This review appears in the February 06 issue of PC Advisor, available in all good newsagents from 15 December 05
The most recent two versions of Roxio's Easy Media Creator both won PC Advisor Gold awards, so it's no surprise that the latest version has too. But how has Roxio managed to improve what was already a good product?
Simple - by retaining the good aspects of previous versions and improving on the weaknesses. Add to this a few new features and you've got a winning formula. One look at the interface of EMC 8.0 tells you everything you need to know - this is a powerful package made simple. And we're not for one minute going to complain that it's patronising - we only wish every program made it so easy to do what we want by selecting a task in the main window rather than trawling through endless drop-down menus.
Audiophiles will be pleased to find that they can burn DVD music discs now. The feature that allows you to convert your vinyl and cassettes into digital format remains - and this we particularly like, being old-timers with boxes full of dusty LPs in the loft.
The photo-editing capabilities aren't exactly in the same league as Photoshop, but you'll be able to make a few tweaks and improvements here and there, as well as create good-looking slideshows and organise your images. There's a new feature in version 8.0 called LiveShare that allows users to share photographs over email without file-size limitations. You simply send an email that contains thumbnails of the images you want to share and the recipient can click on a link that takes them direct to your PC. It then allows them to view the chosen pictures in full resolution and download them if they wish. Roxio assures us this is completely secure.
Support for many HD (high definition) formats is also an addition to EMC 8.0, as is UPnP (universal plug and play) function, so you can share digital media files over your home network. And that's not the lot either - there's plenty more that's new in EMC 8.0 and yet it remains just as easy to use as previous versions.
DVD authoring in EMC 8.0
Easy Media Creator isn't going to offer as comprehensive a set of tools as a product such as Sonic's DVDit Pro or Adobe Premiere. But there's plenty of things you can do with it and much of this has been enabled by the support for HD formats. HD content can be edited in real time in VideoWave 8.0, saved in either standard or HD format, and also DivX HD, for burning onto a DVD and playing in DivX HD-compatible DVD players. There's also the promise of HD-DVD and Blu-ray support when these formats become available.