The arguable king of CD burning is back, and it's got a bag of new tricks. Roxio Easy CD & DVD Creator 6 Platinum Edition takes you by the hand and leads you through all kinds of CD and DVD creation, from data backups and music compilations to photo slide shows and feature films. User friendly to the last, it comes with a massive manual weighing in at almost 400 pages. Unfortunately, however, beneath the shiny surface of this program hide a few snags.
Burning data and music compilation CDs is simple enough with a "drag to CD" function--you can literally drag files from Windows Explorer onto an icon that resizes in the lower right corner of the desktop. More complex burning and copying can be done through wizards or manually.
For DVD authoring, Roxio includes support for every DVD burning format out there. It allows you to create movies, photo slide shows and more. It interfaces directly with digital video recorders to capture footage to the PC's hard drive, from where you can then burn them to a DVD. You can rearrange parts of a movie, trim clips, add sound, and more. The interface is functional at best, though, and casual film directors will pine for a simpler, more graceful solution than this program can offer.
The PhotoSuite applet's interface is overly friendly and not nearly powerful enough. Adding photos from a networked PC was a painstakingly slow process. Worse, once we'd picked out a few dozen photos, we went to create a VCD slide show and were met with an error message that even baffled Roxio tech support.