Digital Media Suite Software
Do you want to organize your vacation pictures and videos? Do you need to create a professional-grade video for a business presentation? Do you want a better tool for managing your photo collection? If you answered yes to any of the questions mentioned above, you should look into getting a digital media studio software suite. This software package helps you create, manage, edit, and share your videos and digital photographs. However, not all software suites are right for all consumers. Make sure to pick the package that best suits your needs and particular situation. This guide walks you through the process of selecting the suitable package for your particular situation.
January 04, 2011
Nero Multimedia Suite is a Video Editing & Digital Media Suite Software for Windows created by publisher Nero AG.
October 09, 2014
Nero Platinum is a Video Editing & Digital Media Suite Software for Windows computers by publisher Nero AG.
June 17, 2011
Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate is a Digital Media Suite Software (ripping, audio/video converter, editor, youtube support and more) for windows and created by publisher Wondershare Software Co, Ltd.
February 22, 2011
CyberLink Media Suite is a Digital Media Suite Software for Windows created by Publisher CyberLink Corporation.
February 16, 2011
Corel Digital Suite is a Video Editing & Digital Media Suite Software for Windows created by publisher Corel Corporation.
January 04, 2011
Nero Multimedia Suite Platinum HD is a Video Editing & Digital Media Suite Software for Windows created by publisher Nero AG.
Digital Media Suite Software
What is Digital Media Suite Software?
Whether it is a video collage or presentation for business purposes or just cleaning up or coming up with a more engaging and entertaining vacation video, you will need digital media studio software to produce high-quality multimedia files. This software is really a collection of differing features that come from standalone purposes. For example, the video editing component of a digital media studio suite comes from an existing category of software that is used to edit, manage and package video files. The same goes with the photo editing component. Photo editing is an older category of software over the internet. There have been many editing packages through the years and one of the oldest is Microsoft Paint. Photo editing features are fairly straightforward and standard. However, through the years there have been many enhancements and upgrades as users' particular needs evolve.
Digital media studio software suites select among the differing components of video and photo editing software titles and repackage them for the average consumer or business user. Instead of telling you specifically which particular package is the best for your needs, this guide takes a different approach. We use a consideration-based system to let consumers weigh software options based on their particular needs and requirements. Using this system, we hope to help you avoid overpaying for bloated software or buying underpowered software. Either situation does not serve your interests.
When Selecting a Digital Media Suite Software
There are five main considerations to think about when selecting digital media studio software suites: Photo capture and editing features, video capture and editing features, export functionality and disc authoring features.
Photo capture and editing features
This collection of features involves your software's ability to import inputs from sources like a digital camera or an existing picture and manipulating the image to enhance quality, to produce a different look, or otherwise alter the original source content. Digital camera, removable media, and scanner support are fairly standard features among digital media software suites. Be very careful of packages that do not support these features. Digital camera support means you can input pictures directly from your digital camera storage straight to the software. Removable media is none other than compact discs. It should be able to support CD import and also other removable cartridges from digital cameras. Camera memory sticks that also fall in this category along with scanners or devices where you put in the hard copy picture and it converts that hard copy into an editable digital version.
Smartphone support, integrated filters and effects, and photo fix capabilities are crucial features that not all packages possess.
Smartphone support is quite standard. It should be able to import photos directly from your mobile phone using a USB cable.
Filters & Effects
Filters and effects are commonplace features that apply filters to the imported content to clean it up and take out imperfections. They are also used to put effects on the photos like different tints, black-and -white negatives, changing proportions, and other common effects.
Photo fix functionality is also a very important feature. Different digital cameras and phones take pictures differently. Photofix helps you deal with this reality. There are many situations that impact picture quality. Weather conditions and the environments that the pictures are taken in both impact the resulting picture. Rarely is a picture taken straight from a camera published immediately without any editing or filtering. The photo fix wizard takes care of any imperfections that inevitably occur when taking pictures with a digital camera and/or a mobile phone. This feature is not as powerful as a standalone photo editing software like Photoshop, but it should be robust enough to do the job. If these features are important to you, and they should be, make sure that the package that you are considering has these elements.
Other common standard features that the package should have are image straightening, crop tool, image resizing, and red eye removal. These are very standard features for modern photo editing software. However, some older packages do not have them. Make sure that you have these because you are not up to date if you do not have these features.
- Cropping tool helps you to cut your photo to different sizes.
- Image resizing resizes the image and keeps the proportion of the picture enabling it would fit whatever page or report you are going to put the photo in.
- Red eye removal takes care of a very pesky and common problem when taking pictures with flash photography. Oftentimes there are red eyes of the subjects of the picture. This feature takes care of that.
Other standard features to look for are shadow adjustment, contrast adjustment, and saturation adjustment. Again these are color-based tools that are very common among different media suites and they should all carry these features. You are looking at an incomplete or weak package if they do not have these. While most novice users probably will not use these features at first, as your proficiency grows and the need to color adjust your photos become more evident, you would need to use these more and more. You are at a disadvantage if you use an older package that does not have these features.
Other newer features that not all digital media studio suites support are the cloning tool, touchup tool, text tool feature, selection tools and templates.
- Photo cloning is the ability to duplicate your image, whether in the same image or across differing images. This is a handy tool when you are making different versions of the same image.
- If your photo fix feature did not take care of any blemishes, you could use a touchup tool to clean up problem areas in the photo.
- The text tool feature allows you to put text in the image. This is helpful for captioning and also for on-file labeling - labeling that is inside the photo itself.
- For advanced selection tools, there are basic selection tools available but sometimes you would need different shapes and different location selections, and advanced selection tools would come in handy if you have different requirements from the standard selection.
- Templates are very important for a variety of reasons. First, they help you deal with the difficulty of starting from scratch. If you want to add a professional touch to your photos, but you do not want to start from scratch, you are at a disadvantage if you do not have templates. The templates make your pictures look professional but all you did was put them in a template. Also it gives you a lot of creative license because you can improve on the template once the photos are in and you can enhance the pictures from there. Even if you do know how to style a photo and are quite proficient with photo editing, templates can save you a lot of time because they prepackaged many of the editing moves and steps that you would need to do otherwise if you did not have a template.
Video capture and video editing features
This body of features allows you to import video content from the source into the software, manipulate it, and then export it into a viewable format. It is a fairly straightforward process. However, the process has many differing subparts. Depending on how heavy your video editing tasks are, you need to select carefully among these features so they fit your particular needs.
These features are non-negotiable when it comes to video editing. You must look for these features. If these features are not included in the package you are considering, abandon that package and look for something else. If you are looking at a package that does not have these, then you are looking at obsolete technology.
Standard video capture and editing features include integrated effects, drag and drop functionality, AVCHD capture, HDV, DVD and mini DV capture, story board functionality, splitting scene division and scene trimming, color correction functionality and audio track import, voice over function and open timeline. These are standard features that must be present in your package or else you are getting ripped off. Insist on these.
- Integrated effects are a bundle of effects that can be integrated into the video. Its drag and drop functionality lets you move files from the interface directly. It is easier to drag and drop than to open a file in a sub-menu and dig through folders to find a file.
- AVCHD capture is capturing from AVCHD format. Certain cameras use this format and your software package must be able to get that information and process it accordingly.
- The most common video formats now are HDV, DVD and mini DV. These are the standard formats for most current digital video cameras. Your software must be able to support these. If it does not, better find another one because DVD, mini DV, and HDV are the standards now. You will just be wasting time and money by settling for software that does not support these format standards.
- The story board feature allows you to segment the footage so you can manage it. By cutting up into different segments, you can then sequence it and manipulate and splice scenes easily. This is all done through a story board system. Editing is very difficult if you do not have a story board feature. It makes things so much easier.
- Scene trimming is a standard feature. You should be able to trim scenes, cut scenes down, and edit them. This is a non-negotiable editing tool.
- Color correction is noteworthy because just like with the photo capture tools such as cameras and mobile phones, even digital video cameras may have color issues. You may have recorded a video in a different palette and color correction goes a long way in fixing this problem dynamically.
- You also should be able to import audio tracks. This is, again, a non-negotiable item. While video is very important, its power is greatly weakened and reduced without corresponding audio. It is very important to have a great audio import system from your capture device.
- Voice over functionality. There are not many novice video editors who would use this function, but as you grow in proficiency, you would see yourself using it more and more often. It really is indispensable once you reach a certain point because it allows you to direct the user's attention when they are viewing your video. It gives you power over the video. It gives the video direction.
- Open timeline is a feature that lets you move your timeline around. This is very crucial to editing but not all packages contain this feature. Open timeline gives you a lot of flexibility in editing because you can just move segments around and manipulate the timeline directly.
Optional video capture and editing features
These features are not absolutely necessary, but given the state of video evolution currently, they are highly recommended. They will not make or break your video per se. However, they would make your life much easier because they solve many common issues. These optional but important features are analog capture, streaming web video capture, still image capture, text functionality, zoom functionality audio track management, and lighting correction features.
- Analog capture involves being able to take input from an analog device. It is hard to believe this now since everything is digital, but for a long time until recently most devices were analog such as VHS camcorders. Not all software supports this. It is very important that you have this feature when you are dealing with archiving videos from older sources or you are trying to create an archive.
- Web video streaming capture. Not all software can capture a streaming video and turn it into a regular video. If you are using web sources for your project, you definitely need this feature.
- Still image capture is substantial if you are trying to add photos to your video. Depending on the narrative element of your video and the requirements of your composition, this might be a great feature to have. Just capture the image and place it in the video directly and edit it in. This is very different from having to shoot a still image directly with the video camera.
- Text functionalities. Just like with voice over, text and caption functionalities are very important because it lets you control the flow of the video. It lets you control the interpretation of your work. It also guides the viewer to various levels of analysis. However, this is not a mandatory feature. Not all software packages have this, but it is a very powerful tool. If you see yourself using text caption features for your video, this is a feature that you need to insist on.
- Zoom functionality. Believe it or not, not all videos have zoom in or zoom out functionality. Zoom in and zoom out are self-explanatory. It helps you pan in and pan out. You can see the image up close or from a distance. While this may seem basic, not all packages have this and it actually impacts your video's narrative significantly because zooming in to something is a great way to enhance an image and also to emphasize particular items and elements. This could dramatically impact your video's effectiveness.
- Audio track management. Many software suites are fast evolving in regard to this feature. Audio tracks help you manipulate the tracks that are inside the video. It helps you edit the sound and to create a more professional end product. Obviously the more audio tracks are the better because they help create a more fine-tuned experience. However, not all the packages have this feature. If audio management is high on your priority list, make sure to keep an eye out on this particular element.
- Trim and fading audio. It is easy to understand trimming in a video, but audio needs to be trimmed as well for dramatic effect and also to fit the particular video. It is important to have this element present if audio manipulation plays a big role in your project.
- Lighting correction. Videos are shot with different capture devices and sometimes they are not done in the most optimal situation and sometimes there are logistical problems that get in the way. In the editing process, you can take care of lighting issues using this lighting correction feature.
Now that you have created your video and your photo, you have edited it and you have managed the elements within each file, it is time to export it in its final form and share it to its final destination. The mandatory features when it comes to export functionality is printer export, YouTube sharing and export.
Printer export is fairly straightforward. You should be able to print your photo. There is no printer support for videos. Whether it is printing on a special paper or just printing out on a regular paper, you just need to be able to print it. That is non-negotiable.
YouTube conversion for videos is also non-negotiable because YouTube is the most common free video sharing tool on the internet. Also YouTube does not use a standard format like wmv or avi. It uses flash video, so most video editing software suites support YouTube export functionality. The other features for sharing and exporting your files are optional. Again insist on these depending on your particular needs.
For photos, these optional features are the capability to upload to online photo sharing websites, mobile device support, Facebook support, Apple iPod compatibility, Sony PSP format support and sharing via e-mail.
- There are many websites available online that publish your photos for free. You can then link to your photos or your friend and then send it to your friend so they can see your photos. You can also image source it directly to your website so that when your website loads, it pulls the photo from another server. These websites provide a valuable service because they host the picture for free. Any file hosted on a server is being paid for by the person renting the server or who owns the server. Image hosting sites save you a lot of money because you do not shoulder the cost. They provide the service free of charge.
- PDA and mobile device support. More and more people are viewing photos and videos through their mobile phone. This is a very important development. However, many software suites have not caught up to this trend. If you plan to show your video on somebody's android phone, make sure that your software has this feature.
- Apple iPod support. The iPod uses a format called mp4. Not all software suites support this format. If you plan to put your video in your iPod 4 or share it among friends for iPod usage, make sure that it has this feature. The same goes with Sony PSP because it uses a specific format and not all software suites support this format.
- E-mail sharing, believe it or not, is not universal among software suite packages. If you plan to share via e-mail, make sure that you have this feature available to make e-mail sharing quick and easy. It is possible to upload pictures to a server and then get the link and then send the e-mail. This function does it more efficiently.
Disc authoring function involves writing your finished file on to a removable media like CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs and high-density discs. As a standard feature, at most a minimum, your software suite must be able to write to all these formats. While some titles are optional and will not go on forever, Blu-ray adoption is the industry standard and your videos are invariably going to appeal to people who only have Blu-ray or who prefer Blu-ray. Make sure that your software suite covers all these disc formats.
Disc authoring features do not just involve the specific media that you are going to write on. It also involves the functionality of writing to the media, for example being able to create menus and making sure that these menus look engaging, the ability to divide the video into chapters like a standard DVD and also adding music tracks to the menu. These are standard and basic functionalities that you should look for in your disc authoring feature set. If these are not included, it may be a disadvantage because most video suites already contain these features and most of your viewers would probably expect it. There is one optional function when it comes to disc authoring that adds extra value to your video and this is the multilayer menu system. Multilayer menu system allows for sub-menus within the DVD menu. This is very helpful for DVDs that have many different subsections and also have different features. It is very helpful if your content is very rich and it is a very powerful feature to have.
Digital Media Suite Software: The Conclusion
Video and photo technology is evolving fast, not just in terms of editing multimedia files but also managing and sharing them. From the consumer's side, consumer's needs are also evolving rapidly with the rise of social media networks, YouTube and other technological developments. Consumers' tastes also evolve rapidly over time. Whether you are a personal consumer or a business consumer, list your particular needs and spell out the particular features that you are looking for and match it against the feature sets that we discussed above to find the right match for you. Do not cut corners. Price is not everything. You lose more money trying to save with underpowered software than investing the right amount to get the power and features you need. Conversely, if your needs are very limited, do not waste money on bloated software that have features that you probably will not use. To find the right software for your particular needs, focus on identifying a close match between your situation and the software features.