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Roxio Creator 2009 - A Comprehensive Media Suite

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Roxio’s popular multimedia suite has been renamed (it was formerly Roxio Easy Media Creator) and updated with much-needed support for the AVCHD (Advanced Video Codec High Definition) video format. It also has a few nifty new treats in store, especially for devotees of portable music devices and HD (high definition) video. Whether users of older editions will find it worth the upgrade depends upon their needs. Sonic Solutions has an incentive for owners of a wide array of products: They enjoy a $20 discount when purchasing Creator 2009. With Creator 2009, you’ll go through a fairly lengthy installation process, but that’s not surprising given the breadth of this suite. When you open the program, you’ll be presented with a wellorganized and streamlined (compared to older versions), icon-based interface that we found quite pleasant to use. As with previous versions of the product, the various utilities are still separate modules, but they are better integrated and easier to access and work with than before. Furthermore, a single tab (Home) now affords access to Roxio’s six most popular functions without the need to dig into the entire suite.

What’ s New, What’ s Not
Users of previous versions will be pleased to know that CineMagic, Roxio’s “quick fix” video creator tool, is still present, as is VideoWave, its more advanced video editor. Both have been tweaked slightly, especially in relation to handling of HD content. Creator 2009 can now let you create and burn up to 60 minutes of HD video to a single-layer DVD. If you want Blu-ray support, you’ll have to pay an extra $29.99. However, if Bluray is important to you, consider purchasing Roxio Creator 2009 Ultimate ($129.99), with which you’ll get the Blu-ray support plus enhanced audio tools and data backup features.

Regarding what’s new, a couple of the treats, including Beatmatch (creates smooth transitions but only works well with heavily syncopated music tracks) and Automix (a so-so playlist creator), are more sizzle than steak. However, there are several interesting new features. One that we love, love, love is SyncIt, which offers, in a single operation, drag-and-drop batch conversion of an array of files of varying formats into a different format (for example, portable media player). Other niceties are direct YouTube upload and Audiobook Creator, which converts an entire audio book into one .m4b format (iPhone, iPod, iTunes) file but preserves chapter markers. Fans of audio books will drool over this function. As before, Creator nimbly handles photo management, as well, with tools such as Media Manager that make it easy to keep everything—audio, video, and digital imagery—neatly arranged. Media burning, ripping, and copying are highly automated and intuitive, and the process works like it should.

Final Tally
Overall, Creator 2009 is a solid performer, especially for those who are dipping their toes into HD but don’t yet have the budget to get into Bluray. As with most suites of this genre, none of its components have the power of similar standalone tools. However, those tools also cost far more and are generally not as well-integrated as Roxio’s many components. For those who want to manage and edit an array of content from a single, easy-to-use toolbox, it doesn’t get much better than Roxio Creator 2009. In support of the suite’s launch, Roxio is also extending its educational portal, My Moments (mymo ments.roxio.com), with new media resources and tutorials.

Source of Information : Smart Computing / January 2009

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