If you want to edit your home movies there are any number of tools on offer and Windows even has its own Movie Maker. Roxio Elite MyDVD 9 is essentially a DVD authoring tool that allows you to edit your home movies and then burn them to DVD. However, this software offers more than you’ll find in Movie Maker, as you’ll also be able to create slideshows of your favourite photos, as well as use the built-in software for copying and creating music and data CDs and DVDs.
This isn’t the latest version of the software, which is MyDVD 10, instead it’s a budget offering of the previous version that has been stripped down and offers the basic features for the budget end of the market.
In practise, it offers a basic introduction to editing and burning but there are some sophisticated tools hidden away. It’s a lengthy install, as you’ll need 1GB of hard drive space to install the program and we found it took 20 minutes to set-up correctly.
The interface is fairly self-explanatory with the main controls split in to two sections on the left-hand side: Menu Tasks and Edit. Menu Tasks allows you to either select video from your hard drive or to import movies direct from your camcorder or other external source.
Edit allows for a range of tasks to be carried out with most of them taking place in separate windows. The range of features on offer are great, as it allows you to trim footage to length and even add basic features, such as transitions and fades. True, these are all basic techniques but the software handles it in a clear and precise way.
It’s not just video length you can edit as you can also change brightness and colour contrast of images and even speed up or slow down footage. We were impressed with the range of features on offer for the price. What’s more, you can then go on to create DVD menus with animated thumbnail buttons, as well as chapter headers. The software also allows for music to be added, either from your own collection or from a variety of online free sources.
Once you have your edited footage it’s time to draw together a menu and DVD interface. There are a limited number of menu templates already installed, so you can choose one of those and then alter it to fit your needs. Alternatively, there is a button allowing you to download more styles. However, we found this simply dumped you on Roxio’s main page rather than to any specific download section.
Being a budget version there isn’t support for Blu-ray or HD DVD but you’ll be able to burn to dual-layer DVDs as well as standard discs with ease. Videos can be burnt to a variety of compression sizes, with a small dialogue box on the edit page allowing you to fit to disc, Standard Disc or High Quality. Videos can be created in standard 4:3 aspect ratio or even widescreen 16:9.
Roxio Elite MyDVD 9 may be a budget priced offering but you’ll still need a fairly powerful PC to make the most of it. We were impressed with the range of features on offer. True, many of the features are basic and there is little in the way of added high-def features. However, for simple results this is a great all-round package.