With a nod to Apple’s simple but well-designed iPhoto program, CyberLink's MediaShow 4 nonetheless has an impressive interface. Small thumbnails appear in the central main column, with directory shortcuts on the left and a tray of selected images on the right.

When thumbnails are scaled up or down, they will magically juggle around the main window as they jostle for new positions. An option to show a larger preview would have been useful, although it only takes a double-click to quickly fill the entire window for closer viewing.

From there, you can select image editing tools, including a Fix function which provides easy enhancements such as Auto Contrast and Auto Balance.

Autofix Lighting works especially well to bring out the brightness and clarity of photos, although as with all such 'impressive' lifts, it can look overdone on some images.

Images can be compiled to create a photo slideshow, and burned to disc if required as an MPEG or WMV video. Various motion effects are available, with the Cell effect standing out, with its mosaic of squares flipping over to complete a fullscreen image.

CyberLink MediaShow 4 can also make DVDs for playing on any home player, mixing images and video clips onto one disc if required. Video footage can be imported directly from a camcorder via FireWire, or compiled from shorter clips - such as those captured from a still camera. Additionally it's possible to upload photos to Flickr or videos to YouTube, all directly from the MediaShow interface.

MediaShow: Specs

  • Windows Vista/XP/2000
  • 512MB minimum, 1GB recommended
  • 1GB hard disk space (20GB recommended for DVD production)
  • DVD+/-R burner for creating DVD
  • Windows Vista/XP/2000
  • 512MB minimum, 1GB recommended
  • 1GB hard disk space (20GB recommended for DVD production)
  • DVD+/-R burner for creating DVD

OUR VERDICT

CyberLink MediaShow 4 is an easy to use image and video browsing program, yet with some powerful features lying just clicks away from the principal viewing modes. Its beguiling 'liquid' 3D interface adds to the fun and makes photo manipulation fun again.

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