Nero is a company that pretty much anyone using a computer has heard of. They have been around almost 17 years and during that time have established themselves as one of the premium media content creation companies for consumers. Nero’s CD burning software has become the defacto standard by which all other CD burning packages are judged. However with the coming of the Cloud and the sudden rise in the use of mobile devices the use of CDs and even DVDs to pass media around the family or even backup data has begun to decline.
The people at Nero have not been sitting around though, riding the wave of their success, they are looking to the future and want to stay on top. This forward vision has made them see the new direction that content sharing and creation is heading so they created Nero Kwik Media. Kwiki Media builds on the tolls Nero already does well and offers the ability to create CDs and DVDs, then goes a step farther. It introduces a full feature photo management program as well as features to make organizing your music and video libraries very easy and all under one interface. The people at Nero then go a step further and give you the tools to make it easy to transfer your media between various mobile devices and provide the transfer puts the media into the correct format for optimal use of the device viewing it.
As I began exploring Kwik Media I was drawn to the photo organization aspects of the program. I have a lot of photos to keep organized ranging from the various pictures I take of products we review, to family pictures and then of course I am responsible for helping the rest of the family organize their photos with stuff such as our wedding photos, our Alaskan cruise and my mother in laws genealogy work. Needless to say ANY software that will make my life easier in doing this is most welcome.
The open screen gives you some quick easy options for moving media between devices, making and copying optical disks and then an option for creating Photo Products. Okay I know I should have worked with the basics first but the Create Photo Products grabbed my attention and I just had to take a look.
The program has the ability to help you create greeting cards, calendars and even high quality photobooks. Now in fairness all of these are high quality products. These are not simple walk throughs that you send to your printer, these are professionally printed products that you get to design. Looking at my options I was drawn to the photobook. It was only two years ago that I got married to Lisa and so the though of dealing with all those pictures is still fresh in my mind.
The options you are presented with are for the cover, and yes this goes all the way to leather covers, and then the style, the background of the picture pages. Now this is not a taped in scrap book but rather a printed and bound table top photobook, the really nice ones married couples usually get. After you have picked your cover and style you pick what pictures you want in the book and then can manipulate them as you wish to create the book you want. Once you are finished this is sent off via the program and you will received a printed finished product.
Now none of these offerings are free, the photobook I put together had premium features throughout and cost $35, but for what you get that price is very reasonable. The photo cards and calendars are created in a very similar fashion and of course come with a cost but the quality of product you get is not something most of us could do in our homes.
I delved deeper into the photo options and found facial recognition was available. The idea is simple, you can tell the software who someone is in a picture and after you do this a few times the software will begin to match other photos to the face and thus let you quickly find people you want within the photo library you have created. This is really useful if you are like me and do not spend a lot of time creating a good catalog of your photos. With a couple of clicks I can find pictures that have my kids in them. This is even cooler when you realize that as the program gets more data the facial recognition becomes almost automatic. Now the recognition is not perfect and the program does need time to build up data but I was surprised at how accurate it was.
Of course Kwik Media also has the basic photo management functions we come to expect and does basic photo editing like red eye removal, cropping and even basic photo enhancements to color, brightness and so on.
However photos are not all it does, the program also, through the same interface, allows you to manage your music and audio files as well as your video files. You can also use your video, photos and music to create slide shows that you can quickly burn to a DVD or put on a number of social media sites for everyone to enjoy. It also has the ability to let you move your music, videos and pictures freely between various devices such as your smart phone, again all from within a single program interface.
Now in the end this is a pretty cool program but what if I told you that the basics of this program is FREE! You heard me right, Nero is giving away the basic functions of Kwik Media and embracing a pricing model that looks a like like the gaming F2P model, there are various add-ons you can buy at reasonable pricing, allowing you to have the features you need and not bother with the ones you don’t.
There are a lot of programs out there that do the various jobs this program does and even a little better but none of them do all that this does and not at this quality for the price point Nero has put into place for Kwik Media. This is a great program to simplify the media management for a typical home PC and not require a number of different programs or an understand of advanced programming functions. You can be a true geek or an utter noob and jump into Kwik Media and within a few minutes being enjoying the ability to do some really neat things with your media.
What takes this though way over the top is the support Nero is planning for Kwik Media. New features will be added on a fairly regular basis and I have already seen one update since we began testing. This is a none generational program, what this means is if you buy a feature for this program today, even newer versions tomorrow of the same feature are yours, you only buy features once for life.
You know Doug and I get a lot of chances to see a lot of uber high tech, ultra geek programs and hardware. However I can honestly say some of the things we have seen that have gotten us the most excited are products like this that are targeted at the every day user of any tech level and yet gives all levels features they will love. While the base program is free there are various al a carte additions that are really worth the cost. My advice would be to try out the free version and see if you like it, if you do, and I am pretty sure most of you will then drop the price of $9.99 and get Kwik Media Unlimited. This small price will get you ALL of the current add-ons with the exception of the Blu-Ray player at once.
If you are like most people I know you have some photos to organize and maybe some music as well. This is amazing program that makes things a little easier and comes at a price that is within anyone’s budget. A definite must buy for the family PC.
Interview with Martin Stein from Nero and Review of Nero Kwik Media as aired live 3 March 2012