Great WPF Applications #12: Roxio Central

Great WPF Applications #12: Roxio Central

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I'm hoping that by now, you're starting to get a sense for the range and breadth of real-world WPF development that is going on in all parts of the industry. We've just scratched the surface here: there are many hundreds of WPF development projects underway based on statistics from just our ISV early adopter programs. If you've got something cool to show off, why not add it to our WPF wiki?

In the world of ISVs, there are very few that have broader reach than Roxio. Many millions of PCs each year are sold with pre-loaded Roxio software, from some of the largest manufacturers such as Dell and HP. You can imagine that when Roxio bets on a new technology, it's going to get plenty of traction in the marketplace. So it's my great pleasure to note that Roxio have built the core of their next-generation media software using WPF.

Roxio Central provides a hub into common tasks like DVD burning, ripping music, backup and archival. The design is a classic example of how WPF is changing the user interface of even utility software: simple, task-based, inductive. There's great use of animation and vector-based graphics, and the seamless integration with Windows Vista provides an experience that you couldn't get with any other technology. Working with IdentityMine, a design and development partner based in Tacoma here in the Puget Sound area, Roxio were able to take their design mockups from Expression Design and convert them to XAML, where an integrator could connect them to the underlying logic using Expression Blend. (If you're interested in the process, Robby Ingebretsen will be presenting a session on the application's design at Dx3 in Boston.)

Here's what Paul Spallas (Art Director for Product Design at Roxio) has to say about their usage of WPF:

"Working with Microsoft’s new design tools and the WPF platform has been an empowering experience. [They] help design and development teams collaborate more effectively. More importantly, they allow software designers to quickly and accurately turn innovative user-interface concepts into reality."

Nathan Dunlap from IdentityMine also blogs about their experiences building the application here.

Roxio plans to build their next generation of products based on the Roxio Central WPF design architecture. If this isn't strong validation of the platform, I don't know what I have to do to convince you all! On the offchance that you'd like to try Roxio Central out, here's a link to the trial version (currently in beta).

Stay tuned - there are plenty more applications in the pipeline for this series!

  • This is a great series, with some very cool applications. The WPF framework is a great foundation to work with too, and decisions to move all rendering to hardware (with DX10) were excellent and very foward thinking.

    But, where are the applications from MS?. They are conspicuous by their abscence.

    In fact, before we even start thinking about .NET3.0, where are MS's .NET 2.0 apps, outside of Development Tools?

    The only MS .NET 3.0 project that I knew of, Microsoft Max, was ended, and no indications of any progress since.

  • Uh yeah ... the fact that I had to load IE to even view the page proper tells me how much these guys really care about what they're doing... I'm all for WPF not being platform agnostic (because hey, it's not supposed to be) -- but when your website doesn't even load proper .... ugh, you fail.

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