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SRG Sites > NewTechReview > Reviews > MyDVD Media Suite

MyDVD Media Suite

Manufacturer: Adaptec
Disclaimer: The manufacturer provided NewTechReview with a NFR unit of this product for review.
Reviewed by Scott R. Garrigus
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With the proliferation of PCs in todayís society, we as consumers are using them more and more especially in the areas of entertainment and data storage. Digital audio, digital video, and digital photos are all a part of our lives. Up until recently, CDs have been used to store all of this digital data, but now DVDs are becoming the norm because of their much larger storage capacity. But early DVD software wasnít very convenient or easy to work with, so Adaptec is trying to change the difficulties of consumer DVD creation with their MyDVD Media Suite product.

Adaptecís MyDVD Media Suite gives you all the tools you need to quickly burn music, video, photos and important documents on DVDs and CDs. Of course, in addition to the Suite, youíll need a DVD and/or CD burner. The Suite allows you to create Hollywood-style home movie DVDs, create music CDs, edit movies with special effects, use DVDs and CDs for data backup, view and share video and digital pictures, create digital photo albums, and also create labels for your DVDs and CDs. Included in the package are the following software applications: Sonic MyDVD, ArcSoft ShowBiz, Sonic RecordNow, Sonic CinePlayer, Sonic SureThing CD Labeler SE (special edition), and Sonic Drive Letter Access (DLA).

Sonic MyDVD allows you to author your own DVD video projects and then burn them to disc. You can include motion video menus and customize a project by simply dragging and dropping scenes on the screen. And if you donít have a DVD burner just yet, you can create Video CD projects for playback in CD players. For more sophisticated editing, you can export scenes to ArcSoft Showbiz and then import them back into MyDVD. With Showbiz you can trim clips; speed up or slow down video; combine multiple clips; combine video and still images; apply a variety of Hollywood-style effects; choose from over 60 transitions between clips; adjust brightness, hue, contrast and saturation; add up to two simultaneous audio tracks; time-shift audio relative to video; as well as lay titles over video.

With Sonic RecordNow you can create exact copies of your favorite data or audio CDs and DVDs; create a music or MP3 disc for playing in your PC, car or home stereo; and burn your data to CD or DVD for archiving, transporting, or sharing files. In addition, with the included Sonic Drive Letter Access, you can do simple data burning to CD or DVD by just dragging and dropping your files using the Windows Explorer.

After burning your own CDs and DVDs, you can create, edit and print color labels for them using the Sonic SureThing CD Labeler. This software provides playlist support, meaning it will automatically find and display the artist, song title and playtime information to be added to a CD label. The Labeler includes pre-designed text on labels called SmartDesigns; built-in scanning for quick importing of photos; and a large collection of background and clip art images you can use. And to complete the Suite, thereís the Sonic CinePlayer, which delivers high-quality DVD and Video CD playback for your PC.

I tested the Media Suite by creating projects with each of the applications, and for the most part all went well. I was able to create CDs and labels without any problems. Unfortunately, the Sonic MyDVD application (the main part of this Suite) needs some work. My first gripe is that it only provides very basic functionality. Of course, this is offset with the inclusion of the ArcSoft ShowBiz application. But Sonic MyDVD is also buggy. It crashed on me several times. And worst of all, the final DVD output is poor. If you compare your original video quality to the quality of the MyDVD final output, youíll definitely notice a difference for the worse.

Since Sonic MyDVD is the main application in this Suite, I canít recommend that you purchase this product even though it offers much more in the way of CD, photo album, and label creation as well as nice playback software. If the Sonic MyDVD application is updated and fixed, then Adaptec will have a very nice product on their hands that provides all the tools a home user needs for creating DVD movies, music CDs, and more. Weíll just have to wait and see if a future update is forthcoming.
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