By Ian Burley
19th September - 2001
Roxio, the multimedia software company spun out of Adaptec (best known for SCSI and Fibre Channel interface hardware) earlier this year, has launched a software package that could be seen as a milestone in its niche. Itís called VideoPack 5 and itís a software package for creating multimedia (audio, video and still) presentations that can be recorded to CD or DVD, given the necessary hardware.
Roxioís most famous product, which used to be sold under the Adaptec brand, is Easy CD Creator. This, according to Roxio, currently owns 70 percent of the CD recording utility market, world wide. VideoPack 5 might be regarded as the DVD version of Easy CD Creator, though in reality itís rather more than that.
VideoPack 5 lets the user create sophisticated looking multimedia presentations using a slick and easy to use drag and drop object building interface. These presentations can be made up of both still images and movie clips that can be combined to create interactive multimedia tours via buttons that can, themselves, be constructed not only from stills, but video too.
Once a presentation has been built, it can be burned to CD in Video CD, SVCD formats or to DVD-R, DVD-RW or DVD RAM. If youíve created a compatible disc, you can view the presentation via a conventional DVD player, for example, complete with remote control compatible buttons that can be linked to chapters and sub-presentations.
One thing VideoPack 5 isnít is a video editing package. If you want to create fancy scene transitions or other special effects, youíre still going to need MGI VideoWave, Adobe Premier, or something of that ilk.
Although VideoPack 5 is targeted at people looking to make video CDs and DVDs, its still image features are very powerful; especially in the way stills can be blended in to video presentations. There is nothing to stop you from making an all-still slide show extravaganza set to music, for example, or you can use stills to accentuate your collection of video clips.
Roxio appears to be targeting the early adopter with Video Pack 5 as its launch price is a rather startling £349 inc.VAT. That said, the drag and drop interface looks superb and it is capable of producing extremely impressive looking presentations that can be recorded onto discs compatible with most DVD or Video CD players, as well as PCs.