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Product: Easy CD & DVD Creator 6
Company: Roxio
Estimated Street Price: $99.95 /89.95 Download
Review By: Charles Putnam


For many of us, our first CD burning application was probably Adaptec (now Roxio) Easy CD Creator.  Some version (either Basic or Deluxe) came with either our new computer, new CDRW drive, or we bought it off the shelf.  In September 2000, Adaptec spun off this division and formed Roxio.

As many are aware, Easy CD Creator 5 was plagued with problems from the get go.  Even with several updates, it still has “issues”.  Enter version 6.

 News of Easy CD & DVD Creator 6 was leaked several months ago, with early beta reports indicating increased stability and better features.  Many of us were skeptical, but I decided to give it a try.

Installation and Setup

Installation is pretty much straight forward.  You have the option to install all of the applications, or pick and choose. Full installation of all application requires an astonishing 815 MB of disk space, and requires a reboot. Version 6 includes:

  • Disk Copier – This updated version includes support for RAW mode and multiple CDRW drives.  However, by design, it won’t copy copy-protected disks.

  • AudioCentral – This is the updated version of SoundStream.  It includes the ability to rip CD’s and encode to different formats (MP3, WMA, WAV), sound editing and media manager.  It provides basic tools to manipulate audio files (remove hiss, pops/clicks, etc).

  • DVD Builder – With many computer including a DVD-/+RW drive, this is a logical addition.  It provides a basic DVD authoring application

  • PhotoSuite 5 – Roxio bought MGI in January 2002.  This application allows you to capture/import and manipulate your photos.

  • Creator Classic – This is the basic CD burning application, for creating Data, Audio, Enhanced Audio, Mixed-Mode, and Bootable CD projects.

  • Drag to Disk – This is the updated version of Roxio’s packet-writing software.

  • Label Creator – Allows you to create labels and inserts for your finished CD’s.


Having had prior experience with Easy CD Creator 5 (and its related troubles), I approached the use of version 6 with some trepidation.  The overall interface has been updated (reminds me of something from Apple’s Jaguar Mac OS X).  The “home screen” provides a good interface and launch point for each of the modules.



I tested each of the modules, along with some of their advanced features, and burned several CD’s:

  • AudioCentral:  AudioCentral rips CD’s faster than Windows Media Player, and allows a broader choice of encoding formats.  Additionally, it also provides the capability to convert from one format to another (i.e.  MP3 to WMA, WMA to MP3, etc).

  • DVD Builder:  Although I don’t have a DVD-RW drive, I was interested in making a Photo CD.  This allowed me to create a VCD, choose transitions for each slide, and sync to music.  I popped it into both my computer and DVD player, and it was automatically recognized and worked fine.

  • PhotoSuite:  I use Adobe Photoshop for creating/manipulating images, so comparing PhotoSuite to Photoshop isn’t a fare comparison.  PhotoSuite is more in line with Microsoft’s PictureIt Photo 7.  It provides basic manipulation of images.  For features such as drawing, masking, etc., look elsewhere to PaintShopPro, Microsoft’s Digital Image Pro, or Adobe Photoshop.

  • Creator Classic:  One of the added features is disk spanning – the ability to write a project to multiple disks.  This worked well with backing an entire folder that exceeded 700mb of files. 

  • Drag to Disk:  DirectCD was the Achilles Heal of version 5 (Nero’s InCD has had similar problems), so I was leery of Drag to Disk.  It formatted a new CDRW disk in about 18 minutes, leaving about 570mb of usable space.  Copying to this disk worked well.  I did run into a problem with a disk that had been written to using the native Windows XP CD writing software (interesting, in that Roxio provided the technology for this).  After several attempts to format it, and receiving error messages, I then first chose Erase, which is similar to the Erase function of Windows XP.  I was then able to format and use the disk without a problem.

Final Comments

How It Grades
Installation: 90%
Performance: 85%
Ease of Use: 90%
Price: 75%
Features: 80%
Manual: 95%
Burning Capability: 90%
Overall: 86%

Easy CD & DVD Creator 6 is a vast improvement over version 5.  The updated interface, added features (especially disk spanning), along with an extensive manual, bring Roxio back into contention.  The weakest parts of Easy CD & DVD Creator 6 are PhotoSuite (limited tools for photo manipulation) and audio transformation abilities of Sound Editor (part of AudioCentral).

That being said, Easy CD  & DVD Creator 6 is a worthwhile upgrade from version 5.  One magazine described Easy CD Creator as the “Swiss Army Knife” of CD burning programs.  This description fits aptly to version 6.

PC Magazine reviewed Easy CD & DVD Creator 6 also, and noted they ran into some difficulties with a couple of applications.  However, they didn’t elaborate as to what those applications were.  If you’re thinking about replacing version 5 with version 6, make sure that you uninstall version 5 first.  Also, make sure that you have any antivirus and firewall software disabled prior to installing.

Roxio’s nearest competitor is Ahead’s Nero 5.5*.  Nero includes some advanced features that Roxio doesn’t.  Each has its strong and weak points.  If you’re happy with what you’re using, then this upgrade isn’t a necessity.  However, if some of it’s capabilities (disk spanning, DVD Builder) sound like features that you could use, then this version would be worthwhile.

Specs & Package
Overall Score 86%
Version Reviewed Easy CD & DVD Creator 6
Release Date Out Now
In The Box? Manual
The Good Points
Nice Features
The Bad Points Requires a lot of space
Reviewers PC Setup

Intel P4 1800
512 MB RAM
120 GB HD
ATi Radeon 8500
XP Pro

PC Required
  • Intel® Pentium 200-MHz or faster processor for audio; Intel Pentium III 500-MHz or faster for video authoring; Intel Pentium III 800MHz or faster required for analog MPEG capture and 1.6 GHz for real-time capture from DV

    Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP
  • 128 MB RAM
  • 815 MB of available hard disk space for typical installation of all applications
  • Multi-media compliant CD/DVD-Recordable or CD/DVD-Rewritable drive
  • 800 X 600 display at 16-bit color, 1024 X 768 required for DVD Builder. Recommended 1024 X 768 and color quality of millions.
  • SVGA video card with 8MB video memory and video overlay capabilities
  • Sound Blaster compatible sound card
  • Rewritable, or blank recordable CD or DVD discs

Optional Requirements:

  • Recordable or Rewritable drive with digital audio extraction support for making back-up or compilation audio discs
  • Internet connection for Internet content downloading or CDDB support (any charges incurred are the responsibility of the end user)
  • OHCI compliant IEEE 1394 Fire Wire card (for use with DV camera) or video capture card
  • Scanner, digital camera or video camera for importing photos and images
  • TV tuner or video capture board for analog capture (video or TV out required for output to tape)
  • Color Printer


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