Womble MPEG Video Wizard for Windows which retails at $49 can handle almost any video file and output to MPEG1 or MPEG2 with quality to your satisfaction.
You are allowed a free trial period of 30 days with the software that could be downloaded from the Womble website.
Some of the functions –Export Video, DVD Maker, Title Editor, Component Layout and Help – are contained in a floating toolbar.
This toolbar has the tendency to disappear from view by slipping behind the main interface. If you’re new to the program, you would end up looking high and low for it especially when you have finished editing your video.
All you have to do is drag the main interface down to see the floating toolbar.
The main interface comes with two video screens. One is for the input video and the other for output.
When you import a video, image or audio file, you can drag it to the input window to preview it. Once you’re finished, you can drag it on to the timeline. Whatever video, audio, or text you put on the timeline can only be previewed in the output window.
On the upper left of the interface, you would see four tabs – Project, File, Effect and Clip.
When you want to work in the project mode, you’ll have to look at the top left of the timeline area. There are four buttons – New Project, Open Project, Save and Save As.
Under the File tab, you have the Video, Image, Audio and Title windows which is a convenience if you want to quickly switch between your multimedia files.
You can also drag any file from these panels on to your timeline at any time.
Right click on any file on the timeline and you will have such options as trim, cut, copy, paste, delete left/right, among others.
To spice up your video you can choose between 2D or 3D effects and also add such filters as noise reduction, old film, diffuse and emboss, among others.
Once you’re done with your editing, you’ll be ready to export your video. From the floating toolbar, you’re given the option to export in MPEG1/2 and VCD or SVCD.
You can also set your resolution and bitrate in the Video tab. Under the Audio tab you could enter your audio settings.
However, if you wish to make a DVD, you would have to click on the DVD button on the floating toolbar or at the bottom right of the timeline.
You will be asked to choose a template. You can choose No Menu, Text Menu or Image Menus.
Once you’re done with your Menu, you can preview your video before exporting to DVD.
When you click Export you will be brought to another Window where you can choose your output directory.
A DVD folder will be created and you can then drag its contents to your disc authoring software.
I tried out a video created with Windows Movie Maker and it turned out well when exported to DVD.
You could also export your edited video in the MP4 format for iPod, Sony PSP or as MOV from the Tools button in the floating toolbar.
Although MPEG Video Wizard makes it a breeze to edit MPEG files and output it to DVD, beginners would find its bluish-gray layout with less-than-visible icons a little intimidating. The floating toolbar that often disappears behind the main interface is another annoyance.
But then once you get the hang of Womble MPEG Video Wizard DVD you’ll find it to be a versatile program for your video projects.