The Big Daddy of all-round media programs adds 3D
This year, the big new technology in home entertainment is 3D – manufacturers and broadcasters are falling over themselves to add the third dimension to their products. If you want to add some depth to your own home movies, Roxio Creator 2011 might be the answer.
It certainly needed something special to differentiate it: nowadays there are decent video and photo editing tools provided with Apple, Linux and Windows computers (see Windows Live).
As before, Creator 2011 includes tools for working with photos, video and music files as well as creating discs and more. Aside from 3D photos and videos, the big news is a tool for streaming music and video to devices around your home or even elsewhere in the world.
Installation was straightforward. From the home screen the user can choose an action (such as ‘edit a video'). This is a more effective approach than sending the user to the Start menu to choose a program for themselves, and equal space is given to a ‘Learning Centre' that contains tutorial videos and printable PDF help documents.
There are several ways to make a 3D effect but most require expensive new equipment such as a 3D-compatible TV, but one that doesn't is using red-and-blue glasses, a pair of which is included. It's not a great way to view, but it is cheap.
With Creator 2011 you can edit photos and videos taken by special 3D cameras and camcorders but you can also create a 3D photo from two ordinary photos taken slightly off-set from each other (some guidance is supplied). Cleverly it can even create a 3D effect from a single standard photo and video, the result of which was surprisingly effective.
The Streamer can share media at home and on the internet, and a $20 Premium add-on lets you install software for accessing it from iPhone and Android handsets, as well as some other features.
Annoyingly, Streamer couldn't use files from our Music or Video folders – instead they must be copied manually, and it required that the computer be connected with a wired, not wireless, network connection. We also found a conflict with the Virtualbox software – it turns out the Streamer won't work if Virtualbox has ever been installed.
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A complete set of tools for working with photos, videos and music, and 3D support is the icing on the cake
Media manager makes it hard to find stuff in large collections; Streamer was complicated and requires wired network connection
3D is a clever idea; 3D conversion worked well; well-organised home screen
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