Those seeking a basic multimedia editing and production suite will find a solid, attractive studio in Corel Digital Studio 2010. The four main applications include the photo studio, video studio, DVD-burning app, and WinDVD 2010, Corel's video player. With these apps, you can open media from just about anywhere, edit videos and photos, and fashion a whole lot of photo and video projects, like collages, cards, calendars, and photo books. The video studio has a built-in movie maker that looks good and is approachable for novices looking to get their feet wet. There are a few templates (but a … Read more
Two sweet deals from Sony in one week? Mercury must be in line with Neptune. First we got the refurbished PlayStation 3 for $237, and now you can pick up a Sony BDU-X10S Blu-ray drive for $49.99 shipped (plus tax in most states).
Just to clarify, this is an internal PC drive, not a standalone Blu-ray player. So it's really a deal only if you have a PC hooked up to a big monitor or an HDTV. (Sorry, slim pickings on deals today.)
Just make sure you're using a DVI or HDMI connection to avoid copy-protection issues.… Read more
Microsoft recently released Windows Live Movie Maker for Vista. Those acquainted with Windows Movie Maker for XP or Vista may be scratching their heads right now--is this an update? Actually, Microsoft intended for it to be a distinct new product for Vista and Windows 7, though you may not guess it based on the almost-identical naming convention.
At any rate, a few points set Windows Live Movie Maker apart from its cousins. Its audience, for a start. While the free application was always intended for the average Windows user (as opposed to a prosumer or professional), this edition strives even … Read more
ScreenTunes is a free search tool that helps users find where a song has been played in any piece of professionally-produced video content. You just type in the name of the song and it tells you all the films and TV shows in which it's appeared. You can then listen to the track right from the results (using Grooveshark), or purchase the track on iTunes or Amazon's online stores.
Along with acting as a search tool for individual songs, ScreenTunes can be used to look up a track by its lyrics. This also works on entire movie titles, … Read more
Dream Wallpaper is a wallpaper changer that allows users to select from both wallpapers that come with the program and that can be downloaded from the publisher's Web site. Although the interface and wallpapers are nice, this program is missing some basic features that users may expect of a wallpaper changer.
The program's interface is sleek and very attractive; it integrates well with later versions of Windows. Users have access to a handful of sample wallpapers in both normal and wide-screen formats that are arranged in themes (nature, holidays, etc.), and many more are available for download. Downloading … Read more
Functional freeware that's aimed squarely at the casual consumer crowd, Microsoft's Windows Live Movie Maker easily turns photos and video clips into slideshows and movies on Vista and Windows 7. However, its toolset and interface lack a certain sophistication that users of all levels would appreciate. The app comes bundled into the bulky Windows Live Essentials suite of apps; to separate it out, you'll need to uncheck the other boxes before installing.
Like Microsoft Office 2007 apps, Windows Live Movie Maker tucks its actions and menus into a visual ribbon. You'll get started dragging and dropping … Read more
Microsoft has run through several versions of its free Movie Maker application for various Windows platforms, most of them earning a fair amount of criticism. The latest edition, Windows Live Movie Maker 1.0, does easily turn photos and video clips into slide shows and movies, but it is far from perfect. Released from beta on Wednesday, this is functional freeware that's aimed squarely at the casual consumer crowd. Although mostly easy to use, its toolset and interface lack a certain sophistication that users of all levels would appreciate.
The fresh-out-of-beta Windows Live Movie Maker (not to be confused with Windows Movie Maker, minus the 'Live') is compatible with Vista and Windows 7 operating systems only. It comes bundled into the Windows Live Essentials suite of apps, but you can separate it out with a little click-surgery. To get Movie Maker only, you'll need to uncheck the boxes for the other programs in the suite, leaving Movie Maker selected. Before the app finishes installing, take care to read the penultimate window; if you race ahead, you'll be changing your default search to Microsoft's Bing and your home page to MSN.
With its visual ribbon of menu actions, Windows Live Movie Maker emulates the look and feel of Microsoft Office 2007 applications. The preview window is portioned out to the left of the screen and the gallery of photos and clips you'll import sits on the right. Interestingly, tool tips appear above the Edit, Options, and Format tabs to alert you that these are the menus for video, audio, and text tools. These tabs disappear when you're not using them. While we like this feature, we also wonder why Microsoft didn't just name the original tabs "video," "audio," and "text," and dispense with the highlighted tabs above the tabs.
Making instant movies
Microsoft's emphasis on the visual hits home when you get started. In addition to adding photos and video clips through a menu button, you can drag and drop them into the storyboard. Likewise, you can click and drag to move clips around. For extremely simple movie-creation, after you arrange the clips, a click of the AutoMovie button (in the Home tab) ties the clips together with a title, transitions, and pan and zoom effects. If it doesn't add a song clip for you, it prompts you to select one (again, through the Home tab.) Automating movies and slideshows this ways is a great two-second option for casual or time-stressed users. After all, you can always tweak later.… Read more
Want to manage your collection of DVDs, videos, laser disks or CDs but don't have the time or patience to master Access? This preformatted app is ready to use for entering data about your collection--either by entering information manually or importing it from online sources or other files.
Ant Movie Catalog launches a large window with several fields ready to receive info about the DVDs or CDs you want to inventory. The large number of fields may be intimidating at first, but because of the range of info you can enter into each record, both novices and completists will … Read more
For as long as there have been cars, people have been chasing each other around in them. Between the roar of an engine, the occasional crunching of metal, and the pumping adrenaline, there's something primal about a good car chase that just gets us going.
Unfortunately, local laws, limited funds, and a general concern for our own safety mean that we can't just go out and crunch up cars everyday. This is where Hollywood comes in, filling our favorite movies with over-the-top car chases that allow us to live vicariously through the celluloid and experience the thrill of … Read more