Roxio Easy Media Creator 7 test and review

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Roxio Easy Media Creator 7

Roxio's 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 at bay.

Peter Wells

Read the full review in July 2004's Computer Video magazine.


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Roxio Easy Media Creator 7

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Total Training for Adobe After Effects 6

Red Giant Magic Bullet Movie Looks

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