Nero: Snatching Fail from the Jaws of Awesome

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.  And all that.

A long time ago when I first started to explore recording data, songs and music onto CD-Rs, I began with what was then ironically called Easy CD Creator, mostly because some crippled version came pre-installed on my computers.  I thought of it more as Easy Coaster Creator, but with enough effort I could burn a CD or two when adequately motivated.  For a few years I soldiered on, making a good supply of both coasters and CDs.

But as Easy CD Creator (d)evolved, it started to feel bloated.  And it seemed to want to take over my computer.  Before long I was just a spectator, watching as Easy CD Creator and RealAudio Player fought a turf war over my desktop.  I soon decided that I’d rather never hear another sound than to use RealAudio Player, and uninstalled it and all of its tentacles from my computer.

Not long after, I went looking for a “less is more” alternative for burning CDs.

I settled on Nero Burning ROM.  It seemed to be the favorite of the hardcore tech crowd.  It was relatively lean, and it had a semi-witty name.  And, best of all, it wasn’t Easy CD Creator.  Things went swimmingly for years.  Until Nero started to get fat.

Sure, the emergence of recordable DVDs required a some additional applications.  But when Nero starting growing it couldn’t stop.  Before long it seemed as massive as Easy CD Creator had been.  All I wanted was to burn some disks.  I didn’t want or need all that extra junk.

So I I went looking for a new “less is more” alternative for burning disks.  I found and installed CDBurnerXP, which badly needs a name change, but works well.  Still, I kept Nero installed and often found myself using it, mostly because of familiarity.

But Nero kept growing.  And that wasn’t all.  Somewhere along the way Nero decided to commit a couple of unpardonable software sins.

First, Nero began attempting to install other software during the installation process, and to change your default search engine.

If I wanted some stupid toolbar, I’d go get it.  Taking money (I assume) from some other desperate company in exchange for trying to slide their desktop clutter by customers is wrong on many levels.  Sure, you can say no during the install process, but it’s still wrong.

Second, Nero ignored my repeated requests for technical support after Kaspersky Antivirus kept telling me there was a P2P worm in the install package for Nero 9, the newest version of Nero, which I paid for (on 1/18/09).

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So Nero 9 never made it onto my computer, and I guess Nero can keep my fifty bills.  But Nero won’t sell me any more product and people will get the pleasure of reading about my disappointment here.  Voting with your fingers and whatnot.

I suppose Nero heard at least some of the hue and cry, as it recently released a basic, stripped down, free version of its disk burning application.  That’s a good start, but it it looks like the installer still tries to slip a toolbar by you, and to change your search provider.  Not OK.  Nobody wants.

Nobody wants.

All in all, it took a while to do it, but Nero found a way to snatch fail from the jaws of awesome.