I’m a huge fan of movies. Not just watching them, but planning them out, creating the content (aka shooting videos), editing them and more! For years I had been told that you had to have a Mac in order to really work with audio and video. “It’s just so easy.” “There’s no replacement for iLife on the PC.”
Blah blah blah. I disagreed. I love opening up the world of creating cool stuff for more than just “I’m a Mac” peeps out there.
So I decided to start looking for iLife replacements for Windows, because why pay a huge Apple tax in order to use what turned out to be stripped down, entry level versions of some of Apple’s content creation software? (I use “content creation” when I talk about making videos, audio podcasts, blog posts, all sorts of creative endeavors) At first I looked at what was available on Windows – which does come with a decent photo editor in Windows Live Photo Editor and a great blog editor in Windows Live Writer (and if you’re using iWeb instead of a free blog platform and Live Writer, you my friend need some help). But despite what the fans say, Windows Movie Maker left me less than impressed, and there was no real audio recording/editing programs.
So the search started in earnest. And I’ve included the links to my blog posts below. By far the two best packages I’ve found are Sony’s Imagination Studio Suite, offered by Sony Creative Software but available only through Dell’s Web site (although if you can do without one or two programs – which you can – you can purchase Sony’s Vegas Studio Platinum Pro Pack cheaper and still get the same great video/audio programs) and Adobe’s Creative Suite – Production Premium (which goes very much beyond the iLife-level and is a strong competitor with Apple’s Final Cut Pro package, and is priced like it as well. $$$$).
I haven’t tried Adobe’s Premiere Elements/Photoshop Elements package yet due to a cash flow issue, neither have I tried the new Pinnacle Studio Suite (which I look forward to, since Pinnacle is owned by AVID, the gold-standard in professional video editing)
By the way, I do have a Mac now, loaded with iLife ’11 and Final Cut Express, but still find myself coming back to my PC to do most of my audio and video work because of the Imagination Studio Suite, especially in the last year or so. As I’ve found, much to the chagrin of Apple users, it turns out you don’t need the Mac to be creative.
(And if you are looking for a good free photo editor? Might I recommend the free Paint.NET? Kicks the hell out of iPhoto or Photo Go and did I mention it’s free?)
Below is a link to my iLife for PC blog over on Posterous (which has been neglected for a while), it’s to a review for Sony’s Imagination Studio Suite, but there are other posts over there if you want to do some of the same things that iLife attempts to do while sticking with your PC a little longer.
iLife for PC Review: Sony Imagination Studio (a brief review for last Christmas)