Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Corel MediaOne Plus
- Highly user-friendly, plenty of tools and templates to play around with, comprehensive media backup options
- Video editing options are a tad basic
Corel MediaOne Plus is a user-friendly, multi-purpose application that keeps all of the basics covered. Whether you want to create DVD slideshows, enhance your photographs, or safely backup your media, MediaOne Plus offers the necessary tools for completion.
Price$ 99.00 (AUD)
Once upon a time, people used to fret about losing their photos and home movie collection in a raging house fire ("should we save the wedding album first, or the pets?") These days, it's all about the dreaded hard drive crash, which can be equally destructive and traumatic. Thankfully, Corel's MediaOne Plus offers a simple backup solution to ensure your archived memories are never lost. What's more, it allows you to comprehensively touch up your photos, as well as create scrapbooks and slideshows suitable for DVD. While it's not the most versatile editing application we've seen (particularly when it comes to video), it remains an affordable all-in-one package that should keep casual users well satisfied.
In addition to its CD and DVD-authoring capabilities, MediaOne Plus offers a Shapcast online storage account for maximum backup protection. This virtually eliminates the possibility of losing your cherished photographs; even if your computer, CD ROMs and photo albums simultaneously self-combust. The service allows users to archive their images in the JPEG format at a resolution of 2 megapixels (those who upgrade to a Premium plan can keep their photos stored at full resolution). Rather spiffily, the service will automatically upload your photos to your Shapcast account whenever you use the Corel Photo Downloader; saving you time and energy. As with any online storage service though, we would advise you not rely on it as your sole means of backup -- after all, there's no guarantee that the Web site will last forever, regardless of its 'lifetime storage' claims. (People have been burnt by similar companies in the past.)
As previously mentioned, the program also lets you make backups of your media to CD or DVD; achievable in three easy steps. It's a remarkably technophobe-friendly process -- simply place a disc into your hard drive, select the appropriate options in the Home panel and then burn your files to disc. Of course, making fail-safe backups of your media is only one aspect of the MediaOne Plus package; those who want to fix or spruce up their digital creations are equally well catered for.
As with Corel's Paint Shop Pro Photo X2, MediaOne Plus offers a range of intuitive photo editing tools which have been tailor-made for the entry level user. Unlike certain other editing packages; which require you to wade through a phonebook-sized manual, MediaOne Plus can be used with confidence directly after installation. Many commonly used tools and features -- such as perspective correction and red-eye removal -- have been simplified at the user's end to make life much easier. For those who want results fast, the included Quick Fix button offers a one-click solution for imperfect colour balance, contrast, clarity, and saturation.
Another feature borrowed from Corel's Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 is the popular Makeover tool. This allows you to make a handful of 'cosmetic enhancements' to your human subjects with just a few easy clicks. (Boyfriend looking a bit pastier than usual? Simply apply the Suntan mode to give him a hunkier, bronzed sheen!) All up, there are more than enough tools and features available to keep casual enthusiasts happy.
MediaOne Plus also comes equipped with some basic video editing options; including the ability to trim clips and extract still images. Unfortunately, the tools on offer are far too rudimentary to be of any real use -- if you don't own a dedicated video editing application, we advise sticking to Windows Movie Maker instead.
Rounding out the package is a host of multimedia tools and templates for the creation of calendars, scrapbooks, DVD menus, greeting cards and more. We were particularly impressed by the Corel Show application, which allows users to design dynamic photo presentations, complete with fancy transitions and zooming effects. You can also add titles and music tracks (WAV, WMA and MP3 files all supported). From laying out your photos to burning the production to DVD, the process is fast and hassle-free.
All up, this is an impressive and highly versatile product which has been packed with plenty of useful features. If you're after a cheap editing application that puts the emphasis on having fun, you could do a lot worse than MediaOne Plus.
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