"Maddening..."on by All4Italy
Pros Excellent features, particularly for sound
Cons Crashes more than Windows 98...
Summary This program has marvelous features, if only the program worked. It hangs constantly in Edit and Make Movie modes. It drops frames on capture. The AV drops out or falls out of sync. There are more title choices in Windows Movie Maker.
There aren't as many transitions and effects as I expected. Most are sold as plug-ins.
I bought the Media Center version, which was foolish as all the extra programs that came with it aren't of much value without a DVD burner.
On the positive side, it's super easy to use. The manual is excellent. If it actually makes a movie, it looks fabulous.
The effects are pretty flexible. It calculates the length for music well, if slowly. It has a nice video preview feature so you don't have to load all your capture on to disk to work with it.
I could even stand it if I had to capture in another program, but it won't accept any of the other captures I've done with other software.
If you're doing something simple and don't need to show people talking and are patient, Studio could be a lot of fun, but if you're serious about making even a good vacation movie, pick another program.
"Doesn't do much"on by ionian
Pros Has an easy to use interface, effects look good when everything works
Cons Very slow, hangs up constantly and crashes all the time. I can't get a single project to finish.
Summary This is the biggest waste I spent my $$$ On. I have the upgraded version but it still runs like garbage. When I try to import video, it takes forever for it to import the video and make thumbnails. Then when I try to drag the thumbnails to the timeline, it just hangs up and I hear a lot of disk activity.
I have a P3.2e with 4 Gigs of RAM, a 300mb Maxtor SATA RAID 0 and an nVidia GE Force 256mb video card. There is no reason why this program should operate the way it does. If you have a slower system and it is giving you the same problems, rest assured that it is not your system because I am getting the same results on my system that people who have a PIII 1.6 w/ 512 MB of Ram are getting. It's no different for me. It's just shoddy programming, really. It's sad because the concept is fantastic and if it would work, it would be a lot of fun but it's pointless. I'm not sure where even to start looking right now for another program. Don't want to drop the $$$ for Final Cut Pro or anything similar...
Pros Simple Interface, scene auto-detect, music generating program, some DVD authoring ability, output to web friendly formats
Cons Limited a/v tracks, hangs up easily, if you want the full experience you are forced to buy a ton of plugins, audio and video tracks are locked together and can't be seperated, no wireframe ability
Summary I have been using this software for over a year so I have a pretty good understanding of this program.
Well, I first bought this program so I could do video editing for an organization I belong to and create video that could be downloaded from our website. For that it is pretty good. As long as the project you are doning isn't to long and complicated . . .
I eventually started doing some more complicated projects that ran around 30 min. and had a ton of editing work. This is where I began having problems. The more switching around to different video clips I did in the program, the slower and more unstable it got (and I have a pretty nice computer setup so I know that that is not the problem).
What makes it even worse (and what eventually lead me to buy new software) is that there is only one video track! ONE! Oh wait, there is two if you buy the upgaded version. But I wouldn't bother trying to use the second video track. That causes the program to run very unstable and you are almost garenteed a hang and lockup. And if you don't get that, it just might not play the video content that is there in the second track (the video will freeze but the thing keeps on playing and may or may not catch back up with itself) although if you render and export it will look just as it should so I guess that that is reasuring.
The plugins that it does come with do a pretty good job with what you want them to do. Just watch out when adding them. Not to quickly or you will get a very unstable program. What is annoying though is all the plugins that it shows you that must be purchased in order to use without a water mark or beeping in the final product.
The update suports chromakeying (green screen) but I never got around to using it because the program didn't run stable enough for me to want to try it.
I find though that if you do little parts of a big project in seperate pieces in different files and then copy/pasting them in to a "master" file at the end, it will run a little more stable. It just doesn't seem to like big complicated projects.
Oh and load time is another big issue. It takes a long time to load your bigger, complicated projects. Not so much as them not appearing on the screen quikcly enough (the workspace and stuff loads up at a good speed) its just you can't do anything for a while unless you want a lock/hangup (wait for you hard drive light to stop blinking before you even try to touch the scroll bar).
Rendering preview footage is often a mystory because it is governed by this progress bar that changes from yellow to green as it goes. The problem though is that you can't be sure if is actually doing something or has hanged because there is no numerical indication of progress happening.
I am tired of typing now so I will just leave you with this:
Small not complicated projects = a good task for this program.
Larger complicated ones = a possible hang fest and discouragment.
This program has helped me out alot in my early video editing experiences and I kind'a feel bad for giving it such a knock. But the bottom line is that it has some severe limitations and quirks that take an otherwise good video editing experience and ruin it.
"Very BUGGY"on by pmike
Pros Might be a nice low price s/w if it had no bugs
Cons Very buggy, customer support isn't brilliant - so not compensating for the bad experience.
Summary Just a few examples of the problems I had:
1. Unlocked trial version (which is a trial version you download and then buy a license) could not be upgraded to later patches. Took 2 weeks of customer support interaction to get a new code.
2. After upgrade all screen resolutions more than 1024x768 do not work. Pinnacle confirmed the issue - no ETA on a patch. So if not this, what do you test, guys?
3. Setting chapters and creating your own menu is a challenge. The thing often does surprising tricks like reordering the chapters by itself or deleting some without your consent.
4. Writing to DVD the second time without doing any edit started asking to redo the rendering - and complains for the disc space.
Should I go on?
Pros It does capture video, but....
Cons Will not render - seizes up for anything greater then a few minutes.
Summary I have a P4 2.53 chip. 1 gig of great Corsair RAM, 80 gig drive. Easily should be enough. I have not been able to get the program to render and burn more than a few minutes of video without completely siezing up my computer. Unable to get through to Call-in help in three ling tries - and only one call is free. The other complaints mirrow my experience. I didn't get my $100 back from the store, even though the product clearly does not work as advertised! Buyer BEWARE!