Roxio VideoWave Movie Creator test and review

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Roxio VideoWave Movie Creator

Software for editing video and creating DVDs doesn't need to be expensive - Roxio's VideoWave Movie Creator costs a mere £30. But is it money well spent?

A lot of DVD-related hardware already comes with authoring software, so authoring programs sold over the counter have to offer compelling reasons to buy. Roxio's latest contender in the sub-£100 arena is the £30 VideoWave Movie Creator all-in-one suite. This combines capture, editing, authoring and burning tools, and has a collection of wizards to guide users through the editing and burning stages.

The full retail version isn't greatly different from the free version that comes bundled with the Archos DEx USB 2 DVD burner. It adds a content CD, extra effects and better control over export settings.

In-pack is a 64-page manual, plus two CDs. One is the installation disc for VideoWave Movie Creator (V1.5.545.0); the other is the contents CD and carries video (AVI), audio (WAV) and still image (JPEG) files for use as templates within StoryBuilder.

The wizard-based installation went smoothly, prompting for the content CD to be loaded. Roxio recommends using the Full or Typical installation options, which copy the contents CD to hard disk. The video files on the CD were of NTSC frame-rate and size (30 frames per second and 640x480 pixels) but encoded as Indeo video 5.10. The stills were also 640x480, and the audio clips at CD's 44.1kHz sampling rating, rather than either of the two DV sample rates. Roxio told us that the video and stills are re-rendered to true PAL - but having additional rendering isn't ideal.

After the install, we had a few problems, so checked for updates here.
We downloaded three patches - all of which we'd strongly recommend users to install. One (21.7MByte) is a general patch, circa February 03, that sorts out a lot of bugs and brings Movie Creator up to V1.6.696.2 The others are more recent - a 2.90MByte updater for the CD/DVD burning engine (bringing it to V5.3.5), and an 808KByte drive updater (V5.3.5g) that increases the range of supported burners, including the multi-format Pioneer DVR-106 we planned to use.

We had fun using VideoWave Movie Creator - once we'd applied the three patches. We liked the way users are guided through editing and DVD authoring and think this will be appreciated by novice editors, and even - at times - some experienced editors wanting to knock out a test project in a hurry.

While output file options in Make Movie are easily understood, the more experienced user can customise the settings - and we found it vital to get the MPEG-2 quality settings correct at this stage, as there are no further choices available before burning. We were disappointed by the quality of real-time capture to MPEG-2, and didn't think that even the quality of DVD-compliant MPEG-2 made from DV footage was anything other than average.

The program's limited capabilities are sure to leave the more creative editor wanting a lot more control, and the poor quality on-screen previews in Viewscreen will soon become irritating to most users, given that there's no way to preview on-going edits on an attached TV set.

Roxio also needs to sort out data rate options displayed for DVDs, and text in the burn progress box in VideoCD/DVD Maker, which doesn't mention DVDs.

Yet, Movie Creator does offer a cheap entry point to editing and authoring, and one that ensures beginners feel relaxed and at home straight away. That's sufficient reason for a lot of people to spend £30 - even if they look for something more powerful once they've overcome their fears and realised that anyone can make movies and put them on DVD.

Lisa Keddie

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



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Adobe Premiere Pro 7

Adobe After Effects 6.0

Apple DVD Studio Pro 2

Pinnacle MovieBox USB

Roxio VideoWave Movie Creator

In December's news:

IBC 2003 Show report
Apple PowerBook overhaul
Pinnacle Edition relaunched
Avid FreeDV available for download
Pure Motion EditStudio 4 feature upgrade LaCie four-way external burner Canopus's OHCI-friendly LetsEdit
LG five-way burner
Royalty-free animation
Royalty-free music scores
Double recording time DVD discs

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