Nero has released version 12 of its multimedia suite, an edition which keeps support for DVD burning while adding support for both Windows 8 and multimedia streaming to mobile devices, game consoles, and TVs.
"We're now focusing on video editing, viewing and streaming," said Nero's Paul Breton, in a briefing for NotebookReview. "Many of our customers still burn DVDs, so we still have lots of support for that. But in the future, things will be much less about burning and much more about streaming."
Other major improvements span categories that include unification across the multiple programs in the suite, faster installation, and content sharing with a wide range of gadgets.
Nero Kwik Media, a key component in the suite, has now been given a built-in media server, allowing you to stream videos, photos and music to DLNA- and UPnP-enabled devices such as smartphones, tablets, XBoxes, and HDTVs.
Support for Android and iOS Devices
With Nero Recode, another program in the suite, you can import video and audio from either DVDs or the Web and then "transcode" -- or convert -- them into a variey of formats for consumption on PCs, consoles, and mobile gizmos.
Beyond standard PC multimedia formats, you can select target devices and pre-configured device profiles for PlayStation 3, Android phones and tablets, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone, and Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod, for example.
"We already support iPhone 4, and we will be supporting iPhone 5," Breton elaborated.
Additionally, Nero already offers apps for synching multimedia files between PCs and other devices, Breton said. Nero might announce additional mobile apps later this year, he said, although he wouldn't specify details.
A Way for Windows 8 Users to Play DVDs
Nero 12 will also give Windows 8 users a way to play back movies on DVDs. In Windows 8, Microsoft has removed the MPEG-2 codec from the core operating system. Instead, users who want to view MPEG-2 flicks will need to either buy Windows 8 Media Center Pack or Windows 8 Pro Pack or use a product from a third-party vendor such as Nero.
Other components of Nero 12 include Nero Video, for video editing; BackItUp, for data backup; and Nero Rescue, for data recovery. A somewhat pricier Platinum edition adds hundreds of extra video effects and retro movie theme templates, along with support for playing Blu-ray disks, converting Blu-ray into other file formats, and stabilizing "shaky videos" from handheld and smartphone cameras.
"Also in Nero 12, we've expanded upon the unification we started in Nero 11. We've concentrated even more on giving products across the suite a similar look and feel," according to Breton.
Thanks to a new installer, installation of the whole suite can now be done in only five to seven minutes, he estimated. Unlike Nero 11, Nero 12 does not include Sound Trax, Wave Editor, and Cover Designer. However, these programs are available as free downloads from Nero's Web site. Also, the Nero Video component of the new suite does incorporate other tools for audio editing.
To access Nero 12 from Windows 8's mosaic user interface (UI), you click on a tile called "Nero Launcher," he said. "Microsoft only gives [each software product] one tile."
Other new capabilities in Nero 12 include support for AVCHD 2.0 video, USB 3.0 storage devices, and hard drives larger than 2TB.
Pricing is $100 for Nero 12 and $130 for Nero 12 Platinum. In addition, a 15-day free trial version of the full Platinum suite is available for download on Nero's Web site.