Now up to version 8, Rescue your Video Tapes! consists of a software CD, Scart-to-phono-plug lead, Installation Guide and a Video Converter kit plus a card containing a 31-character serial number needed to activate the software. The Video Converter kit consists of a bulky USB stick featuring a mini USB port, a short extension lead and a mini USB to RCA (Cinch) female sockets. This kit, as its title indicates, carries out the conversion process when bringing in content from various sources.
Setting up this product from the supplied CD was not quite as straightforward as it should have been. A message appeared stating that a particular file relating to the UK version of the software could not be located. However, clicking passed this message resulted in the software being installed without any further interruption. Later I discovered that the PDF English version of the product’s User Manual (as different from the Installation Guide) was missing from the CD. I had to download it from the MAGIX website.
As part of the installation process you will be required to insert the USB stick into an available port for necessary adjustments to be made to its content. On the first run of the software you will need to enter the 31-characters serial number and register the product to your account (necessary for downloading the User Manual). On subsequent loadings you will have the choice of starting a new project, opening existing work or viewing an Intro Video. This video is an online resource that would have benefitted from a spoken commentary instead of just background music.
This software can accept content from a variety of sources such as a digital video camera, VHS analogue player or files already stored on a hard drive. When necessary you can use the supplied leads and Video Converter device for importing content from external devices. A wizard will lead you through the initial process of starting a new project with content from available sources. This content will then be made available in the software’s clearly laid out interface consisting of areas for playing files, adding effects and an arranger for manipulating running order.
Occupying the top left section of the interface is the preview window. This has VHS style controls to play / pause/ stop / reverse / fast forward actions plus a digital time counter to help mark an exact position within the current video.
Positioned alongside this preview window is the Effects panel. This has tabs allowing you to switch between categories entitled Adjust, Text, Audio and Transitions. Depending upon the chosen category, the available options will change. For example Adjust has slider bars for brightness, contrast and saturation with a colour wheel and options to make alterations to speed and use various templates. Text, on the other hand, offers the opportunity to enter titles with a choice of font, size, position and associated animation.
Running across the bottom of the interface is the Arranger. This section adopts a storyboard view of the clips being used in the current project. The Arranger stores its content into three layers made up of images, background music and recorded commentary. A small panel of buttons can be used to add elements such as pictures, audio such as background music and / or commentary plus additional video clips.
When satisfied with your project, you have a choice of where the content can be stored. You can save to disk or computer plus upload the video to the Internet or MAGIX’s online album. The chosen format quality can be Web quality, DVD or HD.
There were a couple of occasion when using this software that the program froze and I needed to use the Windows Task Manager to regain control of my system. These instances occurred at different stages of the editing and playback process and I was unable to duplicate or pinpoint the reasons behind the problems. Maybe they were related to the initial problem I had during installation but I can not be sure.
This product has been priced at £44.99. System requirements call for a 2.0GHz processor with 2GB of RAM and 1GB of hard disk space for the initial installation running Windows 7 and later.
|add to del.icio.us||Digg this review|