Review: Cinematize2

Performs well and easy to use (May 5th, 2005)

MacNN Rating:

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Product Manufacturer: Miraizon LLC

Price: $59.95 (download), $69.95 (retail)

The Good

  • Simple interface. Saves video to any QuickTime format, works directly from DVDs or ripped data.

The Bad

  • Can only extract from one video title set at a time. Can't directly enter timecode when setting in/out points.

Kudos to Miraizon for creating a simple, elegant easy to use tool that performs its function with aplomb. Cinematize2 is a cool utility for extracting video and audio segments from DVDs. It's definitely a tool to own if you work with video. For example, if you've created a DVD then lost the original video (through accident or disaster), or need to create a demo reel, but don't have access to the original footage, or just want to show off scenes from a project that you worked on, Cinematize2 can help. Or, if you own a video camera that saves to a DVD disk and you want to edit your movie files later, Cinematize2 can help in these situations too.

To capture video or audio, just load a DVD then launch Cinematize2. Next drag the DVD into the Cinematize2 window, select a video title set from the list, select the segment of video to extract (by setting in and out points), set the options for video, audio, subtitles and output, and click Extract.

Cinematize2 Interface

The interface is simple, with easy access to its powerful decoding features. Tabs exist for each section (segment, video, audio, subtitles, and output) and drop down menus offer the appropriate options. Selecting video is as simple as dragging a slider or clicking arrows in the timecode fields. The video can be saved in any format supported by QuickTime (including MPEG4, DV and full quality uncompressed). One improvement I'd recommend is direct entry of timecode, which would speed up setting in and out points. Selections can only be made by previewing the video though, so when you want to capture a specific audio segment with video, its a bit harder to pinpoint the in and out points without timecode. The video-editing neophyte may also find some of the options confusing, so a more detailed manual would be useful also.

File Extraction

What Cinematize2 can't do, because of the existing DMCA laws, is extract video from encrypted commercial DVDs. There are free tools to decrypt (or rip) DVDs to a hard drive and Cinematize2 can extract video and audio from these files as readily as from a DVD. It should also be noted that video and audio extracted from DVDs using tools like Cinematize2 won't be exactly the same quality as the original video, the compression process for encoding video for DVD throws data away, but the quality of extracted clips from Cinematize2 is very close. Even though this product didn't earn a 5-star rating yet, it's well worth the reasonable price.

Specifications

Cinematize2 requires a Mac with a G3 processor or higher (optimized for G4 and G5 processors), 128 MB RAM (256 or higher recommended), running Mac OS X 10.2 or later. You also need a DVD optical drive and enough hard drive space to store the extracted video.

Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor, who has been waiting for this program for years, contributed to this evaluation.

by James Alguire


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