Roxio Easy Media Creator 7 is polished up and logically optimised and ordered assemblage of mainly familiar components, many of which have been featured in previous Roxio incarnations. The centralised access to these components via the new Media Manager is handy but it is less of a fundamental improvement than Roxio might want you to think. All the component programs now have a common style to them and they may work more closely together, but nitpickers will still argue that this continues to be a loosely managed collection of utilities.
Another criticism often voiced is that Roxio concentrates too much on ease of use and not enough on power features. But that's an easy one to deal with – the vast majority of potential customers simply want something that can help them achieve relatively simple tasks as easily as possible. This, Creator 7 does admirably.
At the bottom line, Creator 7 is an easy to use collection of utilities that are accessible and effective for all but the most demanding of users. Nice touches, like video clip tutorials, give much-appreciated confidence to users. Sure, you may out-grow many of Creator 7's components, but at least you won't have been put off by jumping in the deep end with something more powerful to start with.
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Practically everything you could expect for an introductory and up to intermediate level digital media asset management and project creation package is there. None of the applications are best of breed and you may quickly grow out of some of the components, but they are all competent and easy to use. Having them in one place, all at once and with a semblance of coordination means this is a good example of where the package is greater than the simple sum of its parts.
Everything worked as well as we had expected. The integration of the different components wasn't particularly tight, but this wasn't a great hindrance. Provision of useful video clip help helped accelerate the phase of getting used to the component applications.
Ease of Use
Photo editing, virtual file management and cataloguing, sound editing, video editing, CD and DVD project preparation, etc. – none of it is trivial, but Creator 7 ensures none of it comes across as forbidding.
Value for money
The one problem with packages like Creator 7 is that to make the offering seem worthwhile, a lot needs to be packed into the box. Not everyone will necessarily use all of the components bundled. The total asking price is reasonable for what is offered in total, but it does mean you might be forced to pay for things you will never use..
What we liked about Creator 7
Easy to use
Video clip help tutorials
Wide range of utilities
Improved component coordination
Media management 'collections' facility surprisingly powerful
No nonsense ability to create multimedia presentations and movies on CD and DVD
Bundled multimedia content CD
What we didn't like
Roxio Player not compatible with commercial DVDs
Graphic files using LZW compression (GIF and TIF, for example) not supported
Too expensive if you only need some of the components included
Over-simplified for some
Static nature of 'collections' requires manual updating when referenced files are altered or deleted externally
If ease of use is your main priority and you’re interested in most aspects of the Creator 7 feature set – go for it!
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