Upgrading Nero To Burn Slideshow DVDs
Kay writes, "My new DVD/CD burner came with Nero Express 6 and so far works really fast and no problems encountered in burning CD's.
In the past I have used Windows Movie Maker to burn photos to a CD which will only play on a computer with Windows Media. There is a third party download which costs $20 to permit burning to a DVD with Windows Movie Maker.
I want to burn photo stories to DVD and have options in placing the photos and adding music. I want the DVD to play on TV sets. So my dilemma is which route to take.
1. Should I upgrade my Nero Express 6 to the Nero 6 Ultra Editon?
2. Do I buy the third party program and continue to use Windows Movie Maker?
3. I noticed there is a new Nero PhotoShow Elite program on the website. But I have read no reviews on it yet.
I have some photo stories on CD's and wonder if it is possible simply to burn them to a DVD, but doubt they would pay on a standalone DVD player. Any ideas?
I don't know what other good (inexpensive) programs are worth the money and time to learn. Any suggestions or links to reviews would be appreciated."
DVD burning is one of the key components missing from Windows Movie Maker. It's a great tool for quickly creating home movies and slideshows, but a lack of DVD burning is certainly an Achilles' heel. There currently is no add-in for Windows Movie Maker to support DVD burning, although you could use the free Photo Story 3 to create your slideshows and add the $20 burning add-in for that application. Nero Ultra Edition does include Nero PhotoShow Express, which doesn't do exactly what you're looking for, making other application alternatives more viable.
Since you already have Nero Express 6 on your system, upgrading to Nero 6 Ultra Edition may be the path of least resistance. The upgrade is reasonably priced. Nero 6 Ultra includes Nero VisionExpress, which is the DVD authoring portion of the application suite. Using VisionExpress allows you to continue creating slideshows in Windows Movie Maker. When you finish editing your movie slideshow, save it as a high quality video file. Open Nero VisionExpress, create a DVD-Video project and add your movie file to the project. The resulting DVD should play in most consumer DVD players.
Nero 6 Ultra also includes Nero PhotoShow Express, which is a slimmed down version of PhotoShow Elite, lacking the ability to burn DVD versions of your PhotoShows. For this reason, I'd steer clear of PhotoShow Express and focus your efforts on creating slideshows in Windows Movie Maker. The online product comparison of PhotoShow Express and Elite claims to support DVD burning, but as far as I can tell, this amounts to ordering a burned DVD from an online service. PhotoShow Elite does offer more features than Express, but you'll be happier with the results of creating slideshows in Windows Movie Maker or Photo Story 3.
If you want a standalone application for creating slideshows, Consider Ulead CD&DVD PictureShow as a viable alternative. It supports many of the same features bundled in Windows Movie Maker and Photo Story, with the added ability to burn a DVD directly within the application. PictureShow also recently added support for creating slideshows with up to 1000 images, meaning you can have 1000 individual slide screens, which was previously only available in Sonic MyDVD. The advantage of something like the 1000 image feature over creating a movie is maintaining control over manual advance between images.
Bottom line: If you want to keep doing what you are doing now, but add the ability to burn a DVD-Video, upgrading your Nero application to Ultra will do the trick. I would recommend against replacing your current workflow with Nero PhotoShow Elite because it lacks the key feature you want for improving your slideshows. If you select an entirely different application, choose either Ulead CD&DVD PictureShow or invest in the Sonic MyDVD suite to take advantage of 1000 image slideshow capabilities.