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Roxio Creator 2010 Pro review

David McKinnon
19 Oct 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
66
inc VAT

Creator 2010 Pro is a polished suite of tools to help you edit, manage and share your media with relative ease.

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Roxio Creator 2010 Pro is practically unrecognisable from its simple disc-burning origins.

It now comes with a wealth of tools that help you make the most of your photos, videos and audio files. The key difference between the Standard and Pro versions of the suite is in the software's support for HD video. You'll need the Pro version for Blu-ray disc authoring, although as most PCs still don't have a Blu-ray writer that's unlikely to be a big selling point. However, the Pro version does provide a range of useful extra applications, which we'll detail here.

Individual tools are grouped into themed tabs, while commonly used routines can be found in a home tab. A new addition to Creator 2010 is the Learning Center tab, which presents how-to videos and PDF files that help you get the most out of the application.

All the usual music ripping, burning and converting tools and formats are present, and you can also capture analogue audio directly from your sound card. This means you can easily capture internet radio, too. The Easy Audio Capture application can also chop up the final capture into individual songs and find title and artist information on the internet. The Pro-only SoundSoap SE application helps when capturing from old records or tapes by removing unwanted noise or crackle from analogue sources.

Data CD, DVD and Blu-ray disc-burning is a near-effortless drag-and-drop process that takes place inside the main interface. You can also burn and copy discs from the desktop thanks to a widget that appears when you insert a blank disc. The Pro-only BackOnTrack 3, although lacking the sophistication offered by dedicated backup applications, provides basic protection against disaster and allows you to create backups of files or entire drives.

Roxio provides two separate applications to help you edit and enhance your photos. The first, Roxio PhotoSuite, is a traditional image-editing tool. Although unwieldy to use, it has a useful selection of tools. The Pro version also comes with LightZone, a dedicated application that's much easier to use than PhotoSuite and does an excellent job of optimising and balancing your photos. It would cost £60 to buy separately, so if you're in the market for a first-class photo-enhancement tool, it's a good-value addition. Creator 2010 also allows you to compile photos, video and music into slideshows, which can be burnt to Blu-ray, DVD or CD or uploaded to the internet.

When capturing video from your camcorder, you can either save it to your hard disk or burn it directly to a DVD or Blu-ray disc using the plug and burn tool. You can also archive footage from your AVCHD camcorder directly to disc. Once you've imported raw footage from your video camera, you can edit it into a final cut with VideoWave. This is a basic but effective video-editor that allows you to add a good range of captions, overlays, effects and transitions to your final film.

The Pro-only SonicFire Pro can then be used to create custom soundtracks that fit both the length and dramatic timing of your finished movie.

You can also edit HD content directly to Blu-ray without first copying it to your hard disk. This is useful if you have limited hard disk space. Perversely, although Creator 2010 allows you to edit, author and burn high-definition content to Blu-ray discs, you can't actually play it back without buying a £35 plug-in with all the appropriate licences.

Videos can also be captured from analogue sources if you have a TV card or USB dongle, as well as directly from the internet. These can then be easily converted to other video formats to view on portable devices. Such videos can be quickly trimmed to suit your needs in the encoding program, so you can remove any advertising or other unwanted segments.

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