I've been using Roxio 10 for over a year now and have to admit that I haven't had many problems with it, something that according to the reviews makes me quite lucky. It does some things well, but it has problems. Obviously the first thing I was looking for with this next version was if it had kept the good stuff right and fixed the bad. They've gotten it half right.
A programme like Roxio is a strange beast. It does so much that the average user probably won't use half of the things it can do, myself included. The other problem is that with so much crammed in for the price it can never be the top option in anything it offers. What you can hope is that if top range product isn't something you absolutely need then it will do what you need easily. In most respects then Roxio 2009 does just that.
The interface is easy to use, although 10's may have been a little simpler. One of the main problems is that whereas in the previous version all of the features were listed by name, 2009 lists them by description. This may be a good thing for new people but if you already know what you're looking for it can actually be a bit vague. The video editing application Videowave is the thing I use most on it. As I said it's not the best, but does its job well and I prefer it to the Windows one. Like everything in this a dedicated, expensive piece of software will be better, but in this case especially it works well enough. I have read in reviews of this about how slow it is, and I can't say I've had those problems, but at the same time it doesn't appear to be any faster than 10's version of Videowave, despite claims to the contrary. One thing that is impressive is the amount of file types it supports. It's a huge list. Thanks to this the file conversion application's are pretty good too. Another that is similar to Videowave is the Audio Editor which allows you to do just that, creating continuous mixes and adding effects. Again it's not incredible but does its job to the level you can hope, which is still pretty good.
The thing is is that these applications are pretty much identical to their equivalent versions in Roxio 10. They don't really seem to have been tweaked at all, beyond the odd labour saving thing such as the window not closing when adding files or there being an option to sync what you've done straight to an MP3 player. It means that the things Roxio did well have been left alone, but any niggles also remain for the most part. In some cases that's not too bad but in the case of, say, burning CDs it means frustration for myself. When using 10 to do this the burning process would often fail. This is still the case with 2009. Also in the CD Creator the problem of crossfading hasn't been fixed. In 10 no matter what option was selected the next track would fade in instead of starting instantly. This again seems to be a problem.
CD Creator also highlights what needless tweaking can do. Instead of fixing what was wrong, Roxio have added a beatmatch feature that is poor to say the least. And again using it means the fading problem happens. There's also something annoying about the Sound Card Capturer. In 10 it worked really well. 2009's appears identical, apart from those little things added that I mentioned earlier, but for some reason when I have used it it has struggled with louder sound. I'll continue messing with it to see if I can fix it, but so far 10 done this better.
Shamefully I can't cover everything in Roxio 2009 as the amount of applications on offer is staggering. This means that it's pretty huge and takes an age to install and also that there hasn't been the time to try everything in it. As most stuff appears to be pretty much the same as 10 then I'd say that for the most part Roxio 2009 is a decent option if you're looking for a media suite that won't excel in anything but will do a good job if required. Too much hasn't changed to recommend it if you already own 10 then don't bother. The stuff 10 done well hasn't really gotten any better but shamefully the problems haven't either. At the price it is good though. just don't expect miracles.