Ulead VideoStudio 9 review
File output options have been augmented by HD, SmartPhone and PDA WMV presets. The built-in DVD authoring has received a boost too. Although the editor has supported 16:9 footage since the last version, you can now create DVD menus to match. However, this is tied in with the overall project settings – you can only have 16:9 menus with a 16:9 editing project. And while it’s possible to select a first-play video, motion menus and motion buttons, customisation is otherwise limited. You can’t move the buttons around, although a number of arrangement presets are included. There are more menu templates too: 60 as opposed to the previous 40. You can even choose not to create a menu for a video-only disc.
Once you’ve imported your clips, you can add chapters automatically at fixed intervals, let VideoStudio detect them for you, or position them manually. Two-pass encoding is available for better quality, and Dolby Digital audio is now included as standard rather than an optional extra. Overall, VideoStudio’s authoring will meet most entry-level users’ requirements, although it isn’t as powerful as Pinnacle Studio 9’s.
With the Plus version of its Studio 9, Pinnacle had a few key features VideoStudio 8 didn’t, albeit for a premium, but this version redresses the balance. True, its authoring capabilities aren’t as flexible and it isn’t quite as easy to use. However, with keyframeable filters and greater overall control of most effects, the Ulead software will give you more room to grow as your editing skills develop.