Appfail: Nero 9 Free - of good reasons to install it, that is
While I agree with that statement on the Nero 9 Free Edition download page, I'm not going to recommend any of you rush over to download it. Why not? I've got eight reasons.
1. They're asking for your email before giving out the download link.
Not a huge deal, I know, but it's still annoying. I'd recommend using something other than your primary email address on the download page or something like OtherInbox. In addition to the setup file, "you will also begin receiving Nero News with the latest tips, special offers and technology info from Nero."
2. The installer bundles the Ask.com toolbar
Again, not a massive problem - you can always opt out by unchecking the boxes during setup. Regardless, bundled toolbars are always an irritation during installation.
3. Upon completion, the installer asks you to send anonymous data
It's opt-in, but it's the third piece of the "why do they give it away for nothing" puzzle. A new address for their mailing list, possible referral bucks from Ask, and maybe some anonymous usage info from you.
4. The first launch begs for your contact information again
After a ridiculously lengthy install for a burning app, I fired up Nero only to be poked in the eye with "please fill out the blah blah blah." What's that you say? Yes, of course the "please send me your fail promotions and crap newsletter" box was checked.
Further BS: the red X to close does nothing, all you can click is "remind me later." What happened to "never register" or "no, thanks?"
Third launch: yep, still there. Fourth: back again. Fifth: you betcha. Sixth? Come on, Nero. Remind me later doesn't mean "nag me into submission."
5. You can only burn data discs
No, I'm not kidding. The piles of Nero Essentials OEM that I receive with every DVD burner we order wholesale can do audio, but this free version can't? I'd wager 99% of my customers would rather be able to burn audio than data, yet Nero Free chucked it out the window.
6. Smart Start is little more than a giant ad for the paid version
Since you can only burn data discs or make copies, what's the point of leaving all the other tabs (Rip and Burn, Create and Edit, Home Entertainment, etc.) in the interface? Why, to constantly remind the rubes that installed this turkey that it's a piss-poor burning application and they'll have to pay if they want any real functionality.
7. The uninstaller is predictably sloppy
Files were left behind in my AppData\Roaming folder, the Nero folder in Common Files was not removed, and several registry entries were missed. At least have the decency to clean up after yourself, Nero.
8. 55Mb download / 130Mb installed is way too bloated
ImgBurn: 2.1Mb. CDBurnerXP: 3Mb. InfraRecorder: 3.2Mb.
Some people you know may want to stick with Nero because they recognize the name. If that's the case, it's time for you to set them straight. There are plenty of better free alternatives. They're smaller, less annoying, and have loads more features.
You know, like the ability to burn a freaking audio CD.
I can't believe there was a time when I recommended Nero to people. My advice: avoid Nero 9 Free like the plague.