Roxio Creator 2010 Pro review
A hugely capable suite and full of useful tools, but under the skin it's still a little messy
Review Date: 28 Sep 2009
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: £61 (£70 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Lightzone is a usable, and surprisingly powerful, way of applying lighting effects to photographs, with extra exposure tools available to those who shoot RAW images. There's also a backup tool, plus the ability to edit video directly on Blu-ray BD-RE discs and author Blu-ray discs. There's also the potential to play back Blu-ray movies, though you'll have to purchase a plug-in to do this.
And all of this comes in addition to the already broad selection of media tools. There's a decent video editing app (much better than Nero's equivalent), which not only lets you edit multiple video and audio tracks, but also boasts support for a good selection of HD file types, including AVCHD. You can also upload to YouTube direct from your video projects, while CineMagic will create movies for you automatically.
Other video tools include label and CD-insert designers, and a useful drag and drop converter. Simply drop files onto the latter for conversion to your chosen portable device and, as long as you've configured it with the correct profiles and file target locations, it makes transcoding a very easy task indeed.
For audio, there's a similar smorgasbord of applications and utilities. You get a basic audio editor, a tool that lets you create simple beat-matched music mixes, a utility for creating indexed audio books from ripped CDs and a utility for capturing and cleaning up analogue audio. And let's not forget Roxio's collection of disc capabilities, which include CD, DVD and Blu-ray burning, image creation, disc copy and DVD conversion.
It's to Creator 2010's eternal credit that the front-end feels so clean and uncluttered given that such a mass of tools and utilities lies just under the surface. But despite the clean, well laid-out hyperlink-based front end, once you start to use the suite in anger, the fact that all the tools launch in their own windows, and that the extra applications mentioned earlier don't even get a spot anywhere on the launcher, begins to grate. Our biggest gripe, though, is the way Roxio remains wedded to its own file browser dialog boxes. We'd far rather browse files using the standard Windows approach.
It's far from perfect then, but there's no getting away from the fact that Creator offers a great deal for the money. It will never rival the likes of Adobe's Photoshop Elements bundle for sheer photo and video editing power, and neither would we recommend it for beginners - its sheer breadth will soon confuse. But for those with a little more experience who want something to cover the full gamut of digital media editing tasks that doesn't cost the earth, it's well worth a look.
Author: Jonathan Bray
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