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Cyberlink

Cyberlink v. Nero media authoring suites

Taste the difference

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Label designer

Both suites come with programs for designing disc labels and case inserts. Try not to get too excited. Cyberlink LabelPrint is annoying in that it insists on creating one item at a time: disc label, front cover, back of front cover and the disc inlay, so these can’t be designed in one shot.

Cyberlink

Cyberlink LabelPrint looks cute but is not very flexible or powerful
Click for a larger image

Labelprint looks nice but is not very powerful and the design templates are extremely dull. With the right disc burner, you can 'print' to LightScribe and Labelflash media separately from writing the data, which is handy.

Nero

Nero CoverDesigner includes templates for many different disc case sizes
Click for a larger image

Unlike Cyberlink's basic template selector, CoverDesigner is more of a graphics package in its own right, so you can design or customise your own artwork rather than accepting what you're given. You can design everything – disc label and inserts – in one project file, and if you have a LightScribe drive, you can send disc labels to LightScribe media separately from the data burn.

Backup

In the knowledge that most people find backup difficult to schedule, Nero offers an 'autobackup' feature in its BackItUp utility that users can just switch on and forget about. Generically similar to Apple's Time Machine, this feature makes one full backup at the start and then makes two-hourly incremental backups that you can just forget about while they take place quietly in the background.

Nero

Nero BackItUp is a surprisingly powerful little utility with its automated scheduler
Click for a larger image

If you prefer more hands-on control, BackItUp allows you to schedule regular backup jobs. A verification button checks that your backups are good, and you have the choice of restoring individual files or entire volumes, as required. For one-off backups (such as to a CD or DVD), the program switches over to Nero Express for basic disc burning functions.

Cyberlink

Cyberlink PowerBackup tries to keep the backup process straightforward
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Cyberlink's PowerBackup is another straightforward utility for backing up or restoring individual files, specified groups or entire volumes. It provides a verification feature that compares backed-up files with their originals, and you can adjust options such as compression level, filters (i.e. what not to back up) and password security. PowerBackup's best feature, though, are its big, friendly buttons and apparent lack of complexity.

Verdict

Cyberlink and Nero deserve credit for holding their multimedia suites together. When Corel tried packing more and more software into its Graphic Suites in the 1990s, they just came across as a bloated software junkyard. If you are only interested in one or two features, such as video editing or disc burning, read the individual reviews above to pick your favourite. However, if you want it all and prefer a friendly interface, my vote goes to Cyberlink Media Suite. It looks and feels and responds so much more consistently than Nero Multimedia Suite, and this ultimately makes it easier to use. ®

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Application security programs and practises

85%
Cyberlink

Cyberlink v. Nero media authoring suites

Well-designed software collection for the home user
Price: £85 RRP
80%
Nero

Cyberlink v. Nero media authoring suites

High-value package with enough nous to please the techies
Price: £70 RRP

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