It hardly seems no time at all that we were testing Media Creator 8 and while it ticked a number of boxes, we were disappointed with how resource heavy it felt when doing anything other than creating DVDs and how many of the tools simply didn’t want to work the way you thought they would.
Fortunately, this latest version has taken a great deal of the feedback laid down, with the result being a far more fat-free version. From the word go, you juts get the feeling this is the version 8 should have been. It’s stable, you don’t really need as high-end a machine to get the most out of it and it generally a lot more like a media suite, rather than a DVD creation tool with extra bits bolted on.
There are a host of new features on offer here, most of them revolving around sharing your movie footage. First off we have the new mobile aspect of the suite, which essentially boils down to creating versions for your iPod or PSP. Roxio has taken a great deal of the pain out of the conversion process, as the menu allows you to simply select the device and it will work out the format in the background. What’s more, you can set up a user profile, so whenever the program detects an AVI file, for instance, it will immediately convert it to suit your mobile device. This is a neat feature and will save a time with the conversion profile, which has been sped up, by the way, so you won’t spend all day waiting for files to be transferred to your player.
The mobile features are the sideshow, though, as the main attraction in the Creator has to be the new audio and video features. Video editing can be handled at a basic level, with menus and scene chapters created at the click of a button. For those with a little more experience, you can assign tags and even mix and edit audio onto your video files. The new "fit to disc" tool helps you manage your DVD output, as it will scale the output quality to the disc you’re using. Roxio has supplied Creator on two CDs, one with the application and the second with a host of themes and extra tools for you to use when creating DVD menus. You’ll find support for Blu-ray recording too.
Perhaps the most support has been given over to audio files, as you’ll find a new tool that will allow you to record audio on the fly, whether it’s from a microphone on your notebook or being streamed from the internet. This can be saved, edited and incorporated into your movies, or saved as ringtones, for instance.
Roxio Easy Creator 9 is a great set of tools that help make the most of video and audio. The package has moved away from simply being a disc burning tool and now feels like a one-stop resource for all media creation and at £60 (inc. VAT) comes in at a great price too.