Media Cope is a free program that supports a wide range of video and audio formats and combines a media player, audio and video converters and cutters, batch photo resizing and conversions, as well as a handful of other functions in a single tabbed interface.
This strangely named program is primarily a media player, but it also includes many other functions that typically are not bundled together, such as media conversions and cutting. There’s something really nice about having multiple functions in the same place within a unified interface; take a look at the screenshot above and notice the tabs and top, and you will immediately ’get’ the concept behind this program.
This program does a good job overall, but needs some significant improvements and is far from perfect. Here are PROS and CONS lists.
- Supports a wide range of formats: including avi/xvid/divx, mp4, mkv, flv, mov, mpg, and a number of others (for video). Also supports a wide range of audio formats. (Seems to be based on Mplayer/Mencoder).
- Self contained: you will not need to install sperate codecs (encoders/decoders) on your system; the program seems to handle everything internally.
- A single-stop for many functions: which obviously is the main attraction.
- Nice, simple interface: the tabs simply have a good feel to them. Note that the program offers several skins; what you see in the screenshots is the “Windows Theme”. The default skin, a kind of tree-leaf theme, is particularly unfortunate in my opinion and will probably scare many people away.
- A range of interesting playback options: e.g. frame step, changing ratio, loading subtitles, take screenshots, and other.
- Simple quality settings: for audio or video conversions (same quality, very high quality, high quality, medium quality, low quality and very low). There’s also a “custom” setting where you can go in and tweak the settings. However, the simple quality settings are a double-edged sword; they may work for some people, but more advanced users who want to tweak settings may find the “custom” setting lacking (see the cons section below).
- Photo cutting, resizing: with an interesting and rather unusual way to go about performing these actions.
- Slide show: right click on a bunch of images and select “slide show”, and the program will run a slideshow with some interesting zooming effects. Supports a music track as well..
- Cutting function will always re-encode: there does not seem to be an option where it will simply save the desired segment as-is without re-encoding.
- No join function: where there is cutting there has to be joining, no?
- Custom settings lacking for video conversion: in some ways at least. You cannot set the quality by deciding on the desired file-size in megabytes, you cannot set the width of the output video and have it automatically preserve the aspect ratio and determine height accordingly, and you will run into trouble if your video has an aspect ratio that is not 16:9 or 4:3, as I did.
- Custom settings lacking for audio conversion: allows you to select from a dropdown for different bitrates, but 160 kbps, which is what I always look for, is not one of them. Also doesn’t let you specify constant,average, or variable bit rate, or any other setting.
- Somewhat unresponsive: I found it strange that I would press buttons on the interface and face somewhat of a delay before the command took effect. I am not sure as to why that would be the case but the end result is rather frustrating.
- Drag and drop unsupported: you cannot just drag a bunch of audio or video files to the converters to add them.
- Browser tools: bundled into the application are browser extensions for IE and Firefox that allow you to right click on text and have your PC “speak” it for you; or alternately right click on an image and manipulate the way it is displayed in the browser. Unfortunately, neither function worked when I tested them in IE7. In Firefox 3.5.5, the context menu items did not show up at all.
The verdict: overall its a very interesting and compelling program, although it could and should be much better. I would still prefer to use The KMPlayer over this one and Avidemux for my cutting/editing. But I will definitely be on the lookout for how this program develops.
Version Tested: unsure; could not find a version number anywhere.
Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7.
Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 8.02 megs).