CyberLink brings user-friendly to a completely new level with Media Suite 10. The opening dashboard places virtually everything you'll need for your media projects right at your fingertips. Want to play a movie, edit a video or create a slideshow? Click the appropriate button on the menu and specific tasks appear. Select a task and exactly the right tool opens up, ready to go to work.
Plethora of Programs
Of course, Media Suite 10 is not a single program, but rather a collection of 11 digital media oriented applications and utilities. Keeping 11 different software programs straight may seem a daunting task, but CyberLink has made it easy with their intelligently laid out opening screen, referred to as the PowerStarter navigation menu.
The menu is organized by tabs surrounding a particular project emphasis, such as Movie, Video, Photo, Music, Data & Backup and Utilities. Selecting the Movie tab reveals options for playing a movie disc, or folder, using PowerDVD 12, or viewing online movie information through the MoovieLive website. The Video tab lets you play video files, do advanced video editing with PowerDirector 10, organize your videos, perform simple video edits and upload to popular social networks with MediaShow 6. Movie discs are created and edited with PowerProducer 5.5.
The Photo tab directs you again to MediaShow for photo related tasks such as importing, organizing, editing and enhancing your favorite photos. This is also for creating and playing slideshows, creating slideshow discs, uploading, printing and with the ultra version - viewing your 2D photos in 3D mode. Power2Go 8 is the program of choice for creating photo discs. The Music tab lets you create and play playlists from your music library with PowerDVD, rip audio CDs, convert audio files and burn music discs with Power2Go. You can then both record, and edit audio, with WaveEditor 2.
With Data & Backup you can create data discs, copy discs and burn .iso files with Power2Go, backup files and restore them with PowerBackup 2.6 and even duplicate movie discs with PowerDVD Copy 1.5. Available utilities include erasing discs, extracting files from a disc image, mounting a virtual drive with Power2Go, and transferring media to mobile devices with MediaEspresso 6. There is capability to burn DVD folders with PowerProducer and printing disc labels with LabelPrint 2.6.
As you can see, Media Suite 10 lets you accomplish a ton of tasks using a plethora of programs with the greatest of ease. To make it even easier, the PowerStarter navigation menu lets you favorite your most used programs and find them all with a single click.
One Suite Editor
Of course, ease of use is one thing, but power and performance is something else entirely. For the price, PowerDirector 10 is a surprisingly powerful editing program. Capture, edit, produce and create disc buttons at the upper left of the interface make video creation as simple as one, two, three and four. Below these are the project library, with the preview window to its right and the timeline down below. Capture and import files into your media library from a wide variety of sources. Select the desired media files and drag them down into the timeline for editing (as many as 100 audio and video tracks).
In addition to Split, editing options include Modify, which allows you to use masks, paths and chroma key effects. While the chroma key here isn't nearly as sophisticated as you'll find within the likes of Adobe After Effects or even Adobe Premiere Pro, it does perform reasonably well for the price. Trim and Multi-Trim let you set and adjust in and out points while fix/enhance gives you some control over lighting adjustments, stabilization, audio and video de-noising, video enhancement, color adjustment and white balance. A set of Power Tools can reverse, rotate, crop, time-remap and in the Ultra version, automatically convert 2D video to 3D video. Keyframing and audio editing options round out the editor, and while suitable for the consumer, will certainly fall short of professional expectations.
For even more control, icons at the left side of the library lead to different rooms for various tasks such as effects, picture-in-picture objects, particle generation, title creation, transitions, audio mixing, voice-over recording, assigning chapters and creating subtitles.
PowerDirector boasts having the world's fastest consumer video editing software and we certainly witnessed some impressive results. Fast effect renders were evident. Multiple stacked effects and transitions played through without stuttering and our encodes were noticeably faster than comparable software.
Once your edit is complete, click the Produce tab to encode with any number of 2D, 3D, mobile device and online formats, then click Create Disc. This lets you create menus either from scratch or template. Finally, burn everything in either 2D or 3D!
There is much more to the suite, to be sure. Several of the programs have received numerous upgrades and enhancements over their previous versions. The package comes in two suite levels: Pro and Ultra, with the major difference between the two being Ultra's emphasis on all things 3D. Whether importing, exporting, playing or burning to DVD, AVCHD or Blu-ray disc, Ultra seems to have 3D covered.
Whether your interest lies in the 2D realm or otherwise, for the non-professional, CyberLink Media Suite 10 is well worth the asking price.
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7, Vista, XP
Screen Resolution: 1024x768, 16-bit color or above
Memory: 512MB required (1GB or above recommended); 2GB DDR2 or above for editing HD
CPU: DVD Quality (MPEG-2): Pentium 4, 2.2GHz or AMD Athlon XP 2200+; High Quality MPEG-4 and streaming WMV, QuickTime: Pentium 4, 2.4GHz or AMD Athlon XP 2400+; AVCHD and MPEG-2 HD (for BD burning): Pentium Core 2 Duo E6400 or Athlon 64 X2 5000+
VGA: Higher than Intel 945 GM; 64MB-VRAM or above.
HDD Space: 5GB required; 10GB (20GB recommended) for DVD production; 60GB (100GB recommended) for Blu-ray disc production
DV: OHCI IEEE 1394 compliant device
Additional: see website for Blu-ray 3D and TrueTheater 3D playback hardware requirements
- Very user-friendly
- Fast rendering and encoding
- Complete - everything but the kitchen sink
- Not compatible with Apple OS
Suitable for both the complete novice and the more experienced digital media enthusiast, CyberLink Media Suite 10 has everything you need to get the job done right.
Ultra: $130/Pro: $100
Contributing Editor Mark Holder is a video producer and trainer.