As I mentioned in my previous article, I recently put together a DVD showcasing my daughters performances on her recent contract. EasyMpeg MX saved me a HUGE amount of time doing this and if you want to know more about that tool, please check the previous article .
Now I’m going to tell you a bit more about the other member of that software production team, Cyberlink Producer and of course why I am writing about it! To start off with, I really, really like it!
It’s kind of hard to talk about a particular product without first having experienced other packages that were or are out there. To that end I have had a lot of experience trying out different Video Editing packages and prior to Cyberlink I have found ALL of them to fall down in one area or another, some so badly that I won’t even name them!
Pinnacle Studio or Before Cyberlink Producer…
Prior to Cyberlink I found that only one software package suited my needs and did what I wanted a PC based video editing package to do, Pinnacle Studio. This is a professional production package, with more menu’s fades, segues and options than anything else out there. It is a really amazing package, and or more rightly but, you need to invest large amounts of cash and time into getting your disk produced.
Don’t get me wrong, I really like what Pinnacle Studio can do, I just don’t like what it costs! (Note that these comments are on Versions 9 and 10 – and Studio is now up to Version 12. ) And I have great difficulty compiling Videos on my current computer with the versions that I have. It really needs a “State-of-the-Art” machine:
First off the main package is expensive and all the add on’s that you can get to go with it are also expensive.
Secondly you need a lot of memory (minimum of 1GB but 2GB is better ) and a lot of hard disk space (60-100GB )
A high-end graphics card with lots of memory (256 MB recommended )
A powerful machine/processor ( my little Pentium4 running 1.3Ghz hurts when it runs it… )
Be prepared (when you ctually create a disk ) to let the computer run over night ( 6-8 hours for a 50 minute disk ) compiling menus and transitions and then the actual disk. (Note this was again on my machine – a P4 1.3Ghz with 1.4 GB of memory and 80GB of free disk space )
Without a doubt Pinnacle Studio is a Professional piece of software, which gives you almost as much control over your final product as a Professionally dedicated Video Editing System could give you. But if you don’t have the time, effort and especially money to invest in upgrading your system and or getting all the latest software upgrades – it just isn’t worth it! (Remember I’m retired now! )
So I was looking with dread upon working with Pinnacle Studio, because I no longer had the time, disk space and computer memory to properly produce a DVD successfully (running out of resources can cause ugly things – such as loss of sound and/or video – to occur to your final product. ) So I went out again, once more to see if there was something else out there that was faster, cleaner and easier to use…
And I found it, Cyberlink Producer …
If I have anything to complain about Cyberlink, it’s that they have too many versions or software packages out there that seem to overlap each other, to the point that it confuses and can cause a good package to get lost in the chaos! Their website does not seem to offer a clear explanation of the differences between them and what one package will do, that the other will not. I was actually lucky that I purchased the right package for my needs – they really do need to fix that!
Okay, enough with the bad, on with the good…
You can download a trial package , which is good for 30 days and comes with a bunch of restrictions (limiting you to only 30 minutes of video and including a promotional slide on the last portion of your production. ) But you can also purchase two different versions directly from their website. The full package for $50 or the “Ultra” package (more menus, transitions etc. ) Also check your computer or digital camera box as you might find that you already have installed (or still have the disk ) of some of their software that came with one of your cameras on your computer and you might be able to upgrade that for even less!
Cyberlink Producer is THE PACKAGE that most people should use for creating or “Producing” their own Video DVD, whether for home movies, re-edited videos, compilations and even professionally produced video (both on Disk or Web Site. )
Producer works extremely fast (compared to anything else out there that I have tried ) in creating DVD’s or Video Files of any format.
It is extremely affordable (Being well under $80 for the full package ) and offers affordable professional additions such as extra menu’s and transitions.
Cyberlink Producer inputs pretty well ANY video format that is out there (and can use them together and not just one format at a time. ) A case in point were those VOB files that I talked about in my last article – I did not have to convert them to use them with other media – Cyberlink handled all that for me.
Cyberlink Producer outputs in pretty well ANY video format and can even output directly to You-Tube
It can output to practically any medium as well, be it DVD, HD DVD or Blue Ray
If you have the hardware it includes the software necessary to directly capture the output from your device and import it directly into whatever project you are working on.
Cyberlink has a HUGE support base with tons of free or user created menus, transitions and the like. Plus you can ask others on the Cyberlink Director Zone forum for help and or suggestions with production issues you might be having – this is huge!
For me, Producer created a disk in well under the amount of time it previously took with any other package (a 50 minute disk took under 90 minutes to produce ) and it created it with no flaws (on my computer which has difficulty handling Pinnacle Studio 10. ) It also responded better than larger memory demanding packages that I have used and gave me the huge level of flexibility, professionalism and creativity that wanted.
The minimum requirements for this package are a dream come true for the average computer user:
Only 512MB of Memory for DVD creation and only 2GB if you are creating HighDefinition!
Runs on Windows XP/2000/Vista platforms
For DVD authoring will run on a Pentium II 450Mhz machine, however HighDefinition will require a Pentium 4 running at 3.0GHz
This is a great package, which works extremely well on older and less powerful machines and one that I would recommend to anyone seriously considering “polishing up” their videos before sharing them with others or just enjoying them for themselves.
It’s a five star product for sure!