Copious options, robust power, or a touch of the grays? In this guide, I will compare and contrast three video editing software programs: Arcsoft Showbiz DVD 2, Roxio Easy Media Creator Suite 9, and CyberLink PowerDirector 6 to give you a good sense of why to buy each.
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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
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
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.