CyberLink Media Suite 9 Ultra review
A good media suite gets a little better, but purchase and upgrade prices are a touch too expensive
Media suites have evolved over the years from simple CD and DVD-burning utilities to cover the whole gamut of PC-based media creation jobs. These days they comprise everything from audio file creation to full-blown Full HD video editing and Blu-ray playback, and the latest version of CyberLink's Media Suite follows that trend, adding a sprinkling of extras and a whole new program.
The new application in question is the full version of MediaEspresso 6 Deluxe, a video transcoding tool previously sold for £35. It shares the same slick front end as PowerProducer, is quick and very easy to use, and is aimed principally at converting videos for mobile devices, with the usual presets for iPods and iPhones. But it doesn't stop there. You'll also find presets for BlackBerry, HTC, Motorola and Nokia phones, all the major games consoles, as well as YouTube and Facebook. The list of phones is a little out of date, but it's simple enough to create your own templates by basing them on existing presets.
For video playback, PowerDVD 10 BD Express is included - a version up from Media Suite 8 - and it plays back everything from DVD and Blu-ray discs to MP4s and AVIs. Upgrades here include support for 3D Blu-ray discs, on-the-fly 3D conversion of plain DVDs, and MKV playback. The one thing it lacks compared to the full retail version of PowerDVD is 5.1 audio output, which is an odd restriction; we'd rather forgo the 3D features in favour of proper surround sound support.
When it comes to making your own movies, the video editor also sees a much more useful update. Instead of upgrading to the recent standalone version 9, CyberLink is throwing in the full retail version of PowerDirector 8 Ultra, which means a host of restrictions have been lifted and features added over the previous HE version.
The number of picture-in-picture tracks you can add to your video projects rises from one to nine, for example; music tracks are up from one to three; a number of additional effects and editing tools are included; plus you get the ability to modify keyframes within existing effects, add particle effects and more. It's a much bigger upgrade than first appearances suggest.
|Price ex VAT||£75|
|Price inc VAT||£90|
|Ease of Use rating||4|
|Features & Design||5|
|Value for Money||4|
|Software subcategory||Media software|
Operating system support
|Operating system Windows Vista supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows XP supported?||yes|
|Operating system Linux supported?||no|
|Operating system Mac OS X supported?||no|