DVD-authoring software: MyDVD Studio Deluxe 5.2

Simplicity is the focus of this new and improved release — start up the app for the first time and it’s virtually impossible to get in a muddle. Four buttons running down the left-hand side of the screen take you straight to capture video, import movies, create slide-show, and create sub-menu functions. Vir-tually everything, from creating back-ground menus to outputting your results, has an accompanying wizard to make things easier.

Click here to view a screen shot.

Adding chapters, for example, is as easy as dragging a marker along a timeline and clicking on the Add chapter button where required. You can preview your progress at any time by clicking on the Play button at the bottom of the screen. MyDVD’s interface is an exercise in minimalism, presumably to avoid inti-midating novices. The net result is that the workspace feels empty of controls, toolbars or palettes, and this can be awkward in practice.

Functions that aren’t immediately available to you become frustratingly greyed-out and unclickable. After a few attempts to build various projects, we soon discovered that the right-click menu is invaluable if you want instant access to features. On the plus side, the program offers support for animated motion menus, widescreen video and AC-3 Dolby Digital soundtracks.

As well as the main DVD authoring application, Studio Deluxe comes with a range of supporting programs (namely RecordNow Deluxe, CinePlayer and Simple Backup) as well as a disc-labelling utility. Newcomers to DVD authoring may find this application useful in that it pares down the complexity of disc creation to just a few simple mouse-clicks.

In brief: Adaptec Sonic MyDVD Studio Deluxe 5.2

MyDVD Studio Deluxe is an easy-to-use and comprehensive disc-burning suite that’s perfect for beginners. Its style won’t suit everyone, though, particularly more experienced users.

Price: $175

Distributor: Adaptec Australia

Phone: (02) 8875 7874

URL:www.adaptec.com.au

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