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Roxio Easy Media
Easy CD Creator was once the OEM product supplied with most CD burners.
Now primarily a retail-only product, can it maintain its market profile
against competition from Ahead and Pinnacle?
Adaptec was one
of the very first companies to provide a comprehensive suite of disc
burning tools - at a time when users were really only interested in
making music CDs and data discs. As the big fish in a very small pond,
Adaptec had its software bundled with almost every CD burner available
and was in full control of its own little niche. But things have changed
quite radically over the last few years. Adaptec has spun off its software
division as a standalone company called Roxio, and Roxio's Easy CD Creator
now faces intense competition from the likes of Ahead Nero and Pinnacle
Instant CD/DVD. There are further big changes in the disc-burning market
as a result of the fall in price of PCs and burners, the accessibility
of DV editing and DVD authoring tools, and new music-distribution methods
over the net. Computers are now being used for multimedia and entertainment
just as much as for boring office stuff, and recordable CD and DVD play
a central part in all of it.
Now that recordable DVD is with us, Roxio has dropped 'CD' from the
title of its software, calling it, instead, Easy Media Creator 7. As
we've come to expect, the software suite offers tools for data, music
and video. And, while Roxio was the first to cover all bases with one
product, its competitors are continuously raising the bar in terms of
standards - particularly Pinnacle with its Instant CD/DVD Windows offering,
and Apple's iLife suite on the Mac platform.
With version 7 of its suite, Roxio calls into play applications such
as VideoWave, Cinematic and PhotoSuite - programs acquired with the
purchase of MGI software. The suite's DVD Video authoring tool - DVD
Builder - has been developed further and, on the audio side, Roxio has
even become the new, respectable and costly incarnation of Napster.
As always, Roxio's burning suite provides good bangs for bucks.
Naturally, we're more than happy with its new strong bias towards digital
video. The inclusion of full versions of VideoWave 7 and PhotoSuite
7 are a definite bonus, and the suite is largely very intuitive and
hassle-free. Performance in burning to an NEC ND-2500A DVD burner was
faultless, and we were left feeling very positive about its stability
and reliability. Our biggest grumble concerns changes in the suite's
audio tools - particularly the removal of Audio Central, and Media Management's
inability to take over the role of Audio CD burning directly from playlists.
Media Manager is a big step in the right direction, but the idea will
remain half-baked until its Collections are recognised and supported
by all suite applications including Creator Classic and Drag-to-Disc.
As things stand, Creator 7 is an excellent product and great value,
but we're not sure how long it can keep the ever-growing competition
Read the full review
in July 2004's Computer Video magazine.
Reviewed in this issue:
Roxio Easy Media Creator 7
DigiRostrum DV Ken Morse Edition
Training for Adobe After Effects 6
Giant Magic Bullet Movie Looks
In July's news:
DVD Architect and Vegas go pro
Premiere Pro upgrades
Updated Adobe Video Collection
Apple authoring MkIII
Canopus Imaginate: Part II
Smarter After Effects
Bringing Dolby Digital 5.1 home
Sony shrinks DVD camcorders
Graphics cards get interesting - and faster, too
£999 Tiny Athlon 64 laptop