MediaShow 6 is Cyberlink's latest attempt to make organizing your photos and videos less of a chore. It provides a one-stop-shop for managing, editing and sharing your media by combining MediaShow's organization tools with elements taken from its specialist photo- and video-editing software. It comes in two versions, Ultra and Deluxe, though the only difference is that the Ultra version can convert 20 images into 30. But with the likes of Picasa offering similar tools for free, is it worth paying extra for MediaShow's features?
The main function of Cyberlink MediaShow 6 is to organize your photos and videos, yet it's these tools in the program that are the weakest. When we asked the program to automatically sync media from our PC, it failed to find any compatible files. We couldn't simply use the Import button either, as this only works with external devices like USB hard drives. Instead, we had to manually add folders to the Library. With over 1,000 photos and videos in various formats on our computer, this manual importing process was an unnecessary hassle.
We were frustrated by how long it took to upload the files, too. A folder of 237 JPEG photos, each less than 200KB took three minutes when it only took around 30 seconds in other software. We also had to convert a lot of our videos - namely 3GP files from our phone - t o a compatible format using other software.
Interface and DisplayOnce your media files are added, each folder displays a handy slider that lets you browse thumbnails of files inside folders without having to open them first. Hovering over a file lets you edit, rotate or delete it, and also adds a tick box to the top-right corner. We hoped t his would let you select multiple pictures at once, but disappointingly, it only adds selected pictures to your Media Tray, one at a time.
Organization toolsBy far the best looking of MediaShow's views is the Calendar, which lets you list your photos by date, see all of them as thumbnails and jump to particular dates and events. The only drawback is that you can't edit your pictures in t his mode. Instead, you have to go back to another view, find your photo, and then click it again to edit it.
To organize and label your photos, you use customizable text tags or Tag Faces. MediaShow took almost four and a half minutes to scan the faces in our folder of 237 photos, and it wasn't completely accurate, failing to recognize the same person in photos if the angle of their face was only slightly and a half minutes to scan the faces in our folder of 237 photos, and it wasn't totally accurate, failing to recognize the same person in photos if the angle of their face was only slightly different. In some photos it tagged faces in the background, but missed the photo's main subjects. However, once you've managed to get the faces tagged, it will carry the names across to Facebook if you upload the photos there, too.
Social mediaIt's this link to Facebook, plus YouTube and Flickr, that makes MediaShow special, and goes some way to justifying its price. If you sign into your Facebook and Flickr account within the software, you can immediately see all your photo albums and streams. By simply clicking on your friends' profile pictures, you can see their photos, too. These can be 'liked' and commented on, and if you drag photos to your Media Tray and click the Save button, you can download albums to your hard drive.
Photo-editing toolsMediaShow's photo-editing tools are basic, and not much better than you'd expect from free software like Picasa. There are standard effects, including sepia and black & white, and you can carry out automatic, one-click edits or adjust various levels manually.
Features : 4/5
Performance : 3/5
Ease of Use : 3/5
Value for Money : 2/5
CyberLink MediaShow 6Deluxe: £39.99
- Windows 7, Vista or XP (Service Pack 2)
- 1,024 x 600 pixels screen resolution
- 16-bit colour
- 1GB of memory
- 1GB of hard drive space
- Intel Pentium D 3.0GHz or better processor
- Social media and 3D tools are stand-out features
- Keeps all your tools in one place
- Picasa has similar tools for free
- Tools aren't good enough for the price