Roxio WinOnCD 6 DVD Edition review and test

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Roxio WinOnCD 6 DVD Edition

Despite being kept in Easy CD Creator's shadow, WinOnCD continues to be developed, but is it being pushed in the right direction?

Before recordable DVD reached the mainstream computer market, our efforts to publish video to little shiny discs seemed restricted to MPEG-1 based VideoCD, and the rather problematic SVCD format. In those days, CeQuadrat's WinOnCD software outshone all other CD burning programs, providing great control over the design and structure of menu-driven VCD discs. CeQuadrat was also behind Video Pack 4 - adopted as a standard tool for professional VCD authoring. Those authoring tools were eventually incorporated into WinOnCD 3.8, all for the princely sum of £60.

CeQuadrat was then bought out by Adaptec's software division, which was later spun off as a separate entity - Roxio. Roxio already had a popular CD writing program, and for a while it looked like we were to see the last of WinOnCD on these shores, with later updates being released in German only. Also, after almost two years of promises, VideoPack itself was updated with a dreadful version 5 - arriving late to market and offering far too little to win over the prosumer or enthusiast at whom it was pitched. VideoPack now seems to have disappeared altogether, following some rather fierce competition from the likes of Ulead, Dazzle and Pinnacle. Development of WinOnCD has continued, however, largely due to its long-established popularity in Germany, and enthusiasts in the UK and US have made it clear that there's a market for the program in the English-speaking world.

WinOnCD used to be a first-rate professional alternative to Easy CD Creator, but now we're sad to say it has lost its edge. While its ability to span large files over several discs will be a bonus for many, and data encryption tools and autorun settings do help push it into a more professional arena than Easy CD Creator, its appeal to the desktop video market is rather limited due to competition from the likes of Pinnacle and Ulead. What's more, taking VideoPack 5 as the backbone of WinOnCD's DVD authoring application results in an unfriendly and irritating interface. And, despite WinOnCD having more advanced audio editing tools, Easy CD Creator's AudioCentral interface for managing MP3 files makes it a clear winner for standard audio CD burning. WinOnCD's most exciting features are almost certainly its Photo Album and Music Album tools, but DVD-based slideshows are already covered adequately by a competitor product - Ulead's DVD PictureShow.

At £60, WinOnCD is reasonable value for money, but it's nowhere near the do-it-all solution that other burning packages claim to be. We're sure that many power users will snap it up for the few distinctive features it provides, and set it to work alongside their usual disc burning program, but its Computer Video appeal is rather weak, and the majority of PC users can probably bypass it altogether.

Peter Wells

Read the full review in August 2003's Computer Video magazine.


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Roxio WinOnCD 6 DVD Edition
Pinnacle Hollywood FX Pro 4.6

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