Digital editing: “more power?…not necessarily”

There is a balancing act when selecting video editing software. On one hand, students need the freedom to utilize a variety of effects; however, they also can’t spend an entire quarter learning software. Adobe Premier is one of the benchmarks of professional editing software. The price tag and complexity make it a poor choice for students. On the other end, Windows XP comes loaded with Moviemaker. It’s free and easy, but only allows for one audio track (bye bye soundtrack). Two of the better mid-priced programs are iMovie for Mac users, and Pinnacle Studio 9 for PC. Both offer a good combination of flexibility and ease of use.
My favorite is PhotoStory 3™. While it is not as robust as Pinnacle Studio, it does have several advantages:
  • It is a free download from Microsoft™
  • It accepts a wide variety of image formats
  • Students can get up and running in about five minutes
  • Contains pan, zoom, and transition capabilities
  • Utilizes some special effects and "image doctoring" tools.
  • Includes two audio tracks
  • Contains"canned" music for soundtrack as welll as capabilities for downloading CD or MP3 music
  • It is relatively "bug free"
  • Contains a built-in "Storyboard" and teleprompter for recording V.O.

However, there are a few limitations:
  • limited soundtrack volume manipulation
  • Limited audio synchronization with images
  • no video

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