Ulead MediaStudio Pro 7 review and test

Self Help | The Magazine | Downloads | Links | Tips & Advice | Help! I'm new | Contact Us | Subscribe | Home  

Inside the magazine
Self-help message board
Article reprints
How to contact us
Web links directory
Software downloads
Tips and advice
Fire-wire campaign
Subscribe today
Help Me, I'm new!
Fair pricing petition

In Software Downloads:
Adobe Premiere 6 (trial)
Paint Shop Pro 7 (trial)

Tips and Advice:
How to get started with computer video editing

Fire-wire Campaign:
Join our ongoing campaign

Ulead MediaStudio Pro 7

It's over 18 months since the arrival of V6.5 of Ulead's MediaStudio Pro video editing suite, so the launch of V7 comes none too soon. But what does the new release offer, and how does it compare with its closest competitors?

The big new feature with MediaStudio Pro 7 is its claimed real-time preview capability (on-screen and on an external monitor) using a PC equipped only with a standard FireWire port, and without the aid of specialist RT hardware. To put MediaStudio in context, we looked at it alongside two leading contenders - Adobe Premiere 6.5 and Sonic Foundry Vegas 4.

MSPro 7 supports dual CPUs, as well as the Hyper-Threading that's available in Intel's 3.06GHz P4 CPU and due to be implemented in forthcoming P4s. Our main review machine was a self-built Win XP Pro PC with an Athlon XP 1700+ processor, but we also looked at the program running on a number of other systems. These included a Win XP Pro PC running dual Athlon XP MP 2600+ (2.13GHz) processors; and a Pentium 4 PC with a 3.06GHz Hyper-Threading CPU that we only had access to for a short time. The P4 and dual-Athlon systems used Matrox Parhelia three-head graphics cards, which simultaneously support two PC monitors and analogue output to a TV set when paired with MSPro 7.

MediaStudio Pro offers a comprehensive and well-featured bundle of tools for enthusiastic video editors. Version 7 has been enhanced by the addition of much improved real-time previewing, support for an extended range of media and formats, and the inclusion of DVD MovieFactory 2.1SE. Although MovieFactory is limited, it offers as much as many users need for DVD creation.

MSPro 7's real-time previewing is impressive, as is its speed of rendering. But both aspects are best appreciated on a PC with a high-speed processor (or two) because the program clearly is able to take considerable advantage of such power. We weren't happy about the sound tracks bug, but we were pleased to see that Ulead had sorted out a patch, and has now made available a service pack to fix various other bugs, including some stability issues.

We've held back from awarding five for performance because of the sound bug - and a tendency for the program to crash on some of our test machines - but if Ulead fixes the problems quickly in the shipping version, MSPro 7 will deserve full performance marks. Whatever score it gets, though, MSPro 7 is clearly competitively priced and offers a lot of functionality for the money.

Version 7 is a must-have for most MSPro users, even if owners of earlier versions might think the £150 upgrade price a little stiff. Whether upgrading or buying outright, MSPro 7 can be recommended.

Richard Jones

Read the full review in August 2003's Computer Video magazine.


Recent features...
View the archive

Reviewed in August's issue:

Ulead MediaStudio Pro 7
Roxio WinOnCD 6 DVD Edition
Pinnacle Hollywood FX Pro 4.6

In August's news:

Analogue/DV on OHCI-compliant card
Avid Xpress Pro professional encoding
Component<>DV conversion on a budget
Partition magic!
Pioneer DVD about face
Pocket-sized DVD-RW burners
Plextor dual-interface +R/+RW burner
Multi-format NEC DVD burner
High-speed +R/+RW Ricoh
Video editing graphics cards
LaCie giant high-speed HDDs

Contact Us | Subscribe | Home (c) WVIP. Maintained by Mark Newman.