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Ulead MediaStudio Pro 6.5
by Rick Smith (December 17, 2001)


 

MediaStudio Pro 6.5 is Ulead's latest version of non-linear video editing software. It includes many new features such as DVD authoring, variable bit-rate MPEG-2 encoding, limitless digital video capture and digital video scene detection. Improvements over previous MediaStudio versions include Instant Preview Playback, Storyboard and Automatic A/B Roll Layout. It also provides native MPEG-2 editing and supports IEEE 1394.

Five Easy Pieces

MediaStudio Pro 6.5 consists of five key components:

  • Video Capture
  • Video Editor
  • Video Paint (rotoscoping)
  • CG Infinity (titling)
  • Audio Editor (voice and music)

    MediaStudio Pro 6.5 uses optimized coding that takes full advantage of the special features of the Intel Pentium III, Pentium 4 and the AMD 3dnow! processors.

    DVD authoring

    MediaStudio Pro 6.5 gives you ability to output video to VCD, SVCD and DVD. By using a simple 5-step wizard-based workflow, you can easily create VCD, SVCD and DVD titles with scene menus, navigation buttons and video introductions. You can then directly burn CD-R, CD-RW or DVD-R disks with the appropriate hardware. Your titles can then be played
    back on PC-based or stand-alone DVD players. A project database is also included to store your projects for future editing.

    Variable Bit-Rate MPEG-2 encoding

    Depending on the amount of information needed to display the image being presented, Variable Bit-Rate (VBR) MPEG-2 encoding changes the the bit rate. This results in improved picture quality as well as smaller file size than constant rate encoding. MediaStudio Pro 6.5 now supports variable bit rate (VBR) encoding in both raw MPEG-2 files as well as SVCD and DVD format templates.

    Limitless Digital Video capture

    Many of the supported Windows operating system have 4 gigabyte drive and file limits. While this doesn't impact wordprocessing or spreadsheet usage, this can affected long digital video projects. MediaStudio Pro 6.5 now allows you to capture a continuous DV video stream beyond 4 GB in size by creating multiple files that the software logically "stitches" together as a single unit.

    Digital Video Scene Detection

    After capturing your digital video onto your local drive, the drudgery begins. You now have to separate each clip and search for the heads and tails of each one before you can start editing. MediaStudio Pro 6.5 now makes clip preparation a much easier and more automated process by automatically separating the captured video into scenes.

    Instant Preview Playback

    With the Instant Playback feature of MediaStudio Pro 6.5 you can now preview your project in real-time, without wasting time rendering "preview files". Now you can immediately see your editing results and decrease your waiting time while creating video projects.

    Storyboard and Automatic A/B Roll Layout

    Since scenes are shot out of sequence, reassembling them properly can be a major drag. Within the Production Library of MediaStudio Pro 6.5 you arrange your clips before having to sequencing them on the timeline.

    Using a storyboard layout metaphor, you arrange thumbnails in the desired sequence (and even overlap them) to create a quick foundation which you can then drop onto the timeline, for transition work and specific editing. Since you can quickly rearrange clips (and weed out the duplicates faster), you can rapidly create your timeline.

    Pricing and Requirements

    The estimated street price for MediaStudio Pro 6.5 is $495. If your on a tight budget, the MediaStudio 6.5 Director's Cut (subset of the MediaStudio Pro 6.5 suite) will also be available for under $200. All versions require an Intel MMX Pentium processor with 64 megabytes of RAM and run on Microsoft Windows 98, 98 SE, NT 4.0 (SP6), ME, 2000 or XP. DV support requires Windows 98 SE, 2000 or XP.

    At least 300MB of hard disk space is needed, but realize that digital video can fill gigabytes of available hard drive space in mere hours of capture. I would recommend at least 20 gigabytes of free space or you will constantly having to offloading your large files onto a removable media drive, Philips CD-R drive or a LaCie, Panasonic, Pioneer or Vivastar DVD recordable drive.

    Copyright 2006 Rick Smith All rights reserved.

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