- Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows XP SP2 (32 or 64-bit), 1GHz processor and 512Mb RAM.
- 1024x768 DirectX 9 compatible graphics card with at least 16-bit colour setting, sound card, DVD-ROM drive.
- Hard drive with at least 3Gb free space for installation.
- Windows Media Player 10.
- Internet Explorer 7. Internet connection required for registration, product updates, and some features. Any Internet charges are the user's responsibility.
- TiVo requires a TiVo Series2, Series3, TiVo HD DVR or other TiVoToGo compatible DVR connected to your home network, and TiVo Desktop. Does not work with DirecTV provided TiVo DVRs.
- For video capture: OHCI compliant IEEE 1394 FireWire card (for use with DV camera) or analog video capture device.
- Blu-ray authoring requires an additional High-Def/Blu-ray Disc Plug-In which can be purchased at www.roxio.com.
Supported Input Formats:
- Video: AVI, DV, HDV, DV-AVI, MPEG-1/2/4, MPEG2-HD, DVD-Video, IFO/VOB, DivX, DivX HD, XviD, DVR-MS, TiVo, ASF, MOV, WMV, QuickTime, 3GP, MPEG2 Transport Stream, AVC (H.264), AVCHD
- Audio: Audio CD, MP3, WAV, WMA, Dolby Digital AC-3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, M4A, MP4, Playlists (WPL, ASX, M3U, PLS, XSPF)
- Image: JPG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, GIF
Supported Output Formats:
- Video: AVI, DV-AVI, HDV, MPEG-1/2/4, MPEG2-HD, DivX, DivX HD, WMV, WMV HD, AVC (H.264), MP4, 3GP
- Audio: MP3, WAV, WMA, Dolby Digital AC-3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, MPEG-1/2, M4A, AAC, Playlists (M3U, PLS, XSPF, WPL)
- Image: JPG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, GIF
- Video disc formats: DVD, Video CD (VCD), Super Video CD (SVCD), Mini DVD
- CD-R/RW, DVD R/RW, DVD-R/RW, DVD-R DL, DVD R DL, DVD-RAM, BD-R/RE, BD-R/RE DL
- Disc image formats: read ISO, C2D, BIN/CUE and GI; write ISO and GI
Roxio Creator 2009: In Use
Roxio, who are best known for their CD/DVD burning software Toast, bring all their know-how together to form Creator, which aims to encompass tools for managing all kinds of media including photos, video, audio and while giving you plenty of options for output at the same time. On top of this plenty of options for storing your data on recordable media is included as well, such as backing up important files, burning audio CDs and DVDs for use on a standard DVD player.. All this is included for the measly sum of £49.99. There must be a catch? Right?
There are so many features packed into Creator 2009 that installation can take a while. Before you get ideas about popping to the kettle to make a cup of tea while it runs, the installation procedure needs your constant input as various firewall messages pop up. If you have software installed to protect your computer's registry, this will also be very active during installation. Still although the process takes some time, it's as straightforward as can be and will just require a reboot to finish things off.
The launcher home screen allows access to the whole program from this one central hub. Clicking an icon will open a separate launcher window.
Back on Track allows you to back up your work.
The hub of Creator 2009 is the launcher program which separates all the different applications into categories to make it easy to find what does what. The home screen displays your most recent program launches, while tabs down the left hand side reveal all the different options for data storage, video, audio, photos and the Roxio online knowledgebase.
The data copy tab contains various option for burning discs from data on your computer, from other discs, or from disc images, and back again. There is also a data backup system, called BackOn Track, where you can schedule backups of your entire system, or particular file types to either DVD or another drive, which is a nice bonus. Backups can be scheduled to run daily, weekly or monthly and can be restored using Creator.
Options for video include capture, from a DV camcorder, a DVD, or from a video capture card. There are two main options for video editing. Automatic editing allows you to assemble video clips in order then either create one long video file from them, or burn them to a disc. The software will create DVD menus for you to make navigation on a standard DVD player straightforward. BluRay support can also be added via an additional plugin, which is useful as Creator supports editing of AVCHD high definition video.
Advanced is the next video editing option which provides much control over your footage providing basic non-linear video editing tools and control over sound. This part of the software is surprisingly powerful, and will satisfy most home users and even some enthusiast's needs.
The separate launcher window for video.
Import videos from external sources.
An auto create is available for videos.
Advanced is a powerful editing tool.
Audio tools are as comprehensive as I've seen on a package of this type, including options to rip and burn music from and to audio CDs, to digitise analogue signals such as vinyl or cassettes, and to simply capture audio using your computer's sound card.
Audio also has its own launcher window which is useful but adds up to make a timely process.
You can import from prehistoric media such as vinyl and you even get instructions on how to set the system up.
An online database allows the system to automatically tag your untagged digital audio files for easier searches.
The online knowledge base is comprehensive and easy to navigate.
Music fans amongst us will appreciate the built in audio tag updater, which searches an online database to correctly tag your collection of digital music. This same feature can also convert music from one format to another. Formats supported include mp3, Windows media audio and AAC.
Auto fix will allow simple procedures such as cropping, straightening and red-eye fixer.
Support for photos includes basic tools for importing images from TWAIN compliant devices, such as scanners, and some very simple photo editing and enhancing tools that someone who just wants to make the bast of their recent holiday snaps might be satisfied with. Everything is arranged in as clear and simple way as could be possible, with tools for cropping, straightening and fixing red-eye taking centre stage.
A wizard for creating slideshows from your images in three easy steps is also included. In this wizard you first select the images you wish to include in the show, then select what type of transitions you wish to employ. Creator comes with several preset transition styles embedded for you to choose from. Once you're done choosing your transition style, the software present s three output options - save the project, burn to disc or create a video file. The finished slideshow can also be edited in the included video editing package.
Add the photographs you want to use for your slideshow.
Select the transition you'd like the images use when in the slideshow.
Render the slideshow when you've finished editing.
Devise an attractive menu for your DVD and burn to disc. The time will vary depending on the size of the project.
All that's left to do is output to your chosen format. Images look pretty good when burnt to DVD, but decidedly dodgy when saved in some of the video formats. The other standout feature is an assistant for creating panoramas. If you have a selection of suitable images, the software makes it fairly simple to stitch them together.
The online launcher takes you to the website where the knowledge base is located and you can upload pictures for sharing.
Finally the last tab contains Roxio's online image and video sharing system, where you can upload your pictures and videos to the web for friends and family to see in the form of an automatically created slideshow. Also included on this tab is Roxio's knowledgebase, which is a kind of elaborate help system where you type in your issue and it produces answers, many of which are more in-depth than those included in the help file.
Roxio Creator 2009: Verdict
Creator isn't really aimed at enthusiasts of any of the supported areas of media, reminding me of the old adage - A jack of all trades, but a master of none. This shouldn't be held against this particular piece of software though. The interface is clean, simple and instructions are easy to follow. There are plenty of useful features in there as well as a few surprises, such as support for AVCHD high definition footage on the video editing. Sure, it's nowhere near as powerful as Final Cut or Adobe Premiere, but will do a grand job of creating a DVD of your Aunt's trip to Benidorm.
The options for data management and CD/DVD burning in particular are worth the asking price on their own in my opinion. I particularly like the backup option, which is great for someone like myself who would swear blind that the last time they saw a RAID array was on Police, Camera, Action!
Overall, I feel this is a good product for the right person, requiring a good, solid disc burning suite with a few additional extras for photos, video and audio. The £50 asking price isn't too steep either.
Roxio Creator 2009: Plus points:
Good disc burning options
Expandable via plugins
Simple backup solution included
Support for most common media types
Enough depth in each area to keep everyone but enthusiasts happy
Roxio Creator 2009: Minus points:
Some will find tools in their area of interest a little basic
Slideshow output to video file looks pretty ropey
EASE OF USE
Roxio Creator 2009 is available to buy direct from Roxio for £49.99.