Roxio and Aheads newest products are compared in separate, but rather concise reviews. They say Ahead has upgraded their product with respect for ease of use for the novice without dumbing it down. Then they look at Roxios latest and wonder if they have closed the gap between the two rival products.
With Nero 6.0, Ahead’s focus on ease of use appears to be paramount. With the outgoing 5.5 version, creating a project with which to burn a disc wasn’t particularly difficult, but 6.0 has StartSmart, a simple and very easy to use front end application with which to create a project from beginning to end.
In default configuration, StartSmart offers you key categories to choose from, related to the types of project you are most likely to create, from simple audio CDs to DVD movie discs that will play in any DVD player. With a DVD writer, StartSmart offers a simple toggle between DVD and CD based projects, ensuring that project specific settings relying on either DVD or CD media are set correctly.
Easy CD Creator won plenty of mindshare due to bundling deals with new CD writer drive manufacturers, giving Roxio plenty of potential upgrades to future versions, if users liked what they got in the box. To do that, Roxio needed to offer a little bit more than simple data disc creation and packet writing. Users tempted by Ahead’s Nero software would find a package that could burn more image formats than Creator, the ability to directly burn audio CDs from mp3 files without converting to .wav format beforehand, and software that was arguably easier to use.
Creator 5 seemed to be a stepping stone product for Roxio, as it represented the first solo version of Creator without the backing of Adaptec. It seemed to largely flounder, surviving via bundle deals with drives, while Nero earned more converts. So the question is whether Version 6 can tempt some potential users away from Nero.
Although both products are rated very highly, the new offering from Ahead received a perfect “10” and garners the Editors Choice Award at Trusted Reviews. Of course, the Recording Software Forum is available to discuss these two software package reviews.