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Written by Olin Coles   
Monday, 12 January 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
AMD Fusion Media Explorer Freeware Tool
First Look: Fusion Media Explorer
Final Thoughts: AMD Fusion

First Look: Fusion Media Explorer

Let it be known that Benchmark Reviews does not have a copy of AMD Fusion Media Explorer for testing, and that our interface with the program was limited to a fifteen minute demo while visiting AMD at CES. With that said, please don't expect everything you see here to look and act the same in the final version, since this is an early Alpha release.

The Fusion Media Explorer is AMD's 3D replacement for the not-so-popular 2D Live Explorer, which is currently available for free via download from AMD. The difference is everything, in my opinion, as the Live Explorer wasn't ready to harness the collection of data sources we witnessed in the Fusion Media Explorer. This is primarily because of dependence on high-power graphic processing, although not necessary required, nor does it need to be an AMD/ATI product. Users with NVIDIA graphics cards (and other manufacturers) can use the Fusion Media Explorer jus the same. Although high-performance graphics processing is needed for certain functions, integrated graphics can power nearly all of the features offered.

AMD_Fusion_Dragon.jpg

In the demonstration I received, the program opened to a starting page that offered categorized sections for Music, Photos, Videos, Web, TV, and Web Tasks. Most of these sections led into a mural-like interface with could move with the flip of a mouse wheel. While Music and Photo sections were relatively static, Videos and TV were actually able to play introductions to each clip in a user-defined number of cells. Benchmark Reviews has a short video demonstration available of the active-video interface in action which explains it all...

AMD Fusion Media Explorer (Benchmark Reviews)

Once I experienced the active-video interface offering short looping intro's for the available media library, I immediately thought of how this could benefit everyone from the video producer to the casual computer user. If you edit large amounts of video, this could help you easily organize your clips. But even if you simply collect movies and TV programs on your system, the AMD Fusion Media Explorer can turn your library into a living collection. I was told that the number of active-motion video cells is dependant on the power of the graphics card, because hovering over one of the cells will play the item in a larger expanded window.

Essentially, each item is being decompressed and played in its native resolution, and the cell creates a thumbnail-sized window. You can imagine the potential load this could create on a system, if all of the media was high-definition and the graphics card was not a newer generation. Since the software allows this feature to be turned on or off, there won't be an issue on older computer systems or under-powered notebooks. After seeing the active-video introductions, I thought that the Fusion Media Explorer had revealed its grand finale. As it turns out, there are a few dimensions to this program, and they all deserve equal attention.

EDITORS NOTE 01/29/2009: The AMD Fusion Media Explorer has entered a public beta phase of development today. This free multimedia library organizer is an excellent tool for anyone who keeps several websites, images, and video or music files on their computer. The AMD Fusion Media Explorer Beta 1 Version 0.9 can be download directly from AMD courtesy of Benchmark Reviews.



 

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