Roxio’s leading media creator package has reached its twelfth incarnation, and as such has taken on a new look and a trimmed down name. Gone is Easy Media Creator, instead it’s simply known as Creator 2009 but it’s still offers the same vast array of media creation and burning tools we’ve come to expect from Roxio.

As with previous versions, there is a great deal to install and we found the whole process took over 30 minutes to set-up on our test machine. You’ll need to have over 1GB of hard drive space if you want to install the full package.

The interface has been given a far more user-friendly look, with icons now being used to identify and highlight the main applications of Home, Data-Copy, Video-Movies, Music-Audio, Photo and Online. The first thing you’ll notice when you start-up the suite is the new Home page, which allows you to instantly launch basic tasks, such as copy or burn CD/DVDs without having to click in to other menus.

Aimed at beginners, on the right-hand side of the screen you’ll find links for Tutorials and Do More, which helps you get more from the package and also makes it easier to get to grips with the basics of the package. Roxio claims this version is up to 60% faster than previous editions but it’s the easier interface that will prove popular.

That said, it is the more experienced user who will get the most from this suite. Once again, it seems Roxio has placed most of its developments into expanding the audio functions of Roxio, which is great news for those with basic home recording studios, or those who like to add music to home movies.

Ripping CDs and transcoding audio files are still the suite’s strong points but Roxio has added Beatmatch, which allows you to blend tunes together, while Automix tries to draw similar tempos together from your music collection so you don’t need to trawl through them manually. On the whole, these are interesting rather than essential tools.

Video hasn’t been ignored but for the most part, little has changed in terms of the tools on offer. You can still cut and trim video from the timeline or story board and adding titles and cutscenes remains fairly straightforward. However, how you use your final edited media has been improved. Along with better copying functions, you can now drag and drop files straight from your desktop onto your portable player and Creator will transfer it to the correct formatting.

As you would expect from the latest software, there is support for the latest high-def formats. Users who own a HD camcorder, for instance, will find native support for AVCHD. However, in order to separate this package from more high-end programs, you’ll need to buy a Blu-ray burning plug-in (£15).

Alternatively, you could opt for the Ultimate Edition (£70), which bundles all the plug-ins together and makes perfect sense for anyone looking to make the most from HD.

Price when reviewed:

Roxio Creator 2009 may have a new look and a new name but the underlying functions remain the same. The core tools are excellent and make copying and burning discs a simple chore to accomplish. However, while the extra tools offer great value for money, we’re not convinced most people will make the most of them.