In Search of the Suite Spot: 3 Media Creation Packages Face Off

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CatherineMcClarey

What I currently use:
Scanning - the software that came with my Brother inkjet all-in-one;
Editing scans & digital photos - BookScan Enhancer (which came with the Brother all-in-one) first, then ArcSoft PhotoImpressions 5 (originally came with a standalone scanner I had; have since bought another copy; prefer this to ArcSoft's current version of this program);
Gameplay video capture - CamStudio 2.0 (a freebie, but perfectly adequate for old DOSBox games and old Windows games without a lot of animation);
Video editing - Serif MoviePlus X3 (cheap because it's an older version, but runs fine under Windows 7, and with superb tutorials); Any Video Converter (free version; converts CamStudio's AVI files into more compact FLV files, which are much quicker to upload to YouTube); and YouTube's own online video editor (much more limited than Serif's program, but occasionally useful for fixing something that's already been uploaded to YouTube).
I'm currently looking for a video capture program which can handle newer, more animation-heavy PC games. I wouldn't mind paying for a good program that would do what I need, but simply can't afford hundreds of dollars for a full version of Camtasia (f.ex.). What would be some less expensive alternatives?

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tony2tonez

opening up the maxpc homepage, and seeing a pic of that big eye scares the crap out of me. 

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Sentinel137

 I would like to say Thank You all for the cool articals and reviews, I pay close attention to articals like above and give some of them a run but come up with the same issues you guys have come across, I would like to see more Vidio reviews thats for sure,, Gordon, where are you,, Back up on stage you go,, Really groove your hardware reviews,,

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Sentinel137

 In the Free apps should be added Hand Brake,,, I tred Media Expresso, Does not hold a candle to H,B, inless you have the newest hardware to run the soft ware,,,

 

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Engelsstaub

I love Handbrake.

One thing to know: The FFMPEG AAC encoder used on the Windows version sucks bad (you need AAC audio to encode videos compatible with iPods/iPhones and Zune HDs.) This isn't the Handbrake dev's fault. They can only use what's available to them on that platform. Handbrake for Macintosh is not affected by this as it uses Quicktime and CoreAudio for AAC encoding. The QT encoder is well-tested and documented to provide transparent audio encoding at low bitrates. (I think Nero's encoder is supposed to be decent as well but I have no experience with it and it is not included in either version of HB.)

That's no single reason to blow money on new hardware or switch platforms (if you're a Windows purist.) It's just good to be aware that the encoder is less than ideal for certain types of encoding.

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Sentinel137

 Now a Days Mostly people are tring to get there DVD / Blue rays down to store on there Iphones or back ups on there home hard drives, This is where HandBrake really shine through, And so I rather save the money to get one of those 6 or 8 core cpu's just to let HanBrake grind through those encodes a hole lost faster, It take my old 9770 cpu approx 25 mins to convert, With AnyDVD at that same amount of time to strip and rip to harddrive, Blueray strip and rip little longer but ok, Other software is like take a nap and wait,,,

 for Photos and so on, Picasa 3 suits me just fine,,

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AETAaAS

Have to agree with the last segment. At over $100 each, I'd look high and low, probably making some sacrifices along the way to save that cash. Plus not being forced to use a prescriptive suite of programs, but cherry pick what suits you best is a bonus. :p

While most of the video editors worth talking about are paid for, I'd like to put foward Paint.NET as a good, free 'semi-advanced' photo editor that gets me by and Media Coder for video transcoding onto my phone (because I must have 2 pass encoding :D).

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