Whether itís photography, movies, music or arts & crafts, technology is making these hobbies more and more accessible to just about everyone. With the right software, you can turn your computer into a photo processing and printing lab, a video recording and editing workstation, an audio recording studio, or a graphic design workspace. As a matter of fact, some software packages provide all these different features and more. One such package is the Easy Media Creator 7 Suite from Roxio.
The Creator 7 Suite provides no less than 13 (actually 12 since the included Napster feature isnít much more than a sales gimmick for buying music online) different components. These components include: Disc Copier (make backup copies of CDs and DVDs); Capture (import all types of media files to your computer); Media Manager (view and manage all the media files on your computer); DVD Builder (create your own multimedia DVDs); PhotoSuite (enhance, edit, and share your digital photos); Creator Classic (burn your own CDs and DVDs); Drag-to-Disc (drag and drop files for burning to CD or DVD); Label Creator (make personalized disc labels and jewel case covers); Roxio Player (view VCD, SVCD, and DVD discs on your computer); Roxio Retrieve (retrieve files and folders that were burned to multiple CDs and DVDs); Sound Editor (record and edit sound clips and audio files); VideoWave (transform your video clips into movies that include music, transitions, titles and effects); Napster (buy music online).
All of these components are accessible from the Easy Media Creator 7 Home screen. The Home screen provides 4 major sections: Tasks, Applications, Tools, and Projects. The Applications and Tools sections simply give you direct access to all the components I mentioned earlier. The Projects section gives you quick access to your recent projects. The Tasks section is what youíll probably use the most. This section is divided into five additional sections that outline all the tasks you can perform with this package. These sections include Music (copy audio CD, copy tracks from audio CD, create new audio CD, create new MP3 CD, download and stream music); Data (copy data disc, copy files to disc, create backup project); Photo (import photos, edit and fix photos, e-mail photos, create slideshow, create greeting card); Video (capture video, edit video, auto edit with CineMagic, guided edit with StoryBuilder); DVD (copy DVD, create new DVD, Plug & Burn).
In addition to its wide-ranging functionality, the Creator 7 Suite provides an excellent level of component integration. What I mean by this is that the Suite is not just a bunch of different programs slapped together into one package. On the contrary, all the different components in the Suite are programmed to work together. For example, you can use the Media Manager to select multiple photos and then launch them in PhotoSuite for multi-photo processing. A great time saver. Another example would be when burning an audio CD you can use the Label Creator simultaneously and have your audio CD label automatically populated with the track list, song title, and artist name of the CD you are burning.
With such a large offering, you might think there would be a lot of room for problems to occur, and initially, the Creator 7 Suite did have a number of minor bugs. But these seem to have been ironed out with the latest update, so be sure to drop by the Roxio web site and download the latest update. After doing that, I havenít had any trouble with the Suite. Iíve actually had a lot of fun playing with all of the many different features. A couple of my favorites are the CineMagic and StoryBuilder video features. These make creating your own nicely-edited videos a snap. CineMagic lets you easily create a music video with transitions and edits automatically. StoryBuilder lets you create a video based on a theme such as a wedding, birthday party, or babyís first steps. Very cool.
As you can see, the Easy Media Creator 7 Suite is a very comprehensive package. You get all the tools you need to capture, edit, and manage all your digital media. Of course, you have to realize that this product doesnít take the place of some of the professional packages on the market like those provided by Adobe. You wonít be making any blockbuster movies with the Creator 7 Suite. But then you wonít pay thousands of dollars either. For home and hobby digital media projects, Easy Media Creator 7 Suite is hard to beat.