Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Roxio Easy Media Creator 9.0
- Good user interface.
- RAW image support not included, photo editing functionality is limited.
With more versatility than a Swiss Army knife, Creator is a great solution for home enthusiasts. It’s forward thinking, with support for Vista and Blu-ray -- but you might want to keep a copy of Paint Shop Pro handy for photo editing.
Price$ 160.00 (AUD)
With more than 100 new features, Roxio's Easy Media Creator 9.0 is jam-packed with creative functions. In addition to audio and video facilities, it features photo editing, media browsing, data copying and backup support, making it a very comprehensive package.
Despite so much being on offer, finding your way around the suite is pretty simple, with the handy interface listing all applications in their respective categories. All the options for capturing and editing movies are located in the Video section, along with DVD-authoring capabilities - including Blu-ray - while the Audio section hosts the usual MP3 and WAV file creation, tinkering and burning tools.
For all its functionality, it's not too greedy on disk space, but you'll need a fairly brisk PC. Our modest Pentium 4 test machine with 1GB of RAM struggled on occasion, with progress sometimes grinding to a halt.
Creator places a firm emphasis on device connectivity, with output options for mobile phones, iPods and Sony PSPs. And we have to say that this is one area where Creator works extremely well. Video files can be painlessly converted and outputted to video resolutions on the move. As Creator inserts files into the relevant places, there's no need to search through pedantic root directories.
While video, audio and DVD authoring may be new to many, photo editing is something that most have dabbled in by now. It's here that Creator is less successful, with basic editing capabilities and a clunky interface some way off that of the many dedicated editing programs available. PhotoSuite 9.0 - part of the Easy Media Creator Package - lacks RAW support, which more people are using now, because of the price drop of digital SLRs.
Verdict: With more versatility than a Swiss Army knife, Creator is a great solution for home enthusiasts. It's forward thinking, with support for Vista and Blu-ray - but you might want to keep a copy of Paint Shop Pro handy for photo editing.
System requirements: 2GHz Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon processor; Microsoft Windows XP/2000; 512MB RAM; 9GB of hard drive space for copying DVD-Video discs; 1GB of hard drive space for every five minutes of video; 1,024x768 resolution; Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0
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