Whether your purchase a new computer with a CD or DVD burner or simply purchase a separate burner to upgrade your system with, chances some basic burning software came along with it. Windows XP itself even includes a very built-in extension that allows you to burn information to a CD or DVD.
The problem with all of these tools is that they get the job done, but don't give you a lot of flexibility. They perform basic tasks that allow you to create CDs and DVDs, but they don't do a whole lot more. In this article, I'll show you how you can use Nero 7 Ultra Edition to get more power out of your burner.
What's Nero 7 Ultra Edition?
Among the more popular bundled burning tools, you may have run into Nero Express. Along with Easy CD-Creator from Roxio and LiteOn SmartBurn, Nero is one of the more popular burning programs on the market. Nero 7 Ultra Edition does everything that Nero Express does and more.
Through Ultra Edition, Nero hopes to make Nero 7 the center of your digital world. Whether it's creating, editing or sharing data, Nero 7 Ultra Edition includes something that can fill those needs. Some of the cool things you can do with it includes:
- Capture photos from digital cameras and other devices
- Combine photos & videos into slideshows
- Create custom menus, add captions or 2D and 3D transitions
- Burn to DVD, SVCD and VCD or export to video file for sharing
- Capture video from digital camcorders, video capture/TV tuner cards
- Rip audio CDs and create MP3s
- Convert LPs and Tapes to CDs
- Create custom Playlists
- Pump-up your music mixes with powerful Beat Editor, Sequencer and
- Easy and complete system backup with Nero Backup Wizard
- InCD 5 Drag&Drop file backup
- Automatic backups with Job Scheduler
In addition, Nero 7 Ultra Edition features two new interfaces that help make it easier to use. First, there's Nero Home which provides a complete interface for accessing data in a highly graphical setting. Second, there's Nero StartSmart that consolidates the most commonly used tools in one place.
Nero 7 Ultra Edition will run on all versions of Windows after Windows 98 as long as you have sufficient system resources. Basic system requirements are:
- Microsoft Windows 98/98SE/ME; Windows 2000 (Service Pack 4 or later); Windows XP; Windows 2003 Server
- Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer 4.0 or later
- 800 MHz Intel Pentium III or AMD Sempron 2200+ processors
- 128 MB RAM
- 600 MB hard disk space for a typical installation of all components (9 GB available hard disk space for DVD images and temporary DVD files)
- Graphics card with at least 8 MB video memory and minimum resolution 800x600 and 16-bit color CD or DVD recordable or rewritable drive
You'll need DirectX 9.0a or later and some other special things if you want multimedia playback. Nero 7 Ultra Edition also supports Lightscribe drives and DVDs with Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 or Windows XP.
Unlike the versions that come with new computers and new drives, Nero 7 Ultra Edition isn't free. You can buy Nero 7 Ultra Edition online in price ranges from $28 - $99.
Installing and using Nero 7 Ultra Edition
Nero 7 installs just like any other Windows program you've ever used. When you put the program CD in the drive, it will launch the installer with a wizard that will walk you through the entire installation process. There are no major gotchas to worry about. The hardest part to the entire installation is making sure you type in the serial number properly. When you restart your system after the installation, you can then start using the program.
You'll notice two new icons on your desktop - Nero StartSmart and Nero Home. If you click Nero Home, you'll see the screen shown in Figure A.
|Nero Home gives you an easy way to launch programs.|
Nero Home takes over the GUI of your computer and gives you a simple spinning graphic that allows you to access needed programs. When you click a given icon, it rotates to the front and will allow you to bring up submenus.
For example, if you want to see your files, you click double click the graphical file list. You'll then see the My Collections screen shown in Figure B. From there you access sub-tasks.
|You can view programs inside of each icon.|
To close Nero Home, just press [Alt][F4].
You'll probably use StartSmart more often. When you double-click the Smart Start icon, you'll see the screen shown in Figure C.
|StartSmart makes it easy to perform basic tasks.|
The icons make it easy to figure out which task you want to perform. You can put the things you want to do most on the Favorites list and thereby save a little clicking.
Burning a CD is simple, click the Make A Data CD link. You'll then see the screen shown in Figure D.
|You'll create new CDs here.|
Click the Add button and then find the files you want to burn to CD. Nero will add them to the list on this screen and display graphically on the bottom how much disk space you've used. Once you've selected all the files, click Next. You'll then see the screen shown in Figure E.
You can change any of the settings on this screen that you want, but the easiest thing to do is just click Burn. Nero will burn the disk for you and you're done! The time it takes to burn depends on the speed you have your burner set at. This is the same basic method that you can burn DVDs as well.
All that and more
Nero 7 Ultra Edition does all of that and more. For example, you can use it to set up backup routines for your network or individual workstations. We'll cover how to do that in another article.