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Roxio Easy Media Creator 7 - Review
Roxio just doesn’t know when to stop, and that’s  . . . .  very-very good.
September 3rd, 2004 - By Zack Bryce and Chuck Brown

There are times that we here at the publication think that Roxio is an unstoppable jugernaught, filled with robots (iRobot?) that look like humans. There is always something new coming out, or being updated, sometimes because it had to be, mostly to be improved.

Last year (2003) I think that there were three updates for Easy CD Creator 6, at least two of them because ECDC 6 had some serious bugs that blemished a darn nice application. 6 was a very nice step up from ECDC 5, which was less buggy, but very limited and frustrating.

ECDC-6 looked pretty hip, actually worked very well, but it was like an old version of MS Office; a thrown together collection of independent applications that really were not connected to each other well or at all. But everything worked very fast.

Those of us that use Windows PC’s primarily and know about Toast 6 with Jam, Roxio’s killer Mac burning app, have always been envious and those of us that use both hardware platforms, it has driven us NUTS not to have a Toast for PC.

But now the shoe must be on the other foot with the all new Roxio Easy Media Creator 7 for Windows. This is a much more cohesive suite that even Toast with Jam will need to live up to.

          - Click on any image to enlarge -
The first thing that you see upon launching Easy Media Creator 7 is the all new Menu interface between all the integrated applications that live in EMC 7. This is nothing like you ever seen before in any other burning suite. The menu is divided into sections that make it easy for you decide what you want to do, like – Music, Data, Photo, Video and DVD. There is also a section for the more advanced that will just select the actual integrated application and the lower section lists icons of recent projects.

Access to all the applications are through this menu and much of the projects source material and end results can be worked with from many of the apps. Once you choose which component app that you’re starting with the menu disappears to the tray system tray until you quit the app you’re using.

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Our review panel loved everything about the base menu window except that the font is a bit too small and that the menu disappears. We’d like to see an easy way to open more EMC7 apps, once the first one is launched.

Since EMC7 lends itself very well to having multiple embedded applications open at the same time to work on various portions of a particular project, our peer-group review panel and our own Tech Lab thought that a small resident floating application bar should still stay open on the desktop. We decided to suggest this to Roxio and who knows, if they use the suggestion, you can thank us. (Subscriptions and cash gratefully accepted)
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"The GUI (graphical user interface) for Creator Classic is a joy to use ...."
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Old friends and some new ones –
Roxio Creator 7 is built with some very familiar applications for those that have been using the last couple versions of Easy CD Creator. Some have functionally changed little except for the graphical interface; others may completely new to you.

Creator Classic, which has been an excellent tool even in the last two ECDC versions, hasn’t much at all. It will still provide you with the basic CD and DVD burning tasks you’ve been accustomed to. The addition of advanced features such as support for Plextor’s VariRec adjustment, which helps with burned CD’s compatibility with older home CD players. Ogg Vorbis support is now also included in not only Creator Classic, but throughout the entire suite.

There are few other new tricks up the sleeve of the old-timer, Creator Classic, too; you can also perform schedule periodic backups, automated data archiving and the Retrieve utility can be installed on a backup disk which can then extract you files with optional encryption or multi-disc spanning. Old standards like Drag-to-Disc packet-writing utility and Label Creator or still there, pretty much as in the last version of ECDC-6.

The GUI (graphical user interface) for Creator Classic is a joy to use and great improvement over what was already pretty good. This GUI feel runs through all the applications in some form or feel.

One slight negative thing we first noticed with Creator Classic, and also saw in the other integrated applications, is that they are very slow to launch. On one test workstation running an AMD Athlon XP 2800, which we keep clean and refreshed, it took 21 seconds to launch Creator Classic from the opening menu. We saw other embedded apps within EMC7 took from as little as 6 to 19 seconds to get going too. All of our Review Panel members also noted this on a variety of computers they tested with, from 1.8Ghz Centrinos to a 3.4Ghz hyper threading Pentium.
                        


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