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Journal elmegil's Journal: Ask the dot 10

I have been a long time Pinnacle Studio user.

Unfortunately, the latest patch for Studio 10 does not appear to like me. Before reloading my windows box, it left me unable to use some of the functions of the program. After reloading Studio itself, it left me unable to use it, period, it crashed all the time. After reloading windows on a new, larger drive (for other reasons) and reloading Studio from scratch, the menu system is badly broken, basically hanging the program if I try to set up a menu (which is the whole effin point of my projects). In all of this, Pinnacle has shown themselves incompetent at providing support.

Next, I looked around at some of the Free options....and they're all STILL horrible science projects to get installed and all the various peices hooked together. They may well work fabulously once you get them there, but I found no straightforward "you just install it" solution there. I already have spent three days pretty solidly re-installing and verifying all my standard apps (firefox, trillian, quicken, etc), I'll be damned if I'm going to spend another three days trying to get one function (video editing) to work. And I don't think it's reasonable to move to a workflow where I have to run 3 or 4 different programs sequentially to do what Studio could do pretty seamlessly. When it was working.

So looking at other options, I tried out DVD-Lab and DVD-Lab pro....which don't appear (as far as I could tell trolling through the myriad menus and help system) to have any way to 1) zoom in on a section of video and 2) move frame by frame as opposed to i-Frame by i-Frame. In other words, no single frame advance/backup. This leaves me with insufficient precision to cut up my videos as I would like.

So now I'm at a loss where to turn next. Google is pointless, because you get a dozen copies of the same conversations about solving this or that, or companies selling video software with no indication of quality, etc. If any of y'all have recommendations for video editing/authoring software that is reasonably easy to install and well integrated, not to mention has zoom and frame-level editing capabilities, and can move easily between SVCD quality TiVo captures and DVD burning, I'm all ears. If it comes with a trial period, so much the better. I'm actually quite glad that DVD-Lab does have a trial period, or I'd have spent $100 or more on other people's recommendations that turned out to not fit my needs.

In the end I may try to find an archived copy of the last previous Studio patch, which always worked fine for me, but after the horrible support job Pinnacle has done (email support making outright ridiculous suggestions, and "live chat" support unwilling to spend more than a few minutes with me), I'd rather take my attention and money somewhere else. I say money, but of course $500 professional kit is not in my budget. DVD-Lab Pro was only an attempt to see if maybe it did what DVD-Lab standard did not, I doubt I could afford the $245 sticker price.

Let me know what you think....

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Ask the dot

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  • Basically I hate it. I would like to see a free video version of Audacity [], but that would be too much to hope for. As it is I currently don't have ANY video editing software installed. I have Ulead DVD MovieFactory 3.5 Suite Deluxe, Ulead VideoStudio 6, and Pinnacle Studio ATI version. They came with my ATI 8500 and 9800 All-In-Wonder cards. I also have GSpot 2.11, FlaskMPEG, VirtualDub and a bunch of other tools, but no single suite that does it all they way I want it.

    Good luck. I'll try to watch this j
  • with complete disregard for your finances.

    Get a Mac. Doing videos? Mac.

    My boss and I are both much happier now. You could be too.
    • by elmegil ( 12001 ) *
      Well, we have a mac, it's just that I never get to use it, because the wife is very jealous of her iBook :). And yeah, that has been on my mind, especially since they started shipping intel chipsets and the idea of dual booting became a real possibility ('cos I haven't seen Steam/Half Life or UT2004 for the mac ya know, and Quicken for mac sucks). There's still life in this old box, but I do believe the replacement won't be a simple upgrade.

      'Course I could always try to install that hacked version of Tige

  • I use the pro version of Vegas, Vegas+DVD (NOT the same as Studio version). There is a free demo of all the versions and Vegas is VERY intuitive to pick up. I played with liquid & Pinnacle and did not like either one because they didn't seem to make sense.

    Home Studio [] is a capable software package that won't give you as much as Vegas+DVD, but will work for most projects.

    • by elmegil ( 12001 ) *
      Vegas looks promising. Unfortunately, all my video I *want* to work with is MPEG, and the Trial (at least of the base product) disables MPEG-1 & MPEG-2 capabilities. So I'm going to have to find a converter to be able to test things out. But I can understand why; licensing is a bitch :). Thank you for the pointer.
      • you didn't hear it from me, but there are lots of version on the torrents out there to try. I tried a torrent version for a few months, lovedit, then spent the $500 on the package for the full version. Give those a shot and you will have MPEG2 and then you will be addicted.

        Head on over to to learn everythign there is to know abotu vegas, or any other NLE for that matter. It is one of the top 3 sites for NLE video production.

        • by elmegil ( 12001 ) *
          So Vegas wins. The documentation is terrible, and "slicing up" the video in the first place is confusing after being used to Studio's nearly automatic method, but once I got over that hump the rest was straightforward. Building menus is WAY better than Studio.

          Thanks very much!

          • Like I said, go to DVInfo for actual help, though the vegas documentation will help you with the "what does this do" sort of thing but is sparse on the "How do I do this" sort of answers. There are tutorial videos available from Sony and I strongly recommend some viewing of those. It is a great way to ease in to where sony put all the controls. Titles and menus and vegas are a SNAP, but are limited. Don't expect After Effects type of title work. But sony does make it very easy.

            To see an example of titl
            • by elmegil ( 12001 ) *
              Since all I'm doing 90% of the time is archiving TV shows from the TiVo, no need for After Effects :). Thanks again :). Happy New Year!

"The pyramid is opening!" "Which one?" "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!" -- The Firesign Theatre