Video editing 05 Feb 2007 11:26 am

Flying Nerd reluctantly withdraws recommendation of Ulead MediaStudio Pro 8

Since I first set up this site – nearly two years ago – I’ve been recommending Ulead‘s MediaStudio Pro product as a great value pro-sumer video editing suite. Sadly, I feel that I must now withdraw that recommendation.

The reason is simple: Ulead has not delivered a Windows Vista patch for the product, and is not answering questions as to whether such a patch will ever be delivered (many forum and mailing list members have asked – myself included). Given that the company seems unable to commit to the immediate future of the product, I cannot in good faith recommend that you spend new money on it.

It’s a shame, really. MediaStudio Pro has, for some time, represented probably the best bang-for-buck in its particular domain. It’s a thoroughly competent and usable product.

My guess as to what’s happening behind the scenes is this: Ulead’s new owners (Corel) just can’t see a business case for continuing to invest in a product that has undoubtedly lost ground in recent times to Sony’s Vegas suite and Adobe’s various Premiere incarnations.

I attribute MSP’s loss of market share mainly to lack of investment in marketing. Ulead has been good at creating products but not so good at promoting them. As a wise man once said to me (about a different product in a different market): “They didn’t so much launch that product as set it adrift.”

4 Responses to “Flying Nerd reluctantly withdraws recommendation of Ulead MediaStudio Pro 8”

  1. on 05 Feb 2007 at 11:32 (Sydney) 1.The Flying Nerd » Blog Archive » Thinking about Vista said …

    […] Ulead MediaStudio Pro video editor: doesn’t work with Vista, no date available for update. [I have withdrawn my recommendation for this product: see here. […]

  2. on 09 Feb 2007 at 11:18 (Sydney) 2.Zog said …

    Ok, so I’m looking to buy a video editing package pretty soon (ie next month or so) – now what do I buy?!

  3. on 09 Feb 2007 at 15:24 (Sydney) 3.Richard said …

    Good question, o furry one.

    First, let’s be clear that the withdrawal of my recommendation isn’t because MSP8 is a BAD product – it’s not. My problem is that, with the company unprepared to comment on a Vista patch, it looks like the product is at the end of its line. If you don’t anticipate ever wanting to run on Vista or upgrade the software, then MSP8 has great features for the buck.

    If these factors (Vista and upgrades) are considerations, then…

    Ulead’s lower end product IS Vista-capable. In its most recent version, it has multiple tracks for audio and video. It’s not at all a bad thing. Best way to buy is via download, for around $A130. (Don’t be tempted by the discount on box product – the shipping is more than the discount!) You can download to try it out.

    Pinnacle software has a terrible reputation for crashing and is probably best avoided.

    Most of the magazines seem to reckon that Adobe’s Premiere Elements 3 is A Good Thing. This is the cut down version of the pro product Premiere Pro. It’s PC Authority’s current recommendation. I have downloaded the trial and will give it a burl soon – maybe when I have Reformation Church History a bit more under control. I’ll give you a copy of the trialware at 3-5 Alive tonight. (Around $150 for normal version, $100 if you can get Academic price.)

    The only other real alternative (on PC) is probably one of the Sony Vegas products. Never used them but those who do say they are great.

  4. on 14 Sep 2008 at 6:33 (Sydney) 4.Fred McGiven said …

    I have succeeded in running MediaStudio Pro 8 (MSP8) on a Vista machine, but not in the ordinary way. What worked for me was to install Sun xVM Virtual Box ver 2 (free). Note: Virtual Box version 1.6.2 & earlier did NOT work for me, but the latest version does work. VirtualBox allows you to install various types of virtual guest machines that run under Vista.

    Link to get VirtualBox

    In VirtualBox I created a virtual XP machine. To do this you have to install XP on the virtual machine (you need the XP install discs, have to activate it, just like normal). I have successfully run MSP8 on this virtual XP machine and have edited several videos.

    When you create the xp virtual disk make sure it is large enough to handle all the source files of the video(s) you will be editing and creating. I found that ALL the source files (used in MSP8 in your videos) must be located on the Virtual disk and cannot be located on shared drives (drives that map to folders on your regular hard disk). You can, of course, copy files (with windows explorer) to/from your regular disk to the virtual disk through the use of shared drives.

    For your info, I have 3 GB of RAM and allocate 1.5 GB to the virtual XP machine. I have, however, run MSP8 with only 1GB allocated to XP.

    By the way, if you run your virtual XP in Virtual Box’s seamless mode, you basically have your normal Vista desktop that can run programs in windows under both Vista and XP at the same time. The XP windows have XP’s themes, and the Vista windows have Vista style themes, all on your Vista Desktop . . . very cool.

    IMPORTANT NOTES: I would NOT recommend going this route if you are just starting out, i.e., don’t go out and buy MSP8 Pro then do this. I would ONLY recommend going the VirtualBox route if you have a lot of experience using MSP8 and don’t want to spend the time (or money) to learn a new editing system. MSP IS a very nice & powerful video editing system and I can’t find anything I like better at a reasonable price. One of the reasons I do NOT recommend VirtualBox for new users is the fact that MSP doesn’t seem to like any of your video’s source files located on shared drives. This means you must copy all your source files to XP’s virtual disk first. Then after you are finished, presumably you will want to copy them back to your normal hard disk. If your source files are large (mine are typically 10-30 GB), it can take an hour or two to copy them. But this can be done in the background while you do something else. Also, another WARNING, since you are running MSP8 under XP which is running under VirtualBox which is running in Vista, you probably want a fairly powerful processor! I would recommend a dual or quad core machine with at least 2 GB of memory. You also need a hard disk with plenty of free space. You need enough hard disk space to install XP, create your virutal disk(s) and load any & all programs & data you want to run under xp, including printer drivers, video source files, virus protection, etc., etc. To make things simpler, I would recommend that you do NOT connect your XP virtual machine to the internet, that way you won’t have to install all that extra layer of protection (virus, worm, firewall, spam, spyware). If you do connect to the internet, PLEASE DO install all the protection because your virtual xp machine can get infected and ruined just like any other computer.

    By the way, In addition to a virtual XP machine, I also run a virtual Ubuntu (Linux type) machine. Using VirtualBox is nice because you don’t need all that dual boot junk!

    With a virtual xp, you may also be able to run other XP programs that you own that won’t run under Vista. Also, you can install as many virtual machines and you like provided you have enough disk space and memory.