First a big thank you to Sonic Solutions for providing Roxio Easy Media Creator 8 for this Review.

Anyone looking for a program that can handle most of their CD/DVD burning media needs should check into Roxio easy media creator 8. For those that don't know, it can handle Music, Photos, Video, Data, and Backup.

For those who have had version 7 of Roxio Easy Media Creator then you too can benefit from the latest version 8. The differences from 7 to 8 are in the following screen shot below.

When you load Roxio Easy Media Creator 8 you will notice the wealth of options you have. Looking at the menu you have the following options Audio, Backup, Copy, Data, DVD and Video, Organize, Photos, And Tools. When you click on each one of these things you will see more menu options show up with yet even more things you can do.

I personally was interested in the video end of things and so I spent a fair amount of time looking at what you can do there. One thing I will give Roxio credit for is they make making a DVD or VCD a very simple process. Like a lot of programs out now a days you can make your own DVD menus and you do have a few template menus you can use. If you decide the templates are not what you want or you don't think there are enough of them you can BUY more templates from the Roxie web site.

You can also record video as well with this software. I have a few video capture cards I can take video from on his computer and so I checked out a few options. I was quite surprised when I seen the the software could use my Hauppage PVR 350 card and be able to change channels with the software and record the video. The only thing about getting Roxio Easy Media Creator 8 to capture your video is that the preview display gets all corrupted when its recording your video. Despite the video corruption in the preview window the recorded file came out fine.

After recording some video I decided to burn a VCD and this is where the software that was doing the VCD burning crashed when the burning was done. I'm not sure what caused the crash but it seems like the VCD was fine. The other thing about doing the VCD, I wasn't impressed with was the quality of the VCD and the audio and video were out of SYNC on the VCD. I hope this is something that Roxio takes a look at, maybe its a bug or something but I wasn't to impressed with the VCD when watching it in a player.

I really liked the Media Import function of Roxio Easy Media Creator 8 because it allows you to not only import media from TV tuner cards and capture cards but it will also take any Video or Audio off of a DVD/CD and import that into several different media formats. Something like this would be use full if you only wanted the music from a DVD you had, you could easily import the music right off the DVD with this.

There is also what seems like a pretty decent video editor called VideoWave and from what I could see of that it comes pretty well suited for doing a quick edit or adding special effects or adding transitions to a video.

When it comes to audio the audio editor is very basic. You could certainly clean audio up or cut out audio you don't want in a file but don't expect to much from this simple tool. The EQ you can use is also really weak in that it don't offer you to much to adjust. If you only use the audio editor for small little edits then none of this will bother you but don't expect a full fledge audio editor like cool edit.

While I'm thinking about the editor it does have a feature called Normalize and you use this when ever you get a audio file and it doesn't sound very loud. Where you see these quiet audio tracks a lot is in albums that were done in the past or in cassette tapes. With your quiet audio track selected use the Normalize option and raise the level till you get the volume you desire. Try not to go to crazy with Normalize because it will distort your track. You can find the Normalize feature in The Tools menu and then in the Fading & Volume section.

Next on my list to check was to see how well it did burning ISO CD images and the software did that no problem at all. If your into burning CD's/DVD's with Photos or even making custom jukebox CD's/DVD's then you will be happy with this software and what it can do for you.

For those of you who like to mount disk images instead of burning cd's all the time will be happy to note that Roxio Easy Media Creator 8 comes with a Disk Image Loader. With the disk image loader you can mount a few different file formats such as ISO to a virtual drive and then access that instead of accessing a CD in a real drive. One thing I'm not sure about is if this will pose a problem to gamers. As I'm sure a lot of gamers already know out there if you have drive emulation software running some games will not install do to the copy protection of the game.

On the down side of things what I don't like about Roxio Easy Media Creator 8 is maybe it does TO much. A good example of this is the amount of services added to your machine after install. I did a standard install of this software and it added no less then 6 extra services to my computer. In the startup it added 3 other items to load on startup. For the average user this may not be all that big of a deal but it certainly gets your attention when you see all this extra stuff added. You maybe able to address some of this in the install by only installing certain parts of the package you like. I did tell several of the programs not to load into the system tray via their interfaces and despite that I still see them programs being loaded on start up in msconfig.

Roxio Easy Media Creator 8 is a good package and has lots of value I just wish they could give you what they have here without adding so much extra over head to the machine its being installed on. Also keep in mind if your low on hard drive space the standard install takes about 490 megs witch I find amazing.

In conclusion I think over all its a good package if you want one package that will do lots of things. It also has a pretty easy to use user interface. At the time of this article you could BUY Roxio Easy Media Creator 8 for about $80 U.S.

Below are some screen shots of Roxio Easy Media Creator 8 enjoy!

Here is a picture of the Roxio Easy Media Creator box.

Here is the main menu for Roxio Easy Media Creator 8.

Here is Creator Classic for Roxio Easy Media Creator 8.

Here is the Sound Editor for Roxio Easy Media Creator 8.

Here is VideoWave for Roxio Easy Media Creator 8.

Here is MyDVD for Roxio Easy Media Creator 8.

Here is the Label Creator for Roxio Easy Media Creator 8.