From Indigo Rose Software:
Autorun MAX gives you the power to create professional looking CD-ROM/DVD-ROM autorun and autoplay menus, CD business cards, scrapbooks, photo journals, brochures, and other interactive multimedia projects. And you don't have to be a software programmer to do it. You can combine photos, music, video, text, PDF files, PowerPoint presentations, and other documents and media into fully interactive multimedia software. Then, with the click of the mouse, the Publishing Wizard can output your work directly to CD-R/RW or to a single-file executable that's perfect for distribution by email or Web download.
What's new in this version:
Version 2.4 includes support for Windows 10, various bug fixes.
It *is* really simple. It can be used to create multi-screen presentations (up to 100 "pages"), so it's more than just a CD menu generator -- at the cost of losing focus on the core mission.
The trial version is extreme crippleware (not full-featured as the maker's website says). You can't burn projects to CD at all, and they only work for 3 days on your PC. The program also says the paid version has more features. No error-handling.
1. The website falsely claims that the trial version is "fully functional". It is not. Projects cannot be burned to CD for real-world testing, they only work for 3 days, and the software itself says that the purchased version has additional capabilities (though it doesn't say what they are).
2. Even for an inexpensive price like $49, I would expect more refinement in formatting capabilities. If $99 buys Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop Elements, with their wealth of capabilities, I would expect $49 to buy the ability to adjust the "padding" or margins inside text boxes, and to apply different formatting to different parts of the text within a text box. It's absurd to have to create one text box for a title/heading and a separate box for the normal text that follows it. The default left margin in the text boxes is way too narrow -- gives a cramped, amateurish look.
3. It does not appear that the program has any system-checking or error handling capabilities. I would have liked to find a menu creator that could tell whether a client PC had PowerPoint (or its viewer) installed, and could then advise the user to install the free viewer (which you can include on your CD distributions) if needed, or just proceed to the slide show. (If it could even tell that trying to open a .pps file failed, it could then show a screen suggesting installation of the viewer.) But my only option was to create two buttons on the menu, with instructions to the user to click "Slideshow" if they already have PowerPoint, and to click "Install" if they don't. Very crude option.
If you have very simple autorun menu needs -- one screen is all most people need -- the price seems a bit high, especially if your CD project is a one-time affair And it seems a bit high for the relatively crude appearance of the menus it creates.
Bottom line -- the program is OK, but not more than that. If you need to create basic, slightly amateurish-looking menus for multiple CD distributions, it's worth the money. It won't satisfy users who are fussy about appearances, and it seems expensive for my basic one-time, one-screen, two-button need.
One suggestion I made on their website: One of the most common reasons why people search for autorun menu software (judging from the many discussion forums I've visited)is to produce distributable, self-running PowerPoint slideshows. It would be helpful to have a template for that, especially if you could build in the capability to check whether the client PC has PowerPoint (or its viewer) installed, and automatically install the viewer if needed.
Lots of autorun program require that you create a html page that they then launch at startup. Auto run max allows those of us that are artistically inept to create really slick interfaces, with rollovers, sounds, easily run programs, launch webpages, play video etc. All through a really easy to use interface. Everything is drag and drop, easy to understand properties, lots of great images and icons and still powerful enough for those with artistic talent to use your own videos, graphics, files, sounds, etc.
*Lots of templates for those of us artiscally challenged.
* Once click to test your program
* Once click burn
*Not too expensive.
*Very extensive help file which is cool too.
*They also have run a forum which seems to have prompt response times
I would've liked to have a tutorial, maybe there is one, but I didn't find it.
No ability for complex scripting. (Of course you could pay twice or 4 times as much for more robust applications)