• Price: 153 . 170 . 102 . 110

  • Company: Ulead

  • Pros: Great improvement on previous version. Low cost.

  • Cons: Lacks fine-tuning tools of its competitors. Fiddly to use. Interface palettes don’t fit together well.

  • Our Rating: We rate this 6 out of 10 We rate this 6 out of 10

Before Final Cut Pro came along, MediaStudio Pro was almost the equal of Premiere. Apple’s entry into the video editing market made Adobe develop Premiere Pro to fight back, while Ulead slashed the price of MediaStudio Pro and repositioned it to appeal to consumers. The newly-released version 8 adds features in an attempt to take on its old adversaries, but it’s still happier with the needs of home users.

MediaStudio’s HDV implementationis largely impressive with device control support for most new models. Batch capture is possible too. Editing is handled natively, and the new smart proxy system allows real-time, multi-stream HDV editing on even laptops and modest PCs.

However, MediaStudio delivers less real-time functionality for HDV and DV than Premiere Pro or Liquid Edition 6
on powerful hardware, such as our dual-core Pentium D 840 based test system.

 border=0 />The new Smart Compositor aims to be a wizard for creating motion graphics that offers more flexibility than traditional templates. You select from a limited number of templates, replace the elements of generic video and audio with your own, and then adjust the layered timeline to fit. It’s an interesting idea, but much too fiddly to be a great timesaver.
</p>
<p>
The opposite is found with the new titling tools. This is a swift, easy-to-use dialog that relies on a limited number of templated style and animations. However, it has almost no typographical controls.
</p>
<p>
Ulead has altered MediaStudio’s interface in much the same way that Adobe did to create Premiere Pro. The outmoded A/B roll timeline has finally been ditched in favour of a more modern true multi-track timeline. The Effects Manager is Ulead’s version of Premiere Pro’s Effect Controls palette, providinga per-clip timeline and effects parameters in one place. Media Studio Pro also supports multiple tabbed timelines and virtual clips for the first time.
</p>
<p>
<b>Colouring in</b>
</p>
<p>
The new colour correction filter offers adjustment of Levels, HSL or Curves, broken down by channels. It claims to offer secondary colour correction, but this is used to describe the ability to work on specific regions rather than limiting by colour, luminance, or saturation.
</p>
<p>
Other new features include a capture plug-in (rather than using a separate application), automated DVD output, some new filters and transitions, and support for Dolby 5.1 surround sound with a new audio mixing panel.
</p>
<p>
However, MediaStudio Pro 8 is still more Final Cut Express than Final Cut Pro. Its interface is messy even on a high-resolution screen, its toolset lacks the fine-tuning controls of even Premiere and Edition, and there’s many minor annoyances to try your patience.
</p> <div id="otherBodyContent"><p>
<div class=inlineimage><img src=

Characters remaining: 335