Considering that we now live in the refined iPod age, where interaction between user and device is simple, intuitive and stylish, it's surprising that products such as 3D Media Centre ever see the light of day.

On paper things look fine, with the fundamentals of the package enabling users to edit video, watch DVDs or listen to music. It's hardly anything new, but useful nonetheless.

The problem is the cringe-worthy interface which, in an attempt to stand out from the competition, has gone 3D. The main modules are represented by low-polygon 3D objects placed on a spinning carousel. Is it a gimmick? Oh yes.

Sadly, the irritation factor doesn't fully dissolve once inside the creative modules, as it's here that the interface switches from annoying to problematic. The unfortunate decision to oversize the edge of the floating palettes means that the work area has had sizable bites removed.

But persevere with the interface and there are some useful features waiting to be discovered. The best of these is the 3D Edit module, which proves you don't have to be Martin Scorsese to turn out slick looking movies. From within 3D Edit you have options to capture, edit and output your videos. And there's a reasonable selection of transitions and video effects to play with.

While video editing is fairly successful, there are other areas where 3D Media Centre is spread too thinly. If you're looking for photo-editing capabilities, 3D Media Centre isn't for you. Despite having a 3D camera icon on the main menu, 3D Media Centre is happy only to open pictures, compile a slideshow and export them. Frankly, you get more functionality in a printer these days.

Tenomichi 3D Media Centre Gold: Specs

  • 1.4GHz CPU or above
  • Windows 2000/XP
  • 512MB RAM
  • 200MB hard disk space, DirectX 9.0-compatible graphics card with Pixel Shader 2.0 or above
  • 1.4GHz CPU or above
  • Windows 2000/XP
  • 512MB RAM
  • 200MB hard disk space, DirectX 9.0-compatible graphics card with Pixel Shader 2.0 or above

OUR VERDICT

Look past the gimmicks and there's enough goodies here to interest casual users. But it's up against tough competition. Programs such as Roxio Easy Creator 9.0 can do much of this and more, all for a small premium.

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