Review: Got media? Pour it into CyberLink MediaEspresso for smooth conversions

Convert your media files to play on all your devices with this pricey but streamlined shareware.

CyberLink MediaEspresso costs more than many similar tools, but you get what you pay for: A sophisticated yet easy-to-use media converter that can handle most files and devices, including Apple, Android, and Windows smartphones, tablets, and media players, and popular game consoles, too. Plenty of tools can convert media files, including some capable freeware. MediaEspresso offers a robust, do-it-all capability in a streamlined interface, plus supports the latest graphics cards, multithread conversion, and direct upload to social media. CyberLink Media Espresso is free to try for 30 days (or 50 conversion runs) and costs $39.95.

We dragged a Flash video into the program's handy desktop widget, selected the file in MediaEspresso's main window (you can convert batches, too) and then clicked the smartphone icon. We selected our phone's brand from a long list, configured the output file type, quality, and other options on a properties sheet, and clicked "Convert." One neat touch: clicking the video rotated the main window into a media player that displayed our converted video full-size, not as a mere preview pane.

CyberLink MediaEspresso's top-quality user interface, beginner tutorials, and device-oriented conversion process make for a program that a wide range of users can manage, with ease; in fact, that may be its chief recommendation over similar but less expensive (or free) software: We hesitate to use the word "foolproof," partly because no software is, but MediaEspresso goes out of its way to make things easy for users who have A) a computer; B) a smartphone; and C) some media files they'd like to move from A to B; but really don't want to attain a deeper understanding of the process, thank you very much! In the end, it seems to be a matter of cost vs. convenience: MediaEspresso isn't free, and it isn't small, and its footprint is larger than freeware that does much the same thing. But if you're intimidated or put off by stripped-down apps or tools that seem to assume more software skills than you're prepared to cop to, CyberLink MediaEspresso is well worth its free tryout.

Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of CyberLink MediaEspresso 6.7.

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