Sonic sucks sucks sucks susks sucks sucks

Tea

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A while back I put a DVD burner in my home machine. It was the last of the single layer units just before double layer became affordable. It came bundled with the Sonic recording software. Seeing as I didn't plan to use it much, that was OK.

OK, Sonic sucks seriously from the point of view that it takes 18 billion years to install, but WTF, it only has to be done once, I figured. (I remember, back when lots of DVD burners used to come with Sonic, getting peple come into the shop wanting a burner fitted to their machine 20 minutes before closing time. "No worries", we would say out of habit, "just take a seat and we will do it right away". With Nero or anything else, you'd have them on their way at 5 to 5. (Sorry, for our language-challenged friends across the pond I'd better translate: that's a twelfth of five.) (For the New Zealanders, that's big hand pointing to the nine, little hand pointing to the five.)

But with Sonic, on an Athlon XP you'd be there till 10 past 5. And on some crappy old Hewlett-Packard Celeron or anything else slow, you'd finally push them out the door at something like 5:30. Sucksville!

But it didn't matter. The machine I wanted to install the burner in was an XP 2500 with all the goodies, and there was no particular hurry. It didn't matter that Sonic had some weirdo (i.e., non-Nero) user interface either: all I wanted to do was burn the occassional data disc full of JPGs for archival storage. No hu-hu. Even Sonic should be good enough for that.

Well, recently I needed to burn a heap more of them (out of space on the laptop again). And this reminded me of just how bad Sonic really is.

First, for some utterly incomprehensible reason, it goes through this great long first-time run install routine (yes, you have already installed it, and it already took ages, but now, when you run it, it fires up the Windows Installer and goes through another load of crap before it starts. Takes maybe 30 seconds, and that's on a fast machine.

Second, it turns out that this ain't actually a first time install thing. It [/i]needs to do it every single time![/i] Phenomenal! What an incredible pile-of-crap program! (It might be longer than 30 seconds, but I'm trying to be conservative. Tannin, you see, has gone a bit silly of late - secoond childhood I think - and I'm feeling the responsibility of trying to be the sensible one in the family now.)

Third, it puts an incredible pile of crap into temporary files. Like I mean huge temp files (and I'm not talking about buffers or anything, I'm just talking about the installation crap). And it doesn't clean up after itself. So, some months back when I was having an organise, I deleted the barstards. Made a heap of extra space on my C drive (which being an 18GB X15, isn't all that roomy).

Fourth, it actually uses all those temp files! Stupid program. Believe it or not, the next time I wanted to burn a DVD (which was maybe two months later) it went through its usual brain-dead Windows Installer routine and complained bitterly about not being able to find the installation files in c:\docs and settings\whatever user\temp\sonic\124 ~239-0151 (or somewhere like that)! Even stupider, if you just hit "cancel" about ten times, it eventually fires up and works as per usual - except that it says something like "unable to run Sonic Crapsville, you need to reinstall" first and when you click OK it works!

Fifth, when you eventually do get to the program itself, there are actually about three or four programs. I have no idea why, or what stupid things they are designed to do: hey, I want to burn a DVD, right? Why can't I have one program that does it? Stupid pricks.

Sixth, and possibly last, the interface itself is flashy, messy, and very, very sluggish. (God only knows what it's like on a Compaq Celeron 666 with 128MB of RAM - it's bad enough on a real computer.) Burning takes ages. (I always thought that was just DVD burners, or possibly the old Lite-On SOHW-812S, but as I discovered just now, it probably isn't.)

But there is good news. To my complete astonishment, the uninstall routine is fast, simple, and effective! It is (thank God) the only part of the entire program that works well. Really well, you don't even need to reboot.

Just now I spat the dummy (as I'd just needed to do some burning for the first time in a few months) and slipped over to the office and grabbed an LG burner (whatever the current model is) with Nero.

Oh bliss!

Nero is so much nicer to use that I can't believe the difference. And it burns a heap faster. OK, this is a 16X burner and the old one was only an 8X, but I'm using 4X discs, and it burns at 4X and the LG with Nero is nearly twice as fast as the Lite-On with Sonic!

Anyway, I guess everybody knows that Sonic is a complete pile of stinky crap, but I just thought I'd remind you all.
 

Mercutio

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Yes. Sonic is a steaming pile.
Of course, you never tried its DVD authoring function, either, which may very well violate some UN charter on Human Rights.

On the other hand, Sony and HP have semi-proprietary programs that might put Sonic to shame.
 

cquinn

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At one point there were two different Sonic programs.

Sonic RecordNow Deluxe (the in-house version) and
Sonic RecordNow Max (formerly Stomp software).

RecordNow Max was actually a fairly good competitor to
Adaptec/Roxio EZ-CD back in the days when Nero was
just a blip on the radar.

RecordNow Deluxe was the "package the technology and
market it to the unwashed masses" tool that met the
minimum requirements of "CD Burning software" needed
to bundle it with the cheaper drives.

And you forgot? Seven, RecordNow Dlx loads an unnecessary
update program that looks like it came from a completely different
app, and whose sole purpose is not to remind you of updates, but
to periodically try to upsell you into the next version of the program.
 

Tea

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cquinn said:
Seven, RecordNow Dlx loads an unnecessary
update program that looks like it came from a completely different
app, and whose sole purpose is not to remind you of updates, but
to periodically try to upsell you into the next version of the program.

Missed out on that one, CQ, but only because I figured anything with that crappy an install outine would be a dead set cert to load my startup with junk, so I ran MSCONFIG immediately after installing it. But yeah, it should have been there as #7.

By the way, if anyone here is into minimalist CD/DVD burning software, I really really like a little thing called Drag 'n Drop CD + DVD. I didn't bother instaling it on this machine because I hardly ever burn stuff wuith this one - I figured Sonic would do for such light-duty use - but I do put it on machines where I use the burners more than sometimes.

You have to pay for D&D CD & DVD, but at US$19 it's hardly going to break the bank, and the interface is damn-near perfect for someone (like me) who never ever needs to do anything fancy, just likes to drop a bunch of files on the burner icon and click "start recording". Or, sometimes, copy an entire disc.

To me, the sheer convenience of just dropping the files I want to burn on an icon without having to (e.g.) open Nero and navigate through a million subfolders over the network to get back to the same place I'm already at is worth US$19 for sure.

I first met D&D as the freebie you get with Toshiba laptops, got to like it. When my Thinkpad came with Sonic pre-installed (yuk!) I bought a second copy, and then added a third copy for our most-used burning machine at the office.

You only get 3 reinstalls before your code number runs out and you have to buy another copy, but at less than twenty bucks a pop, who cares?
 

Tea

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Now that you mention it, I remember seeing something by Sonic (it mut have been RecordNow Max) on one or two of the lesser-known CD burner brands a few years back - BTC was one of them. As you say, it seemed to work perfectly OK. A bit clunky, but - hey - when some of the others still shipped with Easy CD Cremator, who was complaining? The Nero interface back in those days sucked pretty bad too, so Sonic was really no worse than any other.

The current version .... total crudsville.
 

Pradeep

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Veritas (Stomp) RecordNow DX came with my old Sony 500A DVD burner. Works great on any modern DVD burner as well (haven't tried dual layer yet). Just does the simple stuff. Audio/data CD or DVD.

That turdburger Sonic comes on our Dell Precision workstations. Horrible interface. And that update manager is a friggin pain in the arse.
 

time

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Sonic sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks.
Indeed it does does does does does does.

Even their packet writing software, DLA, sucks. Needing to schedule backups to DVD, I thought it might be a reasonable alternative to Ahead's problematic InCD. In fact, it won't work with either services or scheduled tasks. :x

I was explaining to a user that the first time they used a DVD+RW disc, they needed to right click on the drive icon and select Format. Then I installed the latest InCD. It formats on demand, so my tutorial was wasted ... :(
 
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