Monday, March 22, 2010

Corel Video Studio Pro X3

I recently upgrade from Corel Video Studio Pro X2 (12) to X3 (13) for my basic video editing needs (I still use Premiere Pro / Encore CS4 for advanced projects). So far I've seen big improvements in program stability (I'm running Windows 7 x64) and refinements to the user interface (e.g. the location of mark in/out buttons when multi-trimming a video). Another bonus is the hardware encoder acceleration support, although you will need a CUDA enabled video card for that so I'm unable to test it's performance (I'm running an ATI 4890). But it's not all good news.

When upgrading a software package I can understand the need to refine the user experience through simplifying the interface and either hiding or removing unnecessary options. The only problem with this is when developers take it to far, which is what I believe has happened in Corel DVD Factory Pro 2010 (which is the Blu-ray / DVD authoring program within the Corel Video Studio Pro X3 package).

Instead of improving on the previous authoring tool found in X2, they have managed to make it so frustrating to use that I now...
  • Edit my video in Corel Video Studio Pro X3
  • Save to a version 12 project file
  • Open in X2 and create the DVD using the old authoring program

And it's not just one problem that is causing me to resort to this, it's many. Here is an example of the biggest problems I see at the moment...
  • Can no longer create DVD's with no menu (I used this feature a lot in X2)
  • Forced to used the new media library (which by default imports all the video, sound and photo's it can find on your system)
  • Limited DVD menu styles (when compared to X2)
  • Reduced DVD menu style editing options (e.g. set the section of video to show for menu thumbnails)

When you get down to it, I only really have issues with the DVD authoring program bundled in X3. So if that is something you don't really use, or only use at a very basic level (so much for the “Pro” tag) then Corel Video Studio Pro X3 is a worth while upgrade from X2, if only for the bug fixes. ;-)

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