Let’s start with our usual Cyberlink grumble. Not the number of updates its software likes to fling in your direction -more the fact that it just doesn’t understand the word no’. Do we want to register now, or later? How about never’? Where’s that option? It’s way past time that Cyberlink included it.
Leaving the lack of basic manners aside, Cyberlink’s software is usually pretty compelling – and so it proves with PowerDirector 9. The package primarily remains a suite of tools to let you edit your videos into some kind of shape, along with a familiar collection of options and effects. Then, the software helps you output it to the format or medium of your choice.
So far, so conventional – although that in itself is no bad thing. The even brighter news, though, are the features that distinguish Cyberlink PowerDirector 9 from the crowd.
One of the biggest advantages of PowerDirector 9, for example, is that it’s available in a 64-bit version. For video editing, this is very helpful, as it unlocks the capabilities of the software to make use of any memory you have in your system over 4GB. Assuming, that is, that you’re using a 64-bit system. The upshot of this is that it potentially offers a lot more speed, which could come in really handy when dealing with sizeable video files. If your system is 32-bit – as the majority are – you won’t see any benefit from this at all. But it’s worth noting, if you already happen to be running 64-bit Windows.
Even if you’re using a 32-bit Windows OS, PowerDirector 9 includes a number of other improvements that will make the actual editing of your video that bit quicker. Cyberlink appears to have done quite a lot of work under the bonnet since the last release, making the program a little quicker than we expected, even when dealing with high-definition material. If you’re planning to play around with 720p or 1080i/p content, you’re still going to spend a lot of time watching the progress bar – but there’s a real sense that a lot of work has been done to jolly things along.
This is a very welcome development, given that video editing is traditionally a time intensive and system heavy task. As is the fact that Power Director 9 is stable. Applications that work with big files have a habit of being a little frail from time to time, so it’s good to have a little less worry here.
Much of the program ticks the conventional boxes, and hasn’t changed too much. But then, it didn’t need to. Because for some time, Power Director has been a quietly efficient video editing application, with a friendly interface, a surprising number of tools, and a lack of fuss about its work that’s entirely commendable.
PowerDirector 9 is a solid and compelling alternative to the likes of Adobe Premiere Elements and Pinnacle Studio, and one that sets quite a demanding bar for the rest of the market. Recommended.