Roxio’s Easy CD & DVD Creator 6 was a disappointing package. Under its umbrella it gathered together some quite useful applications, but failed to really integrate them, and slapped an unappealing price tag on it all. Fortunately, the now-monikered Easy Media Creator 7 is a much tighter proposition, albeit with that price tag issue still hanging around in the background.
Bound together by a smart and logical quick-access menu, the suite brings in applications to help you burn and copy discs, download and stream music, create backups, deal with your digital images, capture and edit video and make DVDs. On top of that, there’s a media manager, label creator, audio editor, playback tools and a well-stocked help tool to see you through it all.
Accessing any of these features is a breeze thanks to that aforementioned menu. It breaks things down into tasks you can do, the individual applications themselves and recent projects that you have worked on, and a click on your option of choice then loads the application you require.
Each component program now has a common look and feel, and while they don’t always interact quite as much as we’d like – for example, you can instantly access label-making tools from the CD creating side, but not the basic audio editing tools when adding and removing files from your compilation – the whole package feels that bit easier to use and find your way around.
The CD and DVD disc creator segment in particular is comprehensive, guiding novices through with minimal choices, all backed up by far greater options for the more experienced. New this time round are more preview and security functions, which are welcome additions.
The Photosuite application has been nicely tuned as well, with its new storyboard feature allowing you to put together a slideshow of your media, be it audio, video or digital images. You can then throw in some narration, for instance, or the odd special effect. Furthermore, it easily guides you through the steps you need to take to improve and tune your digital images.
Videowave, while still some distance behind the quality of Pinnacle’s Studio 9, is a perfectly good video editing package that again is quite straightforward to use. It’s all rounded off with a handy DVD builder that lets you put together decent discs replete with menus.
There’s so much packed into Creator 7 this time round that even with a £70 asking price, it’s hard to feel short-changed. However, there is a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none argument here. In every area that Creator 7 covers, there is a better, standalone package on the market.
So, if you’re looking for something that can handle three or four of the tricks that Creator can perform, then Roxio deserves your money. But if you’re simply after an individual disc burning app, or something with which to edit your videos, then you can save money and get a slightly better product by individually choosing the elements you need.
Nonetheless, this is a marked improvement from Roxio, and despite that £69.99 asking price, it’s hard not to commend Creator 7. Its unified look and feel, along with the wealth of useful options and features, make it a worthy buy.
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