Corel VideoStudio Pro X5 review

24 May 2012

Lots of interesting features and a slightly clunky interface – it’s business as usual for VideoStudio

Price when reviewed: 
54(£54 inc VAT)
Buy it now for 
4

VideoStudio has a distinctly homely feel to it, but it has always been quick to keep up with the latest developments. In 2007 it introduced Blu-ray and AVCHD authoring before any other consumer software. This year’s trail-blazing feature is HTML5 authoring.

This restores the menu navigation functions that users have lost as they move from optical media to the web to distribute their videos. Adobe Premiere Elements already provides this using Flash, but HTML5 is a better choice with its wider device support. VideoStudio uses the HTML5 canvas element, with a background video layer and image and text overlays. These overlays can act as links, either to chapter markers within the timeline or external URLs.

Sadly, VideoStudio’s HTML5 output has its problems. Playback didn’t commence automatically, leaving us to click Play on the transport bar after selecting a chapter from the top menu. There’s no way to stop playback from looping, either. External links opened in a new browser tab, which isn’t so useful for jumping between pages on a site.

Corel VideoStudio Pro X5

When we started from a template, chapter links jumped to the wrong places, although this problem disappeared when we started from scratch. One project’s links worked fine when viewed on an iPad, but another’s got trapped in a perpetual loop. The transport progress bar didn’t work on the iPad, and musical accompaniments encoded in Ogg Vorbis format didn’t play.

The HTML5-authoring tools could be better, too. Rather than rework the DVD-authoring module, Corel has created a new HTML5 project type, with graphics and links arranged on the timeline. This served to remind us that VideoStudio’s timeline controls are cumbersome when it comes to manipulating lots of objects across multiple tracks. Ripple editing is overly complex, and can’t be switched off altogether, despite what the interface suggests. It isn’t possible to reorder tracks, and there are only two dedicated tracks for text objects.

Our biggest frustration is that, for HTML5 projects, effects and transitions are only available for the video tracks, and not for graphics on the overlay tracks. We tried to use the new HTML5 features to produce an animated slideshow and export it as JPEGs and a music file rather than a video. It worked to a point, but without access to the Pan & Zoom effect, transitions or even any way to rotate portrait-shaped photos, it didn’t live up to expectations.

Details

Price ex VAT £45
Price inc VAT £54
Overall rating 4
Ease of Use rating 3
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 4
Software subcategory Video editing software

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes
Operating system Linux supported? no
Operating system Mac OS X supported? no

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£47