Pinnacle or Precipice

2003-04-15 10:57 ☼ post

I ordered Pinnacle Studio 8 for my new computer last week because”: advertised a $50 rebate offer that brought it’s price down to $20. I had wanted to get some iMovie equivalent software since my PC is probably at least 4-5 times faster than my trusty Powerbook and I’m fairly interested in digital video. The computer magazine reviews were promising, but I found some disturbing user reviews that indicated there were quite a few bugs in the software. I weighed my options and decided to place the order because the price was right and Studio 8 offered svcd* creation support.

Mini Rant: I really think Apple is missing the boat by not providing built in svcd creation (or vcd creation for the matter) capabilities in iMovie. You can store up to 40 minutes of near dvd quality in svcd format (480×480 mpeg2), cdr media is cheaper and faster to create and reproduce, and a lot of dvd players can play them.

I didn’t install Studio 8 for a few days because I was busy playing GTA III, but when I finally got around to it I ran into a problem where the installer seemed to hang after reaching 100%. It turns out that problem was caused by a pesky background application that doesn’t serve any obvious purpose. Force quitting End tasking it from within the Task Manager fixed this problem. Once I figured that out I was able to register the application and launch without any problems. I briefly fiddled around with the application, determined that it did seem fairly similar to iMovie, and put it away to play some more GTA III.

Fast forward a couple days to yesterday. Studio 8 indicated that there was a newer version of the application available (8.521 I think). I dutifully downloaded it and ran the update application. I then got out my Panasonic MiniDV camcorder, hooked it up to the firewire port on the back of the computer and tried to launch Studio 8. Windows XP indicated that it had recognized my camcorder, but just past the splash screen Studio 8 threw up a couple vague error messages and quit. Nonplussed I decided to disconnect the camera and try again. It didn’t make any difference. Studio 8 displayed the same errors and then quit.

The next two hours were a blur of failed uninstalls, failed reinstall attempts, soul searching and registry examination. Ultimately I succeeded in getting the application loaded again (but not updated- I was simply too tired to brave that once I got it launching again), but it required finding a couple obscure registry manipulating files and a lot of frustration to get there. Exactly the kind of thing that your typical user is not going to be able to deal with.

Tonight I will find out if I can actually import any video. Stay tuned for Pinnacle or Precipice II.