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These three applications are dissimilar in some very basic ways but all fall within the category of video editing and production software. They each have their shining chrome as well as their dark rust. I would like to start out with a pre-conclusion: if you’re looking for a pure video editing software application I would choose CyberLink Power Director 6. If you’re looking for a suite of media editing applications, go with Roxio Easy Media Creator Suite 9. If you are keen on Windows 98 and you want a matching application, pick ArcSoft Showbiz DVD 2. Let’s begin comparing…
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Roxio's Easy Media Creator Suite 9
“Copious options” refers to Roxio’s Easy Media Creator Suite 9. When I first looked this suite, it was for its ability to capture edit and produce video. What I found was a software suite jam-packed with media creation and editing tools. Look at all the applications included (see screenshot). Roxio has spent a lot of time and energy to make sure you think of/click on their icon when you need to create, edit, manage or produce media on your computer. If you want options, Roxio has options.
Roxio has put applicable web reviews and articles on this suite’s “homepage”. When you open up the application, you see “hints and tips”, “special offers”, an update and an upgrade option as well as an article to help you manage or create media. This “homepage” also launches you into any one of the programs that are available such as: audio, backed up, disk copy, data disks, media manager, photo organizer, video editor, and other various tools. Copious options indeed…
I was disappointed by the performance of this program though. The fact that it crashed on my Vista machine tainted my view of this suite. It made me think that Roxio had spread itself thin in this broad suite. I’m sure that they will have updates and patches to solve any Vista problems. In fact, the video editing part of this suite was the only part that did not work flawlessly. I had no problems with any other application in this suite. This also is not to say that Roxio is not solid in the windows XP environment. Every part of this suite works flawlessly under Windows XP. It retails for $79.99 but you can get it online for less. I found the complete suite $32.00 on pricegrabber.com. I'm not sure how they make money on this.
In short, if you want to create, edit, produce and organize any type of electronic media on your hard drive, Roxio Easy Media Creator Suite 9 is an excellent purchase.
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CyberLink Power Director 6
Moving on to the “robust power”… CyberLink Power Director 6 is a powerful video editing program. It also has a nice library of effects and transitions. It doesn’t have all of the applications that you would find in Roxio’s Easy Media Creator Suite, but what is there is solid.
When capturing off of a digital video camera, the sound is piped through to your computer speakers. This is a default setting in the program. It’s nice to be able to hear and see the video as it’s being captured on your computer. This allows you to be able to make better judgments when editing. You can easily do voiceovers and put effects on to your video. If you don’t have need for media player, photo organizer, ring tone maker, backup application, or disk copying capabilities but you wanna make a good professional looking film, then PowerDirector 6 is an excellent entry-level application for you. This program works flawlessly and a 64-bit Windows Vista environment as well as a 32-bit Windows XP environment.
This application retails for $89.95. The cheapest I was able to find it was for $64.99 as a download from newegg.com.
I recommend this program if you’re a purist, amateur video editor that doesn’t need all the bells and whistles of a software suite.
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AcrSoft Showbiz DVD 2
A touch of the grays… I’m speaking of ArcSoft Showbiz DVD 2. I don’t know that I would recommend this video editing application unless it gets remodeled. The editing/rendering engine is fast and good. The problem is that the engine has nothing to drive. There is no large effects library or transition lists to choose from. The transitions and effects that are there are dated. The worst part of this program is definitely its user interface. The entire interface is a drab gray. It is very displeasing to look at.
The application has some sort of flaw in its code that will not allow it to fill the entire screen at a resolution that is higher than 1024 X 768. When I contacted support, they told me to fix it by taking my resolution down to 1024 x 768. The recommended resolution for my flat screen monitor is 1680 x 1050. When I took my monitor to their resolution, it just became blurry and kind of trippy. For this reason alone I would not recommend this program.
The application did perform well. It rendered video more quickly than the other two programs. I don’t think it was enough to sway my recommendation to keep away from ArcSoft Showbiz DVD 2. Ironically, it is the most expensive of these three programs. It retails for $99.99. TigerDirect.com sells it for $79.99. This is still too much.
My recommendation for buying ArcSoft Showbiz DVD 2 is that you do not buy it. For the same amount of money (actually about half as much) you can either Roxio Easy Media Creator 9 or CyberLink PowerDirector 6. Both of these applications are newer and more powerful than Showbiz. They will work on higher resolution monitors. They have many more options for you to use.
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I hope you find this buying guide useful for you. Some of you may have friends or family members that are looking for quality video editing programs. If they are easily overwhelmed by new technology and applications then send them to the CyberLink website. If they love new technology and need a suite to organize their media, recommend Roxio Easy Media Creator.