If you are looking for a video editing program that will enable you to create
quality videos and DVDs at an affordable price, then Ulead’s VideoStudio
6.0 is a program you should consider. As implied by the version
“6.0," this is an upgrade from version 5.0, which I own — the improvement
Let’s get to the essentials, what do you need to run it — let’s see
if you have what it takes?
CPU: Intel Pentium III 450MHz or higher (700MHz or higher recommended); OS: Microsoft Windows 98, 2000, ME, XP; MEMORY: 64MB of RAM (128MB or more recommended); hard disk drive-available for program: 500MB; hard disk drive-available for video capture and editing: 4GB+ (Note: 1 hour of DV video requires 13GB of hard disk space!); Display: Windows-compatible display with at least 800x600 resolution; Windows-compatible mouse or pointing device; Windows-compatible sound card.
There are many compatible Video Capture Cards but you should check the Web to ensure you have what it takes. Here are some of the manufacturers: Datavideo, ADS, Dazzle, NewerTechnologies, OrangeMicro, Adaptec, PinnacleSystems, SIIG, DataTranslations, ATI, 3dfx, and Matrox. Again, there are notes on the Web as to which cards work and which cards have special instructions.
Input formats supported
AVI, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, FLC, FLI, GIF, QuickTime, UIS
BMP, CLP, CUR, DCS, EPS, FPX, GIF, ICO, IFF, IMG, JPG, PCD,
PCT, PCX, PIC, PNG, PSD, PXR, RAS, RLE, SCT, SHG, TGA, TIF, WMF
AIF, AIFC, AIFF, AU, AVI, MOV, MP3, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, QT, WAV.
Output formats supported
AVI, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, QuickTime, WMV, RM, FLC, FLI, FLX, UIS
BMP, CLP, EPS, FPX, GIF, IFF, JPG, PCX, PNG, PSD, PXR, RAS,
RLE, SCT, TGA, TIF, WMF
WAV; Disc: DVD, miniDVD, Video CD* (VCD), and Super Video CD*
(SVCD) movie titles.
One more essential how much?
The lowest price I found at CNET.COM (go there for ordering information
for your choice of vendor) when I checked was $80.90. CDW had it
for $89.03. Locally you might pay a little more, but most major stores
with a good variety of computer software should either have the product
or they can order it for you. This is where you might ask, “What
else is available and how much is that product? Remember, video editing
software is available in “professional” ($500 price range) and “consumer”
(< $500) products. ” Frankly, in this price range Video
Studio 6 is one of the best you can get.
Why would you want it versus the software that comes included with some
systems? Well, often the features of “included” programs are just
enough to frustrate you and make you wish you spent the money in the first
place. You make the call.
Why should you buy Video Studio 6? As a start, it is rated (by
a several trade magazines) as one of the better video editing programs
available. PC Magazine gave it a 4 out of 5 and if you want
a more detailed review you can check the April 23, 2002 evaluation by Jan
Ozer. In the June 2002 issue of Computer Shopper, in the “Hard
Edge” section, Video Studio 6 is said to be “the best of the bunch.”
If you don’t take if from me – read what the professional evaluators say.
As long as you don’t have any problems with your video capture equipment,
you should be in business once the program loads, which is quite quickly.
If you do have problems, you may find some help at the Ulead
web site. The web site has links for compatibility, downloads,
support, and even tutorials. When I checked they had five tutorials
to get the “novice” video editor on the way to producing great results.
They even have a terminology page to help you understand the lingo for
video editing. I didn’t call customer service personally, but one
review I read noted a problem they had with a long wait and less than stellar
How ‘bout that program?
I noticed the improvement of this version immediately because version
6.0 loads much quicker. The basic principle or video editing is
you transfer video to your computer,
you edit the video and add special effects/transitions/titles, etc, and
you save the FINAL PRODUCT in the desired format for burning onto a CD-R
or DVD-R, for streaming over the internet, or for transferring back to
Starting at the beginning, you choose the format you wish to use
for your video, the menu headings are: Start, Capture, Storyboard, Effect,
Overlay, Title, Audio, and Finish. The Capture Settings section has
an Options menu to allow changes as needed.
After capturing your video, you edit it in one of two formats: storyboard
mode or timeline mode.
The large preview window is a benefit you might not find in other programs.
In the storyboard mode you put together the clips of your video in the
desired sequence. Moving clips around is a simple drag-and-drop operation.
Once you’ve got your clips in the desired order, then you can get into
refining your production. The timeline mode shown in Figure 5 has
several different tracks that you can manipulate. You have the
You have the power to edit any of this in a simple drag-and-drop format.
Voice track, and
Finally, when you think you’ve got your project as you want it to be,
you Finish your project. The Finish menu allows you to save in any
of the output formats or disks shown earlier.
Version 6.0 offers home hobbyists the kind of sharp control that pros
enjoy. Plus, at $99.95, it's a solid bargain. Yes, there are complaints
by some evaluators in some areas, but think of the big picture . . ..when
you consider the cost — you get a powerful program for a reasonable price.