Welcome to another edition of "Beating a Dead Horse", this night the program will revolve around one of the audience past favourite programs... gone wrong (and you know how people love to see heroes in the mud), the ever present Nero Burning ROM (or whatever it's called now)
OK, everybody knows what immensely bloated suite Nero has become since version 6, and how people still use it in a great percentage due to inertia (just like they use Real Player, Adobe Acrobat or iTunes), and that free license you get with every DVD writer that is available in the market. OK, despite that, Nero, as a burner, is still a very decent program, and as such, some of its shortcomings can be ignored. Like the fact that, even if you can disable the installation of most of the shovelware that brings along, the program insists on installing Nero Scout (barf!), or all those video decoders, WITHOUT asking. At least you can disable them, and they don't take over the computer, unlike some other video players.
What it can't be forgiven is how shitty is to update *something* in this trainwreck of a suite. Not only Nero did combine ALL the languages available in a single installation package, ending up with a > 300 MB file, but they also decide to release the help files in a separate RAR archive to reduce the size of the distribution. And imagine my reaction when I see that decompressing them in the default locations does absolutely nothing, and calling for help in most applications of the suite brings up the default help file, telling me to download the help package. Exactly that one: "Wow, what a mess"
You may argue that Nero provides its own update system, and this is the final thing that drove me nuts, and made me forget about Nero until they fix their ways. First, you have to check to updates, and once you know there are updates available, the program checks again! WTF? All of this with a big banner of Nero 8 in front of your face. So, you start updating, for what it needs to configure the Windows' Firewall, because it blocked the connection (what? the firewall did not say anything, and I already added the program to the exception list), download files for God-knows-what-engine, and then you start the update, which usually weights between 40 and 80 MB (if you update often that is).
But wait! In the last two updates, Nero prompted me to uninstall the previous version, which is typical as you may know. So, I accepted the dialog, waited for the program to do its job, and rebooted the computer. The update continued afterwards. And this is when everything breaks. I was doing some other things meanwhile the setup ended downloading the files, and installing everything, but the installation phase was taking too long, like 10 minutes, and there was no sign of activity anywhere. I launched Process Monitor, and confirmed my suspicions, nothing was going on. This is the second time that it happens, and the last as well. Bye, bye, Nero, I tried to give you an opportunity, but you really wanted to be kicked out of the door.
It's a shame, really, there are very capable people working in Nero, like the guys in charge of the Nero AAC encoder, or Erik Deppe, the sole programmer of Nero DiscSpeed, the burner is still quite good IMO, and some of the best tools of the suite are being available for free, but the program crumbles under its own weight, the rest of the applications are poor excuses and suck hard compared with the competition. It does not help that programs like CDBurnerXP or ImgBurn are far more capable that Burning ROM, with tons of options for power users, much less footprint, and free. I suppose Nero would continue its own path, until it comes to a RealPlayer situation, and tries to reverse it by doing too little and too late.
Tune in next month to see if it's possible to find a less obnoxious alternative to Adobe Reader, OpenOffice and QuickTime (it there's no broadcast, that means they're not obnoxious enough)