Ulead's latest video-editing software title, VideoStudio 4, allows end users to edit MPEG2-quality video more quickly with less computer resources, an ability the company hopes will give a boost to this nascent market.
The title will ship on November 1 with a $99 street price; VideoStudio 3 owners can upgrade to the new edition for $49.95.
Video-editing software for professionals and consumers has been around for several years, but it is still not a huge market, said product marketing director Michael Downs. VideoStudio 4's ease-of-use qualities are designed to grab the attention of consumers interested in doing more with their camcorders and PCs.
Downs said VideoStudio 4 is distinguished from other software by enabling end users to edit compressed video without having to decompress it, which is time-consuming and gobbles up much-needed hard drive and memory capacity.
Skipping the decompression process makes VideoStudio 4 an easier tool to use, said Downs. Nonetheless, he sees most potential purchasers as being PC savvy and explained that Ulead is "looking for those owning PCs costing $800 and up. Those buying low-end PCs are interested in it just for the Web access and not for this type of application."
VideoStudio 4 is designed to work with digital video, primarily from DV camcorders that feature IEEE 1394, although the title's editing functions will work with analog video. The end user plugs the DV camcorder directly into the PC's 1394 plug, edits the video from the camera, and stores the end result on the computer's hard drive.
Another new feature is its ability to add MP3 files to a video clip for background music. In addition, the video card can take audio off a CD and store it directly onto the hard drive, bypassing the PC's sound card. Downs said this eliminates the need for the music to go through a digital-to-analog converter and preserves its initial quality.