Top critical review
22 people found this helpful
Prone to crash and far less friendly than earlier ULEAD package
on 10 May 2010
I have used VideoStudio 7 for many years, to edit and produce DVDs, often for weddings, in standard definition, typically around an hour of video. All I need is the ability to cut, resequence clips, add music and the occasional title, then burn a disc with a menu. Finally I bought a new camera, for High Definition, so I had to upgrade to VideoStudio Pro3 .... What a horror. It cannot download from my camera's USB properly (Panasonic HDC-SD700 ) so I use Panasonic's application to do that (it works well, and is extremely fast), then import the video files. But the so-called media organiser is a ridiculous affair, which populates itself with a mind of its own. Eventually you can fight it and start editing. You need to save your project every 5 minutes since the program crashes so frequently. The preview was particularly flakey, even though I have a nice new Dell vostro 1520 with dual core P8700 2.53GHz and 3Gb RAM, running XP. Downloading the patches from corel's website improved it a bit, but not completely.
When the project is finished the share option tries to transfer the project into the now integrated MovieFactory- but this just hangs indefinitely and you have to shut everything down. Eventually I settled for making a DVD video file (mpg standard definition) and just importing it into the Factory - which was OK until I tried to change the awful pre-set Title music to my own mp3 file. There is a button for allegedly doing this, and it came up with a blank media screen and embryonic Desktop/My Computer search tree - but clicking on My Computer to get at my music has no effect whatsoever - the thing just does not navigate. You cannot even delete the horrid sound they give you. Oh dear, ULEAD VideoStudio 7 was a joy to use by any comparison. Is this is what happens when uncle Sam buys up a decent European company?
The total lack of any user manual , even as a pdf on disk, is unforgivable. You have to find a very obscure help widget, which merely connects you an on-line multi page tutorial. I happen to be at a remote location with a fairly modest internet connection so this is a nightmare. You cannot download a pdf manual. And the process described for changing that title soundtrack just doesn't work. Buttons and widgits generally lack any helpful pop-up explanations -why? it is trivially easy to add them to any software application these days.
I am a technical director with 20 years' + experience in IT, software development, computer hardware & software engineering, many years of experience using VideoStudio3 and earlier VideoFactory and believe me I can usually make things work.
UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 2010
Well, eventually, after downloading huge patches from Corel's website and spending 2 weeks communicating with the support team (eventually by telephone) I have got somewhere. Advice included running msconfig, a scary system utility, and disabling half the stuff that Windows tries to load in at startup. Also, they, with no shame, send you the previous verion of MovieFactory (v7SE) to use instead of the awful one originally supplied. All this and taking care to run no other software beforehand has reduced the crashes to an acceptable frequency. But the key workaround, for my Panasonic Video Camera, was to chop the first frame or two off EVERY CLIP (no explanation given, but at least their help-girl had worked it out, using clips which I uploaded to her). Since a typical project might have over 100 clips that was hardly acceptable - BUT I am quite happy to join all my clips using Panasonic's bullet-proof software, make a single mt2s file and import it into Videostudio. Then you chop the first frame and proceed to edit, just like the old days when everything came out of the camera as a single clip. Editing is then fine, with few hangups, as long as you keep off "multi-trim" edit, and just keep splitting scenes where you want to cut. Now the software will efficiently output an AVCHD file (really quickly, since there is almost no need to re-render). Then you can exit Videostudio, start MovieFactory 7SE and successfully import the new AVCHD (it is saved with an .mpg suffix, just to confuse!) It all works from here on, you can make an AVCHD (High Definition) DVD, up to 40 minutes of HD on a standard DVD which plays on BluRay, or you can downgrade to plain DVD.
It would have been nice if Corel could have sorted out all this BEFORE selling their software. And am I the only person with a Panasonic HD camera?? It would be even cleverer if they put all this advice onto their website. So at least I back in business, and, yes, this editing suite is easy to use, intuitive, and is now doing a great job for me. I've added a star to my original rating. They owe me one, too.