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CyberLink MediaEspresso 6

Convert video, music or images files into formats suitable for the iPad, iPod, games consoles, mobile phones and many other devices

by Mike Williams

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License: Trial Software
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:

1GB free hard drive space, Intel® Pentium® 4 3.0 GHz CPU with HyperThreading, or equivalent AMD processor and above

Languages: English, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish
Software Cost: $34.95 (Windows)
Date Updated: 05 August 2010
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 1011
Developer: CyberLink
RSS News Feed: http://feeds2.feedburner.com/cyberlink/enu
Twitter Feed: http://twitter.com/cyberlink
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cyberlink
Back up your data with Acronis True Image 2016 with a 1-PC LIFETIME license, only $29.99, saving 40%, from store.downloadcrew.com
MediaEspresso 6
Convert video, music or images files into the formats you need

MediaEspresso is a fast and powerful media conversion tool that will quickly convert video, music or image files into the format you need.

The program has direct support for the iPad, iPod, Xbox, PSP/ PS3, and many mobile phones and media players. And so there's none of the complexities here that you'll find with other transcoding tools. Simply drag and drop the files you'd like to convert onto the program, choose an output profile - an iPad, say - then click OK to accept the default settings and leave MediaEspresso to do its work. Once the process has finished your files can be directly synced to your device, transferred to the iTunes library, even uploaded to YouTube or Facebook - whatever you like.

Excellent video format support means the program is able to import all these file types: MKV (default subtitle), RM/RMVB, FLV NEW AVI, MPEG, MPEG-2, MOV (H.264), WMV, MP4, DVR-MS, .TS, MPG, ASF, M2T, M2TS, MTS, DV-AVI, TiVo, VOB, VRO, MOD, DAT, TOD and WTV (single channel). Export options are more limited, as you can only convert videos to MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MPEG-4 AVC, WMV or DivX formats, but that should still be enough for most purposes.

New in this version is the ability to convert some music or image files. There's not such a wide range of formats supported here (wma, mp3, m4a and BMP, JPEG, PNG), but it remains a welcome addition.

If you need to regularly convert large files, though, what you'll probably appreciate most of all is MediaEspresso's speed. The program uses multiple threads to make the most of every CPU core, and will automatically use NVIDIA CUDA or ATI Stream, if available, to accelerate the conversion process. It's even able to transcode up to 6 files at the same time, and so will squeeze the maximum possible performance out of your system.

Please note, this trial version is not only limited to 30 days use, but it will also convert videos to the H.264 format 50 times only. So use your conversions carefully.

Verdict:

There's plenty of free transcoding competition around, but MediaEspresso is faster, easier to use, and is better at handling the finished videos, from uploading them to YouTube to directly syncing with devices

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Spektrel Art 1.0.0

Free Full Commercial Software

Spektrel Art is a stand-alone program and Photoshop plugin which transforms digital photos into "magical art that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light".

What does that mean? Essentially it applies a configurable mix of effects, enhancing edges, smoothing backgrounds and emphasizing colours. Take a look at the thumbnail for one example, and the official product page has more.

Spektral Art works much like any similar tool. Open an image, click one of the thumbnails to apply a particular preset, or click a few buttons and drag some sliders to fine-tune the results.

There's surprising scope for variation, too. For example, just switching from the "Light" to "Dark" theme can transform a bright and friendly image into something dark and sinister, at least in some cases (results vary depending on the source image).

Please note, the demo version doesn't allow images to be saved.

SPECIAL OFFER: as we write, the developer is offering Spektral Art for free. The offer expires August 29th. Please note that you must provide your name, address and phone number to receive your free license.

[...]
Value:
Free
Rating: