So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Ulead MediaStudio Pro 8
- Solid features
- Lacking some basic elements of video editing software
While MediaStudio Pro has many commendable features and an attractive price point, it’s let down by the basic operation of the underlying editing software.
Price$ 649.00 (AUD)
Though unlikely to challenge leading video editors like Adobe's Premiere Pro or Sony's Vegas, Ulead's revamped MediaStudio Pro 8 has new features that will be extremely useful for video editors who need convenience more than performance.
Surprisingly for the price, MediaStudio Pro comes with extensive support for video and audio file types (including HDV and 24P), and includes full Dolby Surround Sound export out of the box (though AC3 audio import requires a plug-in). The interface has also been updated, with smart resizing, dockable windows and tabbed panes (like Premiere Pro), and key tools are given their own dedicated buttons above the timeline - rather than hard-to-grasp tool shortcuts and combination keys.
The timeline can handle as many tracks as you'd care to throw at it, but track height can't be adjusted without going into the timeline setup panel, and the "click to drag/click to drop" procedure can make finding the right track position tricky as the track view scrolls far too quickly. Timeline "scrubbing" is also disappointing, with Video Editor apparently unable to play audio in reverse and Audio Editor is unable to scrub at all.
It would also have been nice to see the Capture Tool and Audio Editor functionality merged into Video Editor. You can jump between applications using the Switch menu and open audio files in the audio editor, for example, but any changes you make have to be saved to a different file and re-imported into Video Editor rather than being updated dynamically.
But MediaStudio Pro has a couple of impressive tricks up its sleeve. The first of these is Smart Proxy. Because the processing requirements for HDV, in particular, are very high even for today's CPUs, MediaStudio Pro allows you to set a proxy file service for high-definition content. Similar to Pinnacle's "Draft Mode", this allows you to work from lower-definition preview files, making multi-track edits of HDV footage more feasible. When the time comes to finalise your project, MediaStudio Pro uses the original high-definition content.
The second unique selling point is Video Editor's Smart Composite - essentially a collection of 22 slick, multi-layered video compositions for lead-ins and segues that can be tailored to suit your needs. The "Romance" composites, in particular, will make putting together a polished wedding video a much faster task.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- Windows Lite: what it is and when it might be released
- Freeview relaunch 'FV' website
- Intel unveils the Intel Neural Compute Stick 2
- Adobe announces next generation of Creative Cloud
- Logitech announces Logitech Rally
PCW Evaluation Team
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
- CES 2019 Round-Up:
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will launch on Feb 20
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies