In a year when more
than 60 million CD recorders are expected to ship worldwide, it seems there
will be plenty of ?room? for expansion of recording software vendors.
By introducing its
latest offering, ?CD Maker 2000 Professional?, NewTech Infosystems (for short
NTI) has entered a stiff ?battle?
against competitive recording application programs such as Ahead?s ?Nero 5.5?,
Roxio?s ?Easy CD Creator 5? and Prassi?s ?Primo CD?.
At a time when
Microsoft intends to offer built-in basic recording capabilities in its future
operating systems (a.k.a. the Windows XP family), the competition is expected
to become even more fierce. A usual practice followed by many recording
software manufacturers is to have their programs be offered in the form of 2 packages,
a simple basic features offering, provided usually through the channel of OEMs
and large retail vendors, and another ?professional? version aimed at more
advanced users needs. This second type of recording applications, sold through
the regular software distribution channels, is what mainly differentiates
full-featured CD recording software from each other.
NTI CD Maker 2000 Professional
aims at this specific target group of users. And it promises to cover most of
their needs in an easy and hassle-free manner. Our group of reviewers rigorously
tested it both under regular and advanced mode user requirements.
In the following
sections we present a basic operations description of the program to help you acquaint
yourself with its use, along with our test findings and a set of rules
(best-practices) which must be followed when using a CDR application seeking
optimum performance at no expense of achieving advanced requirements.
Any user can download
a full-featured 30-day trial version of the product from NTI?s website and make
his own opinion out of our findings and tests here.
Sammy Volos, Lead Reviewing
Editor, DigitalDrives Inc.
Assessing a recording application capabilities
When a user decides to
make a recordable CD should first ask himself about the intended purpose and use
of the disk. His needs define a series of tasks he will have to perform using,
in our case, CD Maker 2000 Pro as the software of his choice. The application
itself should be able to assist him to define these tasks and offer, as well,
an intuitive menu-driven user interface, helping him accomplishing them. Many
recording applications these days try to hide the unnecessary technicalities
from the casual user and encourage him to feel he has the full control over the
details of the actions the software will have to carry out.
Recording details are
usually hidden into menu-driven windows, were the fine-tuning options should be
logically arranged for easy setup and retrieval by the advanced user or
We have found that in
many cases this, essentially sound and correct, practice is the source of both user-frustration
and induced bugs.
According to the
purpose of each disk, there are defined CD formats that have evolved during a
period of 20 years, since the introduction of the audio format in the red-book standard by Sony and Philips
(CD-DA, digital audio). Newer formats are built upon the basic encoding and
error correction features of this original ?standard?. The types of disks that
mostly concern consumers and always find their way as the tested disk-formats
in web reviews are:
- CD-ROM, for regular recording of user data
files from a hard disk or another storage medium
- CD-DA, for custom audio compilations of
songs extracted from music CDs and user-created or downloaded MP3 files,
- VCD, for VCR-quality playback of
video/audio streams onto a consumer DVD player.
In the next few sections
we offer an introduction to both the basic and advanced features of NTI CD
Maker 2000. Our own view on this program and our criticism is presented along
the main text and the accompanied photos.
Reviewing Editor, DigitalDrives Inc.