Audials Moviebox 9 offers a versatile set of video and movie related applications that allow users to download videos from the Internet, rip DVDs, convert media, synchronize their collection and play videos.
When you first start the application you will notice that the interface can be divided into three modules. A maximum of two sections can be retracted to save screen estate. The left segment displays the program's core features. Available are the following options:
The middle section changes depending on the application selected by the user, the right displays a media player, a playlist of recent video files and options to browse, sort or search the media collection.
When you select the DVD ripper app from the menu you are asked to insert a video DVD into the computer's DVD drive. A convert menu is displayed here as well to select an output video and audio format for the DVD movie. Only some of the available conversion profiles are displayed directly. A click on the arrow at the end of the line opens advanced conversion options.
Here it is now possible to select the output audio and video format from a wide variety of types. A click on video for instance displays the formats that Audials Moviebox 9 supports, profiles for specific devices and an option to create a custom conversion profile. Supported are Android, Apple, Windows Phone 7 and Nokia devices, gaming consoles and many other devices. And if a device is not supported outright, you can create a profile for that particular device.
The very same options are available when the audio output format is selected. These conversion options are available in all Moviebox modules.
DVDs without copy protection are directly copied, converted and saved on the computer. Protected DVDs are played back in fullscreen and recorded by the application to comply with local laws. This process takes considerably longer as the movie plays back in realtime. You also need to make sure that you do not use the computer during the recording to avoid breaking it.
The media converter supports audio and video files. You can drag and drop files into the interface to populate the list of files that you want converted, use the file browser to select them or use the search to do the same.
You can play video or audio files that you have added to the conversion queue. The conversion options are available here as well. You can still select an existing profile to convert your media files to, or create a custom profile to suite your particular requirements.
The converter can search for covers, ID3 tags and lyrics automatically and add those to the program's meta data if that is supported by the output file.
The program is fast when it comes to conversions. Even large files (600+ Megabytes) or files with a long playing time are converted in a matter of minutes. This may vary depending on the PC the program is running on and the output formats and quality selected.
The streaming module can be used to capture audio and video streams from websites and applications. A click on the video recording button starts the scanning of the network stream for media files. You have the option to save videos manually or use the automatic save option to store all media files that you open on websites or in applications automatically. You can furthermore use the conversion options to convert the downloaded media files directly to appropriate formats.
A test on popular video hosting sites such as YouTube, Gametrailers and Microsoft properties was positive. The program catches the media files when they are played in the browser or in another application and displays them in the interface.
Moviebox either downloads the streams directly to the computer, or records what is shown on the screen. That's handy if you need to download a movie from a site where the stream cannot be downloaded directly. A test on the popular Hulu website was successful because of this as well.
It may happen that the video that you want to download is not recognized by the application. You can then switch to manual mode where you define an area on your screen that you want to record.
The media center offers two options. It for one allows you to manage your media collection which includes playing, sorting and even deleting files. The second option can be used to import or export media files to devices or locations. It is here for instance possible to export new media directly to iTunes, or import new media files from a smartphone.
Additional options include burning media to disc, creating ringtones, exporting it to a specific folder or to cloud storage providers. The program supports eSnips, Strato and T-Online as well as the WebDAV format (so that popular providers like SkyDrive or Amazon Cloud are supported as well).
Audials Moviebox 9 is a versatile tool for users who work with videos, movies and DVDs regularly. The program's easy to use despite the functionality that it provides. Some users may say that other programs are more efficient when it comes to copying protected DVDs. That may be the case, but they are not really an option if you are living in a country where it is not allowed to bypass copy protections.
What I personally like about the program are the little things that make life more comfortable. The option to automatically download streaming media, that your custom profile is available in all program modules and that you can import or export media effortlessly.
Update: The product has received several upgrades since our initial review that add more functionality to it and fix compatibility issues. You can follow the link posted below in the summary box to read up on the changes in the new version of the application.
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