"Very, very unfortunate"0.5 starson by Bill Zucker
Pros: Wonderful potential
Cons: Simply unusable
Summary: Just updated my Version 8, which finally kind of worked. I figured after almost a year and a half being out, Version 9 would be ready for prime time.
If you have anything but a trivial amount of footage, when you go to scrub through the frames, it takes F..O..R..E..V..E..R. No hard disk access, just the code jerking around inside for no apparent reason.
Wait until v9.5 (at least) is out. The current patch (v9.4.3) is tragically flawed. And wait to read reviews saying the patches have finally fixed this and many other problems before trusting Pinnacle.
And forget support. Non-existent.
Pity... Back to v8.Updated
My guess is that Pinnacle farmed out the software development to a third-world country some time ago, and all the in-house smarts evaporated. That, and the software is such undocumented spaghetti-code that the newbies don't know where to start to fix things. Pinnacle CAN'T be stupid enough to think we're going to want to buy any more of their offerings the way they're running things now, can they?
Speaking from my Windows software development experience, I'd say the Studio development team needs to run a "profiler" on their code to see where it is wasting massive amounts of time, even with the simplest of operations like a scrub. It truly is maddening.
Here's what I've learned about some of the filters:
* Image Stabilizer: Enlarges the center of the image a mindless 20% regardless of the amount of jitter. Doesn't know what in the image to lock on to. About as juvenile an approach as conceivable. Worthless. Try the free DeShaker (but prepare for some brain damage).
* Ken Burns Effect: Only in the Plus version ($40 extra). No control over velocities but does zoom and pan reasonably gracefully.
* Video Reverse: $20 extra. Doesn't understand the issues with interlaced video, so the result is unwatchable with any motion in it (which is why you'd want the reverse effect to begin with!). Also doesn't understand how to work with other filters such as slow/fast speed. Save separately to AVIs to get around this.
* Noise Reduction: Try the graphic equalizer instead. The parametric equalizer is extra $.
Meanwhile, I keep on hoping for the next fix, but am working with other software to actually get things done.