Corel MediaOne Plus lets you quickly organize your collection of digital photos and videos, and it's a powerful all-in-one application for managing photos all the way from your camera to a finalized scrapbook. It also backs up important files online, using a companion Sharpcast service. MediaOne Plus offers a solid collection of features in a logical, if uninspired, interface. But is that enough these days?
The interface consists of a large window for viewing albums, folders, and individual photos or videos, with main navigation--Home, Enhance, Show, and Create. Home provides the organizational features, Enhance includes basic image editing and effects, Show lets you combine photos, videos, and music into your own remixed creations, and Create offers a variety of photo products like collages, albums, and greeting cards. The Corel Shows are a fun way to create a quick memento of an event or trip, but they can only be exported as WMV videos.
Some of the actions, such as "Share Photos as E-mail," appear in two places in the navigation. Unfortunately, so do promotions for Paint Shop Pro Photo. It's OK to inform users of other applications--and it would be different if the program was free--but to put links for other software in the navigation of a $50 program seems like too much.
Both the trial version of MediaOne Plus and the Sharpcast backup service require two separate e-mail registrations. It's a mild annoyance, but the registration process was painless. The Sharpcast service works fine: there is no limit to the number or size of the photos you can upload. Large photos will be resized after 30 days, but will be kept at print quality for sizes up to 5 x 7 inches. For the free plan, a 50MB storage limit applies to videos and other multimedia files.
What's interesting is that MediaOne Plus is built on the back end of the now-unsupported software Snapfire, which was a free photo-management tool Corel launched back in the fall of 2006. There are all sorts of new features in MediaOne Plus--such as the ability to add music to Shows or text captions to photos, as well as nine additional projects like certificates and greeting cards--but do they merit the new price tag? Luckily, a full-featured trial of 30 days gives you plenty of opportunity to try out the software before deciding.
Digital-camera users looking for a fun and easy way to make the most of their photos and video clips need look no further than Corel MediaOne Plus. Improve and enhance your photos in an instant; download, view, trim, and show off your video clips; make scrapbooks, collages, and calendars; e-mail, print, or make slideshows of your memories; and back up photos online, automatically powered by Sharpcast.