Today I spent some time testing out Roxio’s interesting Roxio Central Preview application. Roxio Central is a free media burning application built upon WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation). WPF is built in to Windows Vista (and available for Windows XP). The idea behind Roxio Central is to showcase the possibilities for UI that media burner applications can have using WPF.
Roxio Central provides the user with the basic functionality of burning CD’s and DVD’s. You can burn music, create data discs, copy discs, and backup your data. However the key thing about Roxio Central is it provides all this functionality in a unique and impressive way using WPF. The UI is clean, understandable and far less cluttered than my previous experiences using other media burning applications.
You virtually get everything you need from the very first screen when the application starts up. It even sports an Office-2007-like “start button” at the top with a menu for your options.
Roxio Central’s UI provides 4 basic options to choose from: Audio, Copy, Data, and Tools.
Burning data or burning music is really easy. The UI gives the user all the options they would need in burning either data or audio onto a CD or DVD without having to dig deeper into the application. For example the option to make a disc bootable when burning data is easily discoverable. The ability to quickly grab audio tracks and throw them onto a disc is really easy too.
One of the killer features for me with Roxio Central is that it supports the ability to burn .iso images. To burn .iso images I usually rely on ImgBurn. But I can’t help but enjoy Roxio Central’s simplistic UI.
During the burning process, an orb appears in the middle of the application displaying the status of the burn session. If you click on the grey tab on the right of the orb – a more detailed status of your burn will be displayed including how long the burn has taken, how much data has been burned (and sectors) and write speed. As you can see in the screenshot, my write speed was not displayed. I don’t think this is a problem with Roxio Central however. I have an old DVD burner that struggles. I expected issues.
Overall I was really impressed with what Roxio has done here and wanted to share this with you. Give Roxio Central a try yourself and let me know what you think.
Roxio is also a Windows Vista Premier Launch Partner with some excellent apps designed to take advantage of Windows Vista – including their Easy Media Creator 9 Suite which is Certified for Windows Vista.