.

Kwik Media's user interface is simple and, for the most part, intuitive. Anyone already familiar with Nero products may notice that Kwik Media has maintained a similar work flow and many of the same graphical interface elements as the company's premium product, Nero Multimedia Suite--very convenient.

When you launch the program, Kwik Media presents you with a menu of options in four distinct categories: Media Library, where you organize and import files; Enjoy your Media, for playing and listening; Burn & Copy, for just that; and Be Creative, where you can make slide shows or playlists or publish to the Web. It's all very straightforward, and adding files is easy using the Import tool or by dragging and dropping into the interface. In fact, performing any staple multimedia functions--editing photos, creating slide shows, burning to data disc--should be a breeze for even the greenest users.

As far as features go, again, Nero Kwik Media is equipped with only a few basic multimedia editing and creative tools. The slideshow creator is light, enabling you to customize duration, text titles, theme, and music. The built-in photo editor, on the other hand, is surprisingly capable, with tools for adjusting exposure, color, brightness, saturation--there's even red-eye removal. The program doesn't include much else unless you delve into the still-somewhat-limited Nero app store for tools for burning video DVDs, playing Blu-rays, and transferring data to and from mobile devices, among other things. Nero Kwik Play ($4.99), which supports playback of a bevy of video formats, is essential and should have been an integrated stock feature. Same goes for the $4.99 video-burning app, Nero Kwik DVD. Also, Move It ($4.99), which transfers and transcodes media files between PC and iOS or Android devices, sounds like a worthwhile purchase, though we were unable to test it at the time of this review.

Overall, Nero Kwik Media is a great download for entry-level users in need of a free media manager with a few basic onboard tools for playback, photo editing, slideshows, and sharing on the Web. If you're looking for more than that, then be prepared to pony up the moolah at the Nero store to gain the functionality you seek.

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