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Group test: what's the best video software?

The best video-editing and -playing software you can install

PC Advisor reviews the best video software you can install today.

5. Sony Vegas Pro 10

The powerful Sony Vegas Pro 10 has a unique new stereoscopic-3D editing feature and extensive audio-editing capabilities, but its added GPU-acceleration feature fails to cross the starting line.

4. Adobe Premiere Pro CS5

Adobe's with-both-feet move to a 64-bit-native application is a bold one, and a move that other developers are sure to follow. The number of graphics cards with which Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 will support GPU acceleration is very small; but if video editing is your job, at least you now have an upgrade path that is practically guaranteed to speed up your workflow.

3. Freemake Video Converter

Freemake Video Converter's biggest assets are that it's free and has a simple user interface and presets for many popular video formats. It's hard to complain about a free product that does so much, but a few more video formats and resolutions in future releases would make this app ideal. For most of us, what it's got will do for now.

2. muvee Pixie

We found muvee Pixie a quick and inexpensive way to create professional-looking video productions, though they only go a bit beyond what you can do with Windows Movie Maker or its replacement, Windows Live Movie Maker, and their Automovie function. Note: Movie Maker was stripped from Windows 7, but Movie Maker version 2.6 remains available and will install on Windows 7.

1. Adobe Premiere Elements 9

We like using Adobe Premiere Elements 9; we think it's a good value for the money, and we consider it the best of its ilk. But we sure wish Adobe would rethink how its organiser works with its editing applications. Trying to keep straight which application does what is harder than remembering where we left our keys. The latest version of Premiere Elements is not a huge upgrade, but it is still an excellent video editor, especially given its price.

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