The interface is clear and functional, and the story-line approach to editing, though more limited than the methods used by other video editors, is simple. You just drag thumbnails or file names of video clips to a movie strip at the top of the screen and add transitions, such as dissolves and wipes, between the cuts. Then lay in music or narration, plus text and credits.
You can trim scenes by using a straightforward VCR-style interface with easy-to-set in and out points. But with the shipping version I tested, stray frames of material I'd already taken out showed up in a later edited version. I also found the audio tool clumsy when I tried to synchronize sound effects to the on-screen action.
The application comes with a massive library of special effects, plus high-quality digital-animation and image-editing tools. VideoWave 4 handles both analog and digital video formats. StudioDV, a comparable editor from Pinnacle Systems, offers more versatility for the buck, but does only digital.
The simplest way to preview a particular section of video is to fast-forward to about the desired spot, but I found this time-consuming. And playback on my Pentium III-500 PC with 196MB of RAM was spasmodic, even though MGI specifies a minimum PII-266 PC with 64MB of RAM.
If you are new to video editing and working with analog video, VideoWave 4 is for you. If you exclusively edit digital video, go with StudioDV.
PRO: Easy to use; handles both analog and digital formats; contains plenty of special effects.
CON: Lacks tools for handling complex projects.
VALUE: A great package for newbies editing analog video.
List price: $169.95
03 9929 9735