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Everyone likes an evening of good music, or a late night movie. The same can be said, when we go through our collections of photos, digital ones, of course.
But there is one small problem which affects most users. The sheer number of the media files which we have. It is very difficult to browse though the collection, if you have lots and lots of files. You cannot rely on Windows File Explorer in this case.
And arranging media files in folders is an incredibly tedious task, one which could even be impossible to accomplish. This is further complicated by the fact, that we tend to store our media files on external devices aka portable hard drives, USB Memory Sticks.
So what exactly is the solution for this problem? There is literally only one answer of course, to use a Media Library software. And our recommendation is to use the excellent Nero MediaHome. This is the application which was formerly called as Nero KwikMedia, only now it has more features.
The interface of Nero MediaHome is well designed, and user friendly. So you can tell what is where simply by glancing at the screen. The left sidebar of the program is the one you use to navigate through the application. It comprises of four sections. The first section is called “Devices”, and as the name implies list the storage devices which are connected to the computer. This includes USB Memory Sticks, smartphones and external hard disks.
Double clicking on one of the devices, will begin a scan of the drives. This is where the application excels, for it has been designed to function as a media library. Let’s see how it does this.
Nero MediaHome analyzes a hard drive, and detects media files in various formats. It then indexes them neatly into three categories called as Photos, Videos, and Music. This task is independent for each drive. That is select the drive in the left sidebar, and you can see only the media files available on that particular device alone. This saves us both time and energy, which would have otherwise been needed for navigating through all of the devices’ contents at once.
You can analyze your PC’s built-in hard drive and the media files will be listed in MediaHome. This will allow you to use the Timeline sorting option, the The Faces tab (face recognition and tagging for your albums pictures), places tab, and a Find option which lets you search for tags. You can use the toolbar on the bottom to create new albums/slideshows, edit the photos, and share the photo via email and social networks. You can add various effects, crop the picture, create photobooks.
Once the media has been scanned, a thumbnail preview of each file is generated. This preview is displayed, in the right pane of Nero MediaHome. We will look at this in a more detailed manner later in this review.
The sidebar allows you to quickly switch between Photos & Videos, and Music. Both of these have an option to display bookmarked files as Marked, starred files as Rated, newly added files as Recently Added, and edited ones as Recently Modified.
A third option called, Slideshows is an interesting one, for Nero MediaHome allows you to actually create slides of photos from your media library without the need for an external application. You can add pictures to a slideshow, using the Nero MediaBrowser application.
The final option in the sidebar is Online Storage, which allows you to access your Nero BackItUp account’s contents, i.e., the media files stored in it, to be used in MediaHome.
Now let’s see what the main section of MediaHome, is capable of. Any drive’s content that you select in the sidebar, is displayed here. You can find a preview of the media here, and if you select a file in this window, you can find the file information in the far right edge. You can alter (zoom in or zoom out) the size of the thumbnail preview, by dragging the slider in the right corner of the main screen.
To play a video or an audio, simply double click on the file and it will be played within the app’s buil-in media player. Alternatively, you may right-click on a file and select the play option.
You can use this part of the application, to switch between the Photos & Videos, and Music tabs. The third tab, called Info, displays information about the portable devices connected to the computer. You can also add them to your media library permanently, from this tab.
The Music tab allows you to play all your audio, and also allows you to rip audio cds, and you can even use the application as a Media Server. The market option lets you buy Nero Platinum or Nero MediaHome Unlimited which has all of its plugins and apps, including options for streaming content and burning discs.
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