Pinnacle Video Editing Software

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SUMMARY: Not bad for crippleware.

In my quest for free (or maybe real cheap) but quality video editing software, I came upon Pinnacle’s VideoSpin. Pinnacle is well known for its video editing software called Studio which comes in three different flavors – the cheapest costing $50 and the most expensive $130 (MSRP). Make no mistake about what VideoSpin is – it’s a marketing tool to encourage users to upgrade to cost based software. Even if you decide to live with its limitations, you will see advertisements as part of this package.

In addition, the MPEG-2/4 codecs will expire unless you purchase a $15 codec pack within 15 days. This means that you can only export AVI, Flash, Real, or MPEG-1 formats; with the $15 codec pack, you can create and edit MPEG-2, MPEG-4/DivX ® files and share videos on devices like the You Tube or Apple iPod Videos. However you may be able to use other codecs on your PC. There is On-line Documentation which goes into more detail.

ScreensShots

The opening screen gives the available options – you load a video and begin with the Edit screen:

Open Screen

The files supported are shown below – I did a composite to show all the options:

File Preset

You drag the video into the timeline…

Workspace

which can be lengthened to make it easier to work on.

WS Long

On the left hand side are the presets you can work with – Transitions:

Transitions

Titles which can be edited to suit your own tastes:

Titles

You can import stills from other files into the finished movie:

Pics

There is a small library of sounds available…

Sounds

And you can import your own sounds:

Sounds

Adding elements is basically a drag-and-drop operation – here for a title:

Add Title

And here for adding a still image:

Add Image

When you finish the movie, you can set its parameters:

File Options

And finally, there is a Tutorial built in:

Tutorial

Overall, I found it easy to use. Better that Windows MovieMaker? Up to each user to decide that – I liked VideoSpin better, but it’s closer to a toss-up.

CONCLUSIONS

If you buy the codec pack, not a bad tool for $15 – the freebie version is fairly limited but a nice tool for adding some snap to videos for uploading to the web.

Email Joe

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