I have been using Pinnacle


I have been using Pinnacle for a few years and my last purchase was Studio 9. It worked fine for quite some time but I find that the more Microsoft updates, the more problem there is with Pinnacle, especially for those who had short video clips to Pinnacle. I often wonder if some of those Microsoft updates don’t chew up some of the original 640 RAM that might be required by Pinnacle. (Don’t know much about that).

I have a friend who claims he has used Pinnacle several times without problem, but he does have a very fast computer with 4GB RAM memory, and I’m convinced you do need that if you want to run Pinnacle without problems because all video clips, even when shortened, do use up enormous amounts of memory when rendering. What’s even more interesting is that you will be able to render a program once and then the next day the identical program, barely changed at all and sometimes NOT EVEN changed, won’t ever render again.

At times it almost seems to remember what you render, even if you reboot and use it another day. Often it seems to shorten the allowable rendering memory every single time you render the same section.

Unfortunately I’ve been told that in order to upgrade to 4GB RAM you need at least Windows Vista. Dreamt I purchased a cherished Apple computer last night after a friend tried to reformat his computer 3 times with only a 20GB drive and had it crash three times during the Windows upgrades themselves, right after he had installed literally everything else successfully and rebooted.

I firmly believe that Windows does have the ability to crash things and feel his drives were destroyed only because of their small size. This was the 2nd drive of that size that crashed, so really it was his fourth crash during Windows updates instead of his third. It was definitely the “Windows updates themselves” that were causing the destruction of his drives, right down tot he partitions which had to be redone, even though it takes less than half of that 20GB to install Windows entirely. One of those updates also destroyed the partitions on one of my 500GB drives! I’m convinced there’s a really serious bug in Windows updates somewhere.

Getting back to Pinnacle, after spending over 100 hours on it I wasn’t about to give up at the final point of rendering, so after spending another 50 or so hours trying to find a solution to the constant hangups during the rendering process, I finally did find one.

It was difficult though. First I broke every section into about 4 minute sections and closed all programs on the toolbar as well that weren’t being used. (E.g. Windows media etc). It was a lot of sections but each one did render separately and I was able to save each section on a re-recordable DVD. Then when after viewing each section on TV and realizing I was satisfed with the entire lot, I burnt each re-recordable DVD to a regular DVD. Can’t remember why. I think it was because the next program I was going to use wouldn’t import from re-recordable DVDs; they had to be standard DVDs.

Before rendering and saving them to these CD’s however, I did remove all Menus and chapters.

Here’s something I bet a lot of people don’t know. Even after owning Nero 6 for a long time I didn’t realize it had this wonderful capability.

Nero is an absolutely beautiful program for importing all of those broken video sections into one long CD. It also has a a beautiful editing section for creating menus and chapters. Who would’ve guessed! It does all of this without a hangup, even if you have only 2GB RAM in your computer and are creating a one-hour movie!

The only difference between Nero and Pinnacle for creating the chapters is that Nero has a dead spot that lasts about 2 seconds between every menu change but I can live with that. There were no dead spots between chapters themselves fortunately. Most one-hour movies would have no more than five menus.

Often I have asked others if there were better programs than Pinnacle and have never yet found one that had a more beautiful variety of transitions than Pinnacle does. You can get hundreds of extremely fancy transitions to go with every kind of celebration imaginable, even 3D, but you have to pay for each group. They can also be used in each subsequent upgrade. (Don’t ever lose your Pinnacle serial number though.)

I have also tried Movie Magix which is has a lot of most unusual and cool effects, but it’s much harder to use than Pinnacle.

Every year I curse at Pinnacle but keep sticking with the same program anyway, swearing I will never ever again make another video, only to do so again anyway. But at least I learn how to defeat those problems. It would be interesting to visit an Apple board to see what kinds of movie programs (and problems) they have. Thirty years ago I owned an Apple that did more than most IBMS can today.

For beginners who are reading about the complexities of movie programs in horror, I have a real surprise for you too.

If you want a really beautiful almost effortless and very quick program to use, and if you don’t necessarily want to mach particular pictures to exact words or songs, the nicest one I ever found on the Internet was XAT


It’s freeware too! You only have to buy it if you want to get something just a wee bit more complex. As a even nicer surprise, it even includes 3D transitions. I don’t think there’s a better find on the market for a really great video program for beginners. You will be able to impress the socks off of your friends on your very first day of use.

The only tiny downside I discovered in the program is that it’s not a good idea to use TWO 3D transitions in a row (one immediately after the other) because a lot of video machines will slow down on that spot, jerking the second picture. For that reason I chose not to select transitions at “RANDOM”

Try it beginners. You will absolutely fall in love with this program on the first day you try to use it.

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