This level of shepherding is also evident in the applications themselves. For example when converting a video from DivX or Avi formats, to a PSP or iPod, both Nero's Recode, and Roxio's Convert Video applications guide the user from placing the video file in the application, to writing the converted video to the device.
Both take different approaches though. To use Nero you need to know exactly what you are doing, and what format you want to output to the device.
The PSP will play a variety of formats, including MPEG4 and the newer AVC format. Nero gives you the choice between these two formats, but guides users towards the older MPEG4 format. The best format of course is the newer AVC, but while Nero does have that encoding option right there on the main dialog box, it doesn't suggest that it's the correct format.
Roxio on the other hand doesn't give a wide variety of choices, for each format, you just choose PSP, which defaults the AVC, or iPod from the format list, drop your video file into the window and click burn. Both applications enable you to crop the video, cut titles or dead air from the start and end of you video, choose your own thumbnail, and queue multiple files for re-encoding and transfer.
How they transfer to the device is also very telling. Roxio is mega automatic. It
encodes the entire file, and after you've initially set up your folders, it transfers it to the PSP, telling you when to connect and disconnect your PSP. Conversely, you can set Nero to write the data as it's processed but the caveat is that if your PSP runs out of power, or is unplugged during the encoding process you can just reconnect it when the files are transferred. Nero writes to the branded PSP format on the fly, which saves a good few minutes of transfer time later on, but runs the risk of interrupting the encoding process or corrupting the video.
Both applications will encode a video to a target size or quality, but Nero definitely has the edge here with a wider variety of sizing options, as well as custom selection. Roxio simplifies the sizing to CD, DVD and the like, but you can create to a user-defined size very easily also.