Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Review: Nero Kwik Media #NeroKwikMedia

I recently had the opportunity to review Nero Kwik Media Library software and make a photo book.  Nero Media Kwik Media Library is a FREE software program that allows you to organize, edit and share photos, music and videos. 

Anyone who knows me, knows I love to take pictures.  I take tons of photos of my kids, bugs, fungi, birds, rocks, you name it.  I have recently volunteered to be the photographer for the home school coop we belong to, so now I am taking even more photos.  So, I was excited to experience this new program.

This program takes about a gig of hard drive space.  This was not a problem for me at all.  I downloaded the program with no problems and then it began searching.  It pulled every single photo from my computer, including some that I thought were long missing.  It also grabbed all my music files.
Then I was off to explore all the things Nero had to offer.  You can create slideshows that can be uploaded to your free Nero account, YouTube, Flickr or Facebook.  It can also easily be burned to a DVD.  I did have problems if I wanted to upload a slideshow with numerous photos, however. 

I did mention that all my music files grabbed by this program.  This comes in handy when making a slide show because you have the choice to use their music or select your own.  I love that I can personalize a slide show with the music I want and be able to do it so easily. 

Then, I made a photo book.  The thing I liked best about my photo making experience is that I did it all from my computer, not online, so I didn’t have to wait for photos to upload to use them in the book.  Every photo I ever took was available at my fingertips to put in my album.

Creating the photo book itself was slightly more complicated than some online companies I have used, but there is definitely a trade off in that had much more freedom in creating the layouts on each page.  My biggest complaint about making the photo book was that when selecting your photos, I had to scroll through all my photos to find the ones I want.  Nero files your photos by the year taken.  It seems that I should easily be able to select the folder they were in (i.e. month and year taken), not have to scroll through 7 years of photos to find what I want.  Also, after choosing the photos to put in the book, they are all lined up at the bottom of the page and are pretty small and foggy, so if I had similar photos, it was hard to tell what one I wanted without actually putting them in the book to view them larger.

Nero doesn’t offer as many themes as other photo books I have used in the past, however, their themes are much more tasteful.  I suspect they will be adding new themes in the future.  The templates are mainly for horizontal photos, which I don’t like.  However, I found if you drag your photos to the workspace (love this concept), and then place them in the book, vertical photos will stay vertical on the photo book page.  They had nice crop tools that you can use directly on the page.  I loved that they have an undo button and that you can also easily add clipart to your album, making it look like a scrapbook, complete with ribbon trimmed pages if you want.  I really like that aspect of the program.

There were a couple things I did not like.  In other photo books, you can easily switch pictures by clicking and dragging on one to the other one.  In this program, you are unable to do this.  You must manually remove both photos to the workspace, then place back in the book.  I also did not like that you could not just delete a page.  I had a lot of photos and wasn’t sure which ones I wanted in the book.  After making the book, I decided I didn’t want a page but wanted another page at the end instead.  I had to manually move every photo back a page.  That stinks.  Maybe they will change that after reading this review. 

I was very pleased with the actual physical photo book.   The leather cover is a firm leather and in a beautiful, rich mahogany.  You could choose from four leather covers or covers in linen or just a soft or hard cover.  The quality of the pages is what I would say is typical of photo books and the photos were clear.

I did have a few glitches and the program initially ran slow (which I suspect could be from the gross number of photos I have).  A couple times it had to grab updates, but that is to be expected from a new program.  The updates were quickly installed without rebooting, so I was pleased about that.  Other times, it just stopped working and rebooted.  I also had trouble uploading large slideshows, but smaller ones worked fine.  The biggest problem I ran into was when I went to look at the photo book in the program again.  I clicked the options button and the program stopped working and rebooted.  When I went back to the photo book, my layout that I created was still there, but all the photos were missing from it.

There are a few other things I think could be tweaked, but overall, I see real value in this program.  It is nice to have one program store all your media in one place, too.  In summary, the program is a bit more complicated to use than other photo book programs, but it allows you to be much more creative and do much more with your photo books.   Even with the frustrations of technical errors and the difficulty in selecting the photos I wanted to use in the book, the ability to do so much with creating the book will have me coming back to make future books.  I have given them a lot of feedback about the problems I experienced and I am sure they are working on correcting them.

Disclosure: This post is part of a SocialMoms product evaluation, for which I’ve been selected. One free photo book was made available to me for review purposes. I’ve been compensated for my time with a $100 PayPal payment. The opinions expressed in this post are mine and don’t necessarily reflect the opinions of SocialMoms or Nero.


Michelle said...

I had some of the same kind of issues as you did. I think that they will definitely be ironing out those issues. Glad to know it wasn't just me, though! I'll definitely be making more books throught the site.

Paul said...

Hi Ann,

Your feedback has been very helpful and we're definitely taking it into account as we continue to improve Nero Kwik Media and our photo products service. Thanks so much for your thoughtful review and all your comments. I'm glad you enjoyed your photo book!

-Paul from Nero

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