When good software goes bad

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Michael
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When good software goes bad

Post by Michael » September 13th, 2007, 11:34 am

As a software developer, it really irks me when a useful application slowly degrades with each version upgrade. The most recent victim of this that I've seen is Ahead Nero.

The latest version takes up -- get this -- *490* MB. That's *half a gigabyte*. Where the hell is that space going? That's the size of an operating system! And a beefy one at that! Sure, if I downloaded a game demo, I'd expect that much data. But for an application to burn CDs/DVDs?! Is there an easter egg that plays a 5.1 HDTV episode of Lost in there somewhere?

It also installs a "Nero search" widget on your task bar. If I wanted a fucking search program, I would have installed Google Desktop. Why can't they just make applications that do one thing really well?

For gods sake, it even manages to bloat its Start menu folder. It installs about 9 subfolders under the "Nero" folder, one for CD audio, one for CD/DVD data, one for copying CDs, etc. So now there's about 20 different ways to open the application. It gives you about 10 Nero Express, Nero Burning Rom, and Nero StartSmart shortcuts (including the ones under subfolders), and a bunch of other things that aren't very well titled. Why couldn't those options just be in a menu within the program? Is that too "INSIDE THE BOX" for you hipster developers at Ahead, with your iPhones and your ponytails?! Were you all hired from Nokia's design department?

They've gotten so obsessed with trying to streamline the "experience" for the end user with wizards, express modes, and shortcuts, that in the end there's simply too much choice, and it shoots itself in the foot. I mean I'm a pretty geeky guy, and even *I* felt intimidated when I opened up that Start menu folder for the first time.

So anyway, Ahead really crossed the line for me this time. It's a shame, because Nero used to be "the ultimate" solution for all my burning needs. But immediately after installing the latest version, I did an uninstall, and opted for the freeware CDBurnerXP Pro instead, which by the way weighs in at *11MB*.

Sure, it may not be as mature as Nero is, and it may not have a lot of the "clutter" features like CD label designing or quick searching, but at least it's got the right idea: One start menu icon to launch the program, and a full feature set.

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Post by unfnknblvbl » September 13th, 2007, 7:21 pm

Hear, hear! Nero's been going downhill for a long time. It was at its best at v4, I think.
Things like Recode, Cover Designer, and Nerovision are nice, and work well, but they don't justify the tenfold bloat, and untold clutter increase from v4.
I hate the "express" feature too. How fucking hard is it to just open up the full program and select your options from there?

FFS...

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Post by Adam » September 13th, 2007, 8:59 pm

They're still making Nero?

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Post by Michael » September 16th, 2007, 4:09 pm

The shit thing is I actually need CD text for my CDJs, and none of the freeware programs out there do a decent job of being able to burn data CD/DVDs AND audio CDs AND supporting CD text.

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Post by willy » April 30th, 2008, 5:27 pm

Adam wrote:They're still making Nero?
yep their upto number 8 now

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Post by Michael » May 1st, 2008, 10:38 am

Bet the install is 800MB too..

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Post by Ches » May 1st, 2008, 10:43 am

You can still get old versions of Nero! Google 'nero 5 download' and you'll find an easily crackable demo in about 5 seconds.

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Post by Michael » May 1st, 2008, 12:44 pm

... and this is what it's come to! How does software go so horribly wrong that people prefer older versions of it?

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Post by Shaneus » May 1st, 2008, 2:19 pm

www.oldversion.com is your friend. Seriously. I still run v2.something of Winamp just because it doesn't have any of the extra plugin (and AOL) crap of the newer ones.

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Post by Miles » May 1st, 2008, 9:24 pm

You kind of need the latest version of nero for some stuff. But yet, such a bloated piece of shit, like most later versions of software. Microsoft are (in general) the only people who go the other way - start shit and get good.

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Post by Ches » May 1st, 2008, 11:49 pm

You reckon? So far, Nero 5.5.something is serving me pretty well...

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Post by nadnerb » May 2nd, 2008, 4:29 am

Miles wrote: Microsoft are (in general) the only people who go the other way - start shit and get good.
Vista is good?

(oh, I now see the 'in general' part)

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Post by Miles » May 2nd, 2008, 8:59 am

Ches wrote:You reckon? So far, Nero 5.5.something is serving me pretty well...
I've needed latest Nero for certain burns and for later drives... like the old Nero would just hang or refuse to burn or there were various other problems.

nadnerb: genau. Microsoft are actually getting worse atm though, there are a lot of articles on Joel On Software about it, but they're really fucking up big time by changing their ethos and not focusing on backwards compatibility anymore.

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Post by Michael » May 2nd, 2008, 10:11 am

One of Vista's biggest fuckups in my opinion was their emphasis on DRM. They've essentially come up with an inferior product in that respect and expect people to switch over. I wonder if they were under pressure from other industries to include that... probably.

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Post by Ches » May 2nd, 2008, 10:25 am

Absolutely. You can just imagine the pressure that the music and movie industries brought to bear on MS to support their insane DRM schemes. What choice would MS have? Ignore them and risk having an OS that you can't play Bluray movies on? Not likely. Instead, we get an OS massively compromised by the need to support a secure digital path from disc to display.

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