Monday, January 02, 2006


The Strangeness of PC Magazine Reviews

I was looking to read some information about Nero 7's MPEG-4 support and found PC Magazine's review of it. I find two strange items about this review.

They give Nero 7 an overall 4 out of 5 star rating. They also give CD Creator 4 out of 5 stars. Scroll down the reviews till you see the sub-category ratings. I assume the sum of these ratings contribute to the overall rating.

When you compare PC Magazine's Nero and CD Creator ratings breakdown, they give CD Creator the edge. Yet, both packages score the same overall score. Huh? Nero scored lower, sometimes a full point lower, than CD Creator in a number of categories. How could they be rated the same? PC Magazine, please explain.

They also say Nero's MPEG-4 video implementation is proprietary. I am not sure what they are referring to. From what I've read, Nero can produce standards compliant MPEG-4 video.

I came upon this while doing work to compare the latest DivX and Nero 7 Ultra. Dr. DivX is now open source, but the encoder it uses is not. DivX's latest web site makes things confusing. From what I can tell, you still have to buy the DivX CODEC to encode video. DivX Pro comes with a six month trial. That is a long trial, but I believe it is to provide the CODEC virtually free because the trial renews upon a new release. As long as a new release comes at least every six months, you're covered.

DivX has been bragging about their 6.1 CODEC and its speed, but I don't see it. Its fast, but not as fast as Nero 7. DivX 6.1 does take advantage of dual cores, but not to their full potential. Nero 7 does. Nero 7 is faster. I give no opinion on which has better quality at this point. At this point, I am leaning towards Nero 7 for DVD library archiving as it is easier to work with and is fast.

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