DVD Slideshow and Movie Maker | Arc Soft – A First Look
Your Windows Video Editor Review has finally gotten around to getting a look at Corel’s DVD Slideshow and Movie Maker and is able to make some kind of informed judgement in presenting the software package. Before getting into the details, let’s review what the manufacturer, ArcSoft has to say about the product and the technical specs, and then Your Windows Video Editor Review will give his take.
Produce professional-looking DVD movies
Customize Slideshow with Powerful editing functions
Over 50 free professional background menu designs
Make DVDs for playback on TVs and computers
Windows 2000, XP SP2, Vista, Windows 7
Pentium III 450 processor or equivalent (Pentium III 800 recommended)
200 MB free hard disk space (1 GB recommended)
128 MB RAM (256 MB recommended)
16-bit color display at 800 x 600
DirectX 9.0 or above
As you can see from the above, the technical requirements are not overwhelming, which means that you don’t need a power-PC to run the program adequately, although it has been our experience (and most probably yours as well) that the more powerful the computer, the better a program runs. This has been the case with all of the programs that we have been testing and evaluating, and DVD Slideshow and Movie Maker is no exception.
For this first look, Your Windows Video Editor Review deliberately used an older PC for the evaluation. A Dell Optiplex 745 minitower with an Intel Pentium D 3.4 dual-core processor was the choice. The machine had 4 GB of RAM, and a large enough harddisk (500 GB), so space was never an issue.
I installed the software, which took a while because of the software packages different features. The installation process took all in all about 15 minutes. I repeated the process on my HP laptop, which is newer and has more RAM – and that took about ten minutes, so this will vary with each computer.
Making a Video DVD
The first feature that I used (and the one that I will concentrate on in this post) was the DVD Slideshow. The interface is not as elaborate as Power2Go’s, and the features of the software package are not as integrated as I’d like, but it is easy enough to figure out and use.
What is nice about this interface is that you can, as the manufacturer claims, create a project in three easy steps.
Step One: Add Media – This was quite easy. When you click on the DVD Slideshow icon (the programs features are accessed through desktop icons), the program asks if you want to create either a DVD, or a Video CD. We chose the DVD option, selected New Project from the drop down menu. To the right of the workspace are four icons: Create New Slide Show; Insert Slide Show; Insert Video; and Insert Power Point. We clicked on Insert Video, and that brings up a small explorer window in which you can view your files and folders and choose the video you wish to insert. For the purposes of this evaluation, I choose video files that I took during the summer of 2008 in Iowa and inserted them sequentially in chronological order.
Step Two: Design:
Just as easy. Once I had chosen and arranged my videos, I designed the background for the project, editing the titles of the videos and chose the background music for the project.
Step Three: Produce -
With the click of a mouse, it was time to produce the video disc. It brings up a window with a remote to the right of the workspace. The remote image is actually the interface for previewing your project as a whole – the background music plays and you get to preview your work. Below that image is your Burn To Disc button. We clicked on that (after being sure to insert a DVD into the burner) and the burning process began. A Produce -Burn To Disc dialogue box comes up and informs the end user as to the status of the burn, beginning with “Checking disc..” and ending with “Closing disc…” This process took about ten minutes with the Optiplex. We have yet to test it on our HP computers, but the result was very good.
+ Corel’s DVD SlideShow and Movie Maker made a good first impression on Your Windows Video Editor Review. Simple and easy to use. While the interfaces for the various functions are not as integrated as I’d like, the DVD SlideShow function performed well enough.
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