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Does anyone else miss Pinnacle Express? (rant)

Discussion in 'Video to DVD' started by itomic, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. itomic

    itomic Member

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    Hi All,

    Bit of a rant coming up... :)

    About a year ago I used to use Pinnacle Express for copying my DV tapes to DVD with chapters. Easy. Simple. Intuitive. No-frills. But since then Pinnacle Express is no more (discontinued, unsupported), I've got a new PC (Win XP, SP2) and the my old copy of Pinnacle Express wouldn't run on it.

    So I've been searching high and low for an alternative. I had a look at Pinnacle Studio but that seemed unnecessarily complex for my needs and crashed quite a bit.

    After reading a few reviews I stuck my neck way out and bought Sonic MyDVD 6 but to my great disappointment a) it wasn't as intuitive as Pinnacle Express and b) the software does not let me choose which key frame should be displayed for chapter menu buttons (this has been confirmed by Sonic Tech Support).

    Bottom line: I don't want to be the next Steven Spielberg. I just want to get my 90 minutes DV tapes transferred to DVD with chapter menus where I can choose the key frame. That's it! Am I asking too much?

    Why did Pinnacle Systems drop Pinnacle Express? Was it that it was too simple and easy to use and they didn't feel they could charge too much for it which undermined the more expensive 'full' version with all the bells and whistles that 9 out of 10 home users don't need or want?

    Are all the DVD Video authoring companies scared about Windows Movie Maker gaining the ability to write to DVDs (which has just happened for Windows XP Media Edition users) and have therefore basically stopped caring about their software or developing it further? Now I'm no fan of Microsoft, BUT I have to say that Movie Maker is an unbelievably easy-to-use piece of software. For the first time in my life I WANT Microsoft to kick everyone's butts with a DVD version of Movie Maker for XP (not just Media Edition) because it is (I believe) what 90%+ of Mum & Dad home users who don't have a whole heap of time to waste fiddling with complex systems (like me) want.

    End of rant! :)

    Comments anyone?
     
  2. Adder01

    Adder01 Regular member

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    Hey itomic,

    Can't say as I ever got to use Pinnacle Express...used Studio and Movie Maker though and I agree that most Mum & Dads would only ever need Movie Maker.

    Another option for your menus is DVD Lab. It has a 30 day eval copy downloadable from their web site (http://www.mediachance.com/download.htm). This will let you do funky things with menus.

    Note that it is NOT an authoring program...it is just for creating menus from footage you have on your harddrive. So maybe you would use Movie Maker to save the footage and then use DVD Lab to put them into a menu & burn to DVD. Just an idea...

    If you remember to save often enough, then Studio is the simplest option out there that has all the options.

    Adder.
     
  3. itomic

    itomic Member

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    Thanks for your feedback. I may well have a look at DVD Lab...

    In the meantime, I've been playing with a copy of Pinnacle Studio Plus 9.3.5. I like it, choosing the key frames for chapter menu buttons was both possible and easy *BUT*, to my almost complete disbelief, it appears that Studo does not have the option to 'best fit' my movie to a (single layer) DVD. I assumed that 'Automatic' would do it, but I was wrong. So the complete dump of my LP DVD cassette has come out at 94 minutes, but I'm being told that I have to slash about 7 minutes in order to squeeze it onto my blank DVD. Why isn't Studio capable of auto-reducing the quality of my 94 minutes of footage to perfectly fit my DVD disc like Pinnacle Express did, like Sonic MyDVD does?

    So, once again, I've feel let down by one small but significant failing of a major piece of DVD authoring software.

    Frustrated!!! :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2004
  4. Adder01

    Adder01 Regular member

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    You can always run it through DVD Shrink afterwards...

    Adder.

    P.S. I don't care but...*they* don't like advertising in your sig.
     

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