With digital imaging and multimedia becoming the hottest thing since the Zippo lighter, there is now a host of software solutions to cope with whatever you want to do. Movieshop Deluxe purports to take care of your entire movie making wants and needs -- but does it? We reviewed this on a fairly low spec PC running XP, but it didn’t seem to suffer, however, we were using small files, as video editing can become a big game.

The basic editing window provides you with a few main areas taking care of selecting your media, assembling the storyboard, the timeline and a preview area. It is simple to get your media of choice up and involved, it will cope with a wide range of different file types, and you can convert it to whatever output you want, including DVD standard to play back on a conventional player.

If you will allow your imaginations to run wild for a moment … imagine you want to put together a wedding video to show your relatives in Australia. You can put together opening titles, show the bride walking down the aisle, include some still images from the wedding photographer, Nanny drinking her fourth sherry, the speeches in all their glory and then the first dance, all as a mixture of video and stills, with fancy transitions. We all know that camcorders might not record great sound depending on the venue, so why not overlay the wedding march once you’ve edited together your new video? You could also overlay the song from the first dance again as well, by using various layers (up to 10). At the end of it, you have the choice of outputting it however you wish - onto VCD, DVD and even humble old VHS.

Now let’s look at the real experience of using the software. We decided to put the Tutorial to a proper test and were somewhat surprised. The Tutorial was an html document with step-by-step instructions - no animation, no ‘show me’ links, nothing. To round this off, some of the images were missing, with ‘[insert screenshot here]’ appearing in a few locations - not what you expect from a new piece of software. Anyway, battling on, we assembled their example movie of some ghastly American brats screeching. It introduced almost all the functions you’d need to assemble our imaginary scenario above, which is fully achievable after about 30 minutes of studying the manual and the tutorial.

Price when reviewed:

Almost all digital cameras support video capture these days, as do webcams, as well as conventional camcorders, so there is no shortage of potential material out there. Movieshop Deluxe will take care of most of your requirements for home entertainment and basic web publishing. I can only really think of two applications - family novelty videos, and home-made porn, but it is really only limited by the vision of the editor. Overall, you get what it says on the box, a movie editor. If you are seriously looking to buy editing software, I’d look at all the options for your money, and see if you can get a demo copy. Whilst Movieshop Deluxe did what it was supposed to do, we did feel a little lost at times, and the user is the most important thing here. It is a competitive area, so shop around.