I've struggled with the MyDVD part on the Sonic software for the last week or so and can share my experiences at least. This software came with my Sony DRU530A burner and so I decided to give it a try with some old video footage. It's the Sonic 5.2.0 LE software, build 96293. I captured about 3 Gig of motion video from a Hi8 camcorder to my PC via firewire and I was pleasantly suprised how easy this was. I proceeded to make a layout with thumbnails and a few submenus. I noticed the files was stored as AVI on the hard disk but when encoded and burned to DVD, they compressed down to about 1G total and thus only used about 25% of my DVD. I had one slideshow of still shots too - this was ok, but the images were jumpy on my TV when they were not on the PC preview. No big deal - the trancoding of audio, video and image files was successful (although much slower than I expected for my 2.1GHz processor), and I had a working DVD with grpahics and working sub-menus. Took one night. Next night I decided to make a better DVD and pack it full of video, audio and still images. It has been 4 solid nights of pure frustration. I'm a test engineer, so I like to believe the problem is usually my own and I approach it that way, but after about 10 hours of re-trying and re-building and re-installing, I'm sure its the software. When I finished my project the first night, I was very happy with the preview and I'm ready to burn. It builds the menus, encodes the audio, and starts cranking on the video pieces. It gets to like the 5th one and freezes - all night it's stuck. In the morning, I'm confused - ok, try again. Gets stuck on a different file this time. Hangs the app and has to be killed to terminate. So I recapture the AVIs - make sure the filenames are short and the files are not too big. Retry - same problem. I make sure there's plenty of disk space in the TEMP folder where it works. I rebuild the entire layout from scratch after deleting all files. Same problem - but a different AVI hangs each time. Based on info from Sonic support webpages, I delete all the session folders and rebuild everything, but still no luck. I'm very frustrated at this point. Left an incident request on their website but haven't got a response. Tried to download a patch to their 5.2 product, but their automated system emails you with a coupon to BUY more product WITHOUT giving you the patch. Then it says thank you for downloading the patch - unbelievable. Someone please tell me they figured this out because I'm stuck without the 5.2.2 patch. So I'm going to start downloading trial software for other products and see what I can do. If anyone has any suggestions, please send me a PM or an email. If not, I hope this massive effort for me can save you some time and aggravation.
Review by Dr_D
Apr 14, 2004 Version: 5.2.0, build 96293
OS: Win2K Ease of use: 8/10
Value for money: 2/10