PROS / This application's functionality goes beyond creating CDs. It's a full-fledged creative suite that lets you create, edit, and embellish audio, video, and images.
CONS / If you want to burn Blu-ray discs, you'll need to upgrade to the pro version. Other programs include this ability natively.
VERDICT / Roxio Creator NXT 4 is a great digital suite if you're looking for software that can handle all of your digital media.
Roxio Creator NXT 4 is a full-bodied, multimedia creative suite that includes an excellent CD-burning module. You can perform a number of tasks related to optical media, such as creating audio and data CDs, but this application opens the door to a number of possibilities. It also provides a number of powerful audio-editing tools, and it even allows you to convert legacy media such as vinyl records and cassette tapes into a digital format that you can play in your CD player.
Audio and data CD burning is only a small part of Roxio Creator's uses. This application has an attractive video and photo editor as well as various archiving and sharing features. You can share your video creations on sites like YouTube, Facebook and Google Plus directly from the program's interface. Additionally, this program gives you the ability to download files from the internet, rip content from CDs and DVDs, capture streaming video from the web, and more. For these reasons and more, Roxio Creator NXT 4 earns the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award for best CD-burning software.
While it is by no means the primary function of Roxio Creator NXT 4, the CD-burning module stands head and shoulders above the other applications on our comparison chart. When we rated and ranked all 10 applications, we subjected each product to a battery of tests. Of all the products in our lineup, Roxio Creator NXT 4 scored the highest. You should have no problems learning or using this software – regardless or your computer skill level.
Besides burning audio and data CDs, you can copy DVDs. This is a great tool if you have a library of DVDs you want to back up or digitize. However, if you want to copy, rip, or back up a commercial DVD, you'll need to first download a plug-in to circumvent anti-piracy encryptions.
One of the more useful backup tools with this CD burner is its ability to extract a CD or DVD's disc image (ISO file), which it then saves to your computer. This file is essentially the blueprint of a disc that you can use a digital backup or to burn to a new disc without needing the original disc. Once the ISO file is on your computer, you can access it long after CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs have gone the way of cassettes, eight tracks and vinyl records.
Nearly half of the CD-burning programs we reviewed have the ability to burn Blu-ray discs. Roxio Creator NXT 4, however, does not. If you want to burn Blu-rays, you'll have to pay extra to upgrade to the pro version which comes bundled with Roxio Burn 3. This is disappointing; other products on our lineup offer Blu-ray burning without the price hike. And Roxio Creator NXT 4 is already the most expensive product on our lineup.
In our tests, we timed how long it took each CD-burning application to create both audio and data discs. The Roxio Creator NXT 4 burned a full music album in two minutes – which is seconds behind the Silver Award winner, DVD Movie Factory Pro 7, and the Bronze Award winner, Nero Burning ROM. We also found this program burned a data CD to capacity in three-and-a-half minutes – again, not the fastest time in our review but impressive nonetheless.
Roxio Creator NXT 4 does much more than simply copy music tracks to a CD. The application contains a fully functional audio mixer that lets you edit, enhance and organize your audio files so they're exactly the way you want them before you burn them to a CD.
One of this application's more innovative audio tools is the LP and Tape Assistant. Using this feature, you can digitize your collection of old vinyl records and cassette tapes. You will, of course, need a record or cassette player to use this function. Roxio provides a handy tutorial that shows you how to connect these analog devices to your computer, then capture the audio in Creator. Once you've done that, the music on your legacy media is available for use in all of Roxio Creator's features, not just CD burning.
Another handy tool is this program's ability to extract audio from video files. For example, if you're a techno DJ and you want to insert a specific clip of dialogue from a movie into a track, you can use the audio extractor tool to separate the audio from the video after you've saved the movie file on your hard drive. Then you can use the audio editor to extract the clip you want and drop it into your song. This is just one of many uses for the audio extractor tool.
In case you don't have the audio you need for your project on your hard drive, Roxio Creator has a convenient tool called Easy Audio Capture. All you have to do is play the audio online and click the option to capture audio from the sound card. It records any audio you're playing online, no matter the source. If you listen to more than one track in a row, the tool uses the silence in between songs or other audio files to separate them into tracks.
Capturing songs from the internet or from an analog source is one thing, but filling in all the metadata, such as the artist name, album and year recorded, can be time consuming, and you may not have all the information available. Roxio has an answer for this too. This CD burner software application can automatically detect what song is playing and fill in the metadata for you.
All of the audio features in this program are quite convenient and easy to use. But they're just a portion of this software package. This CD burner also contains video tools equivalent to Roxio's audio features. The video editor is basic but helpful. Its DVD-authoring features allow you to make customized discs with ease.
Help & Support
Roxio has a robust technical support section on its website. If you have a simple problem, you can consult the knowledgebase or join a discussion group. It also has a nice FAQs section. In case you have an issue that requires more attention, Roxio provides a customer support line, but it isn't toll free, and it deals primarily with sales requests.
Roxio Creator NXT 4 is far more than just CD-burning software. It’s a full-bodied creative suite capable of making any type of media you want – from images to audio and video. It also allows you to publish your creations not only on physical media such as CDs and DVDs. The only thing that would make this program more complete would be adding the ability to burn Blu-ray discs without having to upgrade to the pro version.