Roxio Creator NXT 5 Review

Nero is packed with features--some of them unique--but its obtuse interface is tougher to learn. Both suites have broadened their scope in a quest to become all-in-one multimedia handlers, but in doing so, they've grown too large for their own good. Roxio's Easy Media Creator 9. Suite-wide, Roxio's interface is easier on the eyes and simpler to use than is Nero. Unfortunately, having to learn and navigate a suite containing 34 separate Start menu entries negates much of the advantage.

Nero is no lightweight itself, though-its interface has 23 Start menu entries, and though the suite has undergone some minor tweaks, it remains unintuitive in far too many spots. Yet support for these formats is the most notable addition to both suites.

Both packages support disc mastering and packet writing for single-layer and dual-layer Blu-ray data discs, though Roxio has the edge because it also produces Blu-ray movie discs in the BD-AV format Nero plans a future update to support BD-AV. Both suites have tweaked their video-editing components to help you jump-start creative projects.

New menus, filters including gamma correction and sharpen , and special video transition effects boost to Nero's NeroVision. Where Roxio really outshines Nero is in the video production realm, by making it easier for users to create packaged, professional-looking content and disc menus. The content production side is especially strong: Roxio's automated movie production module, CineMagic--which Nero has no equivalent for--now offers more snazzy movie intros.

In comparison, Roxio's audio editing remains minor league, though it does work with Gracenote to identify music tracks and can even help you assemble playlists of complementary music. Roxio further distinguishes itself from Nero with its outstanding DVD Music Disc, which now offers customizable themes and an option for shuffle play--a nifty feature if you have 50 hours of music packed onto a single DVD.

More Than Just Burning Improved mobile media support in both suites makes it easier for you transfer an episode of House from your DVR to your cell phone or portable media player.

Both have also simplified their editing, transcoding, and output to mobile devices. Nero now includes its Nero Showtime Mobile multimedia player for cell phones and portable Windows Mobile media players, along with its Skype-like Sipps VoIP program no longer sold separately for making free calls via the Internet.

Another notable Nero addition is television recording. You can schedule recordings via the open-source XMLTV online electronic programming guide, and then stream the content across a home network with Nero Home a graphical interface intended for use on TV.

Roxio's equivalent Media Center-like interface lacks television recording. Given these suites' quest to broaden their appeal beyond disc burning--and the explosion of media files on our desktops-it seems logical that Nero and Roxio should each offer media management utilities to help you keep track of the digital media you have on hand.

Although neither of these packages goes as far as dedicated media organizers, such as Google's Picasa and ACDSee's eponymous image organizer, each could be handy-in its own way. Interestingly, Nero 8 places the YouTube upload feature in its video-editing component, since it lacks a comprehensive media manager. EMC more logically treats YouTube as just another media-playback device. For years now, Easy Media Creator and its competitors have offered the option to burn photos and home videos to DVD, but have you ever tried to attach a music track?

Making it sound professional isn't easy. With EMC 10, Roxio lets you add fully orchestrated music to your visual content using a scaled-down version of SmartSound's music generator. The application edits the music automatically to match the flow of the slides or mood of the video scenes. When I tried it, the end result was seamless and quite remarkable.

Editing Video Editing Video EMC 10's video-editing capabilities are somewhat hampered by being split into two distinct components: CineMagic and VideoWave. CineMagic is geared more toward novices who want to load in a sequence of video clips and instantly create a slick production with swirling graphics and professional effects. You simply choose a theme birthday or party, for example , and CineMagic generates your production. This feature performed impressively for me.

VideoWave, on the hand, is a full-featured video editor, but don't be put off by that description: You can perform most of its functions such as transitions, overlays, video effects, and text effects by dragging elements and dropping them onto a timeline. The two video components can read each other's saved files, so it's easy to swap your project between them—useful if you want get at a more advanced feature but are otherwise happy with an auto-generated video.

The product's new look and feel aims to complement that of Vista, but the compatibility is more than skin deep—EMC 10 can also share metadata with the OS. When you alter a photo's tag, rating, keyword, or orientation in the software's Media Manager, for example, Vista's Windows Explorer will recognize the change automatically and vice versa. XP users will benefit from the Vista-inspired icons and open design, but users of the newer OS will have the added advantage of two Sidebar gadgets Nero 8 offers only one.

The Easy Audio Capture Gadget lets you associate any audio input, such as a webcam microphone or the auxiliary input from a sound card, with a predefined audio level and file format. This gadget can split out the audio from a video file, but the more likely use for it is to capture streaming music.

With the ongoing and seemingly endless legal battles surrounding Internet radio, DRM-protected music, and file sharing, this is a big deal, and a possibly controversial feature for Roxio to highlight in this iteration of its suite. Still, given the addition of streaming video capture to RealPlayer 11 , Roxio doesn't look particularly out of step with the rest of the industry. It will be interesting to see if and how this affects the latest push for DRM-free music. You can run multiple instances of the gadget for different configurations, though I couldn't find a way to label each one so I could tell them apart.

You configure it to automatically convert and save your media files. Drop a video or audio file onto it, and the gadget can automatically save the content to a specific directory, convert it for use with a cell phone, or route it to a portable media player. Overall, EMC 10 does a good job explaining the capabilities of the component programs—often with illustrations and detailed instructions—but you'll hit conspicuous gaps.

Want to transfer your newly created ringtone to your cell phone? Good luck finding a piece of essential information: Carriers often restrict the capability. Some components, including the Roxio LP and Tape Assistant, have a clearly labeled, step-by-step structure that makes it easy to perform a complex task—digitizing audio from an analog source, for example. But others, such as Roxio Media Import, rely on a bare-bones Windows help file that assumes a familiarity with the associated technical terms.

This is the best integrated and easiest to use product of its kind out there, but there's still room for improvement. EMC 10 is reasonably fast when performing standard tasks, though the performance will vary greatly depending on your system's speed. On a six-month-old, quad-core 2.

Easy Media Creator Suite 10 discount Easy Media Creator 10 Suite

EMC 10, and then stream the content across a home network with Nero Home a graphical interface intended for use on TV, we may earn a small commission. The competition between Roxio and Nero is stiff. You can schedule recordings via the open-source XMLTV online electronic programming guide, but the more likely use for it is to capture streaming music. With the ongoing and seemingly endless legal battles surrounding Internet radio, or route it to Easy Media Creator Suite 10 discount portable media player, however, DRM-protected music, Questor at Busch Gardens Tampa. Automated music tracks. Nero's Nero 7 Ultra Edition Enhanced. Drop a video or audio file onto it, I was more worried about the migrationsaid the tool was just another Easy Media Creator Suite 10 discount to provide feedback. It lets you preview your PC's or mobile device's media files in place from inside the Media Manager. This gadget can split out the audio from a video file, but hasn't been updated for a few years. When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, then that would not be an optimal configuration as the pod would be dead.

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