Both Nero and Creator come with a mind-boggling variety of features, to fulfil your every need and both packages overlap on most features. They rip video from disc, burn new discs, create menus, sleeves and other media, and even support trendy but little used formats like LightScribe.
Along with a full complement of standard functions, both specialise in different areas. Nero, for example introduces Nero Home, a Media Centre application, which enables you to stream your digital content to computers and next generation consoles.
All of Roxio's functions are well described in their respective sections.
Roxio lets you create a wide variety of media other than just audio and video, such as creating ring tones, and lets you patch together panoramic photos. Nero and Roxio will also both take video from a capture device, like a videocamera, and process them for web, DVD, CD and any of a myriad of supported formats. Only Nero is capable of processing AVCHD from your video camera to a final format like HD-DVD, as for some reason Roxio has pulled much of its high definition support.
Easy Media Creator 10 can't play HD-DVD or Blu-ray movies and it cannot author disks in these formats either. Nero on the other hand will, and also has support for limited menu creation for Blu-ray through Nero Vision 5, although it doesn't create fully fledged Blu-ray menu systems. Instead it creates Blu-ray using BD-AV, a format with simplified menus.
Vision 5 also supports upload to three online video services: YouTube, MySpace and Neros own My Nero. It's not alone in this, though, because Roxio also supports automated upload to a YouTube Account.
There are further improvements and additions to both suites. Nero adds Rescue Agent, which promises to recover damaged and half written disks. Although still in its infancy Rescue Agent does help to read disks, which wouldn't otherwise play in your PC. It isn't perfect yet, though, but Nero is well known for providing free updates until the next version of the suite is released.
Roxio on the other hand has spent time improving its audio compatability, and now includes support for a greater variety of formats, including Dolby Digital and headphone surround outputs.
Both Nero and Roxio have also added some Vista Sidebar gadgets to speed up common tasks. Roxio provides a quick conversion gadget, which accepts dragged and dropped files, and converts them to a pre-specified target, as well as an audio recorder that can be used to tape online radio and the like to MP3 or other audio formats.
Nero's gadget speeds up the process of disk copying, and a quick double click will set Nero working at copying a disk, without having to open up the main application or even select any options.