The video productions you make, from either Giga Pocket recordings or imported MiniDV camcorder footage, can be edited and processed with a degree of sophistication unsurpassed - and probably unsurpassable - by any standalone DVD recorder because the software tools provided can turn this Vaio PC into a powerful video editing system. Besides Giga Pocket and Microsoft's Windows Movie Maker (part of Wndows XP), three more video-editing programs are supplied, some of them easier to use - yet more powerful - than a standalone DVD recorder's editing features: Adobe Premiere LE and Sony's own MovieShaker and DVgate. The Adobe program has near professional-grade power, giving you fine-grain control over such things as scene transitions and overlapping multiple images as well as assemble and insert editing. MovieShaker is a fun and easy to use assemble-edit system, and DVgate is good for importing MiniDV footage as well as assemble-editing.
Like most PCs containing a DVD-ROM or DVD-R/RW drive, the Vaio MXS10 can be turned into a DVD playerby using a software package. Sony supplies for this purpose its own strangely named Media Bar as well as Microsoft's Windows Media Player. Media Bar gives you the option of viewing the DVD in progressive-scan format on the computer monitor or on a TV via a composite- or S-video output. It also sends Dolby Digital data through the computer's optical digital audio output for external multichannel decoding. While there are no other surround sound facilities provided with the PC, if you listen through headphones via the front-panel jack, Media Bar can also perform Dolby Headphone virtual surround processing.
Aside from the latter two features, the MXS19 is basically a stereo device, as in the FM radiocontrolled by Sony's SonicStage Premium software, which allows timer recording of FM broadcasts to the hard-disk drive (with a bizarre time limit of 2 1/2 hours per event). External analog or non-copy-protected optical digital audio sources can also be recorded. All audio recordings, including any tracks that you've ripped from CDs using any of three different supplied programs (more on that below), can be incorporated into a music jukebox. SonicStage is, in fact, primarily a jukebox with inputs for FM, external analog or digital audio, CD, and, believe it or not, MiniDisc. Yes, using SonicStage, the MXS10 can also be turned into a MiniDisc (MD) recorder/player- there's a built-in MD drive.
Tracks ripped from CD can be "checked out" using SonicStage's OpenMG music-security system to an MD at any of three data rates. Two are MD-LP (long-play) rates using advanced ATRAC-3 data compression, and the third uses the MD format's original ATRAC-1 compression so the results are compatible with earlier standalone MD devices.
If you'd prefer not to use MiniDisc (still the most cost-effective way of carrying around large amounts of data-compressed music), you can also burn your own CDs using the DVD-R/RW drive as a CD recorder. In fact, you can burn audio and data CDs using several different supplied programs. The only major piece missing that would make CD recording as sophisticated as DVD burning is a high-quality audio editing program - but I was able to install both Sonic Foundry's Sound Forge 5.0 and Syntrillium's CoolEdit2000 without a hitch.
Copyright © 2013 Bonnier Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.