atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#121: This really gripes my wagger

I really used to like Nero Burning ROM. Version 5 was a really, really good program. It didn't suffer from any of the incredible stupidities of Adaptec's (now Roxio's) EZCD Creator.

Adaptec's product was just utter shit. The default install would install both EZ CD Creator and their DirectCD product, which allowed one to write data files to a CD as if it were a hard drive or floppy. Fine. DirectCD would auto-start when the computer was booted.

The problem was, with DirectCD running, EZ CD Creator would not create CDs. Burning would fail in one of several ways, wasting a blank CD and wasting your time. In fact, EZ CD Creator could not burn a CD if any other program was running even in the background.

If you're using a version of Windows with a taskbar, go have a look at the clock. See all those little icons next to the time? Those are programs running in the background. Nearly all of those would first have to be closed before you could burn a CD with EZ CD Creator. Some can only be closed by hitting CTRL-ALT-DEL and selecting it from the Close Program dialog.

Nero Burning ROM 5.5 seemed like a godsend. Not only did it reliably burn disks; I could be surfing the internet, chatting via AIM, converting an AIV to MPG, and burn a CD, all at the same time, and Nero would never skip a beat. (Well, unless the video convertor was at the end of a conversion run. It kind of hung for a bit when it was finishing, and that would kill Nero. But it took a couple hours to convert half an hour of video, so a little attention to detail was all that was needed to prevent that.)

Fast-forward to 2005, when I finally got a DVD+/-R-RW drive for my machine. It's a nice one, able to burn just about any kind of disk I want to. It doesn't do Lightscribe, but I don't really give a fat flying Filligree about Lightscribe, so that's okay.

First, the OEM version of Nero 6 that was included with the drive? Utter shit. It wouldn't let me burn disks. Slight oversight on the manufacturer's part, I suppose, including the driver files that would let Nero know how to operate the drive. I could make all the disk images I wanted, but I couldn't actually burn anything to a CD or DVD. Nero 5.x won't do DVDs, and there's no way to convince it to burn CDs on a combo drive like this one.

SO I got another version of Nero 6 and tried that. That worked. Good. NeroVision, the included DVD authoring program, was flaky and annoying, but it worked. Just "save early, save often"; that philosophy and a few reboots are all that are needed to use that program reliably.

But of late a new problem has cropped up, one which is almost infinitely more annoying, and there seems to be nothing I can do about it: it's clipping the first two or so tenths of a second from the sound files I try to burn to CD.

And I don't know why! It just started doing this for no apparent reason. There's no apparent setting in the software to adjust this, and all the Ahead FAQs, help files, and manuals don't even have troubleshooting sections, something which really drives me utterly insane with rage.

If I play them through good old Winamp, they play just fine, so I know it's not the files themselves that are the problem. So, by elimination, it must be an issue with Nero's MP3 decoder plugins. But why on earth would they just start doing something stupid like this? It doesn't make any sense at all.

So I guess I've just about had it up to my eyeballs with any Ahead product. They were pretty good for a while, but they've just tanked. Being able to write DVDs has done them in.

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