Technology should make our lives easier
• Quick & easy video editing
• Creative sound editing package
• Simple & effective photo editing
• Organization can be confusing
• No streaming option
The Roxio Creator NXT 4 is a decent collection of software – photo editing, video editing and basic audio editing – but it lacks the extensive feature set of the other suites. It’s efficient, smart and creative, and it gets the job done, but it’s not quite at the top of the pile.
Now part of the Corel group of companies, Roxio made a name for itself in the early days of the CD boom. Now that digital media is less about the CD and more about wireless technology and DVD, does the Roxio Creator NXT 4 media suite still have a place? Roxio Creator NXT 4 looks like a comprehensive collection of tools, so we checked out the detail to see how it all works.
There’s no central interface for organization of your media. With Roxio you need to access the various tools and store and organize your photos and videos separately. As the entire Roxio package is pretty large, it can be a bit confusing to know which tool you need for which task, and where to find your media.
Here you have the tools you need to copy CDs and DVDs, burn data and transfer music between storage locations. Split up larger projects onto separate discs. Or burn up to 50GB on Blu-ray disc. The process is simple with a quick drag-and-drop movement direct from your desktop. A useful additional option is the unattended scheduled backup which puts you data onto disc or your network drive. And Roxio puts together a good set of tools for fitting movies onto single discs and creating custom DVD compilations that maximize your disc space while still retaining video quality. Another option for creating multiple copies of a movie or video compilation is to create an IOS image file and then burn it as and when you need it.
Video editing is more drag-and-drop than highly technical with Roxio Creator NXT 4. Creating a video with the FastFlick system has three steps – pick a template, add media, then share. Sounds simple, and it is. A few other features are included for a more personalized video production, for example adding picture-in-picture effects, scrolling credits, a few video effects, and green-screen creations. You can also rotate a video, fix a shaky shot, and auto-adjust the color, contrast, and brightness for the best end result. The ScoreFitter music library gives you some royalty-free songs to add to your movie, automatically adjusting the song to match the length of the video clip.
For how-to videos, vlog posts, presentations, or messages to friends, with Live Screen Capture you can record directly from your screen, edit the video, and then share it. The process is supported by both microphone and system audio.
Perhaps not the strongest photo editing offering, but Roxio does include some useful tools for your image projects. The basics include removing red eye, correcting color and brightness, cropping, and erasing blemishes. Restore old photos after scanning them into your PC, create panoramas, and make collages. And you can edit many different images at the same time, which is useful for a batch of photos that all have the same problem.
Roxio Creator comes with a sound editor for editing individual tracks and also combining tracks into playlists using crossfades and transitions. if you don’t have the time to put together your own mixed playlists you can use the Creator tool which synchronizes beats to keep the rhythm going throughout your party. Another handy tool is the audio extraction element of the music editing package: take audio from a video file, for example a YouTube video, edit the file and save it to play on your iPhone or mp3 player. In fact, you can capture audio from practically anywhere you can hear it online. And Roxio automatically adds title and artist detail to audio files so you don’t need to retype the information.
Roxio Creator comes with the standard DVD authoring techniques, including animated themes and different types of music. The authoring works for 3D projects, too. No Blu-ray authoring, though – you need to upgrade for that.
For converting media you can convert from DVD or web video onto your smartphone or iPad, Xbox, iPod, or PlayStation, and also take video from internet sites including YouTube and convert them to play on your TV or other home devices. Plus, if you have old LPs and cassette tapes you can clean up the music quality and convert them for playing on your iPod or for use on a CD.
You get this facility with the Pro version of Roxio (described below).
Under the main Corel brand there’s the Discovery Center with contests, video and image sharing, tutorials and news for enthusiasts. The site is well designed and user-friendly. Plus, with a few clicks you can share your video creations and your photos to Facebook, Google+, and YouTube etc.
The Roxio Creator package comes in a Standard and a Pro version. What does the Pro version offer that Standard lacks? The main, and valuable, addition to the Roxio Creator NXT 4 pro bundle is PaintShop Pro X6. This is an advanced design and photo editing tool, allowing you to transform your photos through composite shot creation and layering. Plus, you get HDR Express 3, an easy way to create professional-quality, high-dynamic range photos. Other additional extras in the Pro (premium) package include the iZotope Music & Speech Cleaner to clean up your audio tracks, extra video effects for editing, a Secure Burn system for better encryption with passwords and restricted access, and WinDVD for playback and streaming on your PC. You can also HD-author Blu-ray discs. If you’re looking for photo editing prowess, the addition of PaintShop Pro X6 makes it worth the upgrade.
Find a variety of video and printed tutorials on all different aspects of the digital creative process in the help section connected to the various editing tools. Otherwise, the Roxio site has its help and support section. The Knowledgebase is a little confusing and packed with answers to questions about the whole of the Roxio product range, but you can also ask a question online and receive an answer within 24 hours. There's a user communities forum but no phone support available.
Organization is trickier and the Roxio Creator NXT 4 package doesn't have the wealth of technical features you can find in other digital media suites. You can edit video, photos and music but for more features you'll need to upgrade.
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