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Review: Dazzle's video capture tool for Windows Me

PC World

(IDG) -- Shooting your own video is the easy part. Storing and editing video on your PC is where things get complicated. If you're the type of person who hates to crack open a computer, you might be interested in an inexpensive new Universal Serial Bus video capture device from Dazzle Multimedia.

The new Dazzle EmMe (pronounced "emmy," get it?) allows you to plug your camcorder into a cable, which plugs into the USB port on your computer. You don't need to crack open your PC and install a card.

The device is specifically targeted toward users of Microsoft's Windows Me. The reason? The Dazzle EmMe has no bundled video editing software. Instead, EmMe relies on the video-editing capabilities of Windows Me's alliterative Microsoft Movie Maker.

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Windows 98 users might instead consider the Dazzle Digital Photo (& Video) Maker, a $99 USB-capture card and video-editing software bundle. (The price does not include a $25 rebate.)

The most promising thing about the Dazzle EmMe is its price. At $49, it's one of the cheapest video-editing solutions you'll find. And the EmMe will work with a range of camcorders, from older 8mm and Hi8 analog cameras to newer digital video models. The EmMe includes an analog video-out port so that you can send your edited video back out to your camcorder or a VCR.

Not as Fast as FireWire

The downsides? Speed, for one, especially if you use a digital camcorder. Digital video cameras typically connect to PCs via the faster IEEE 1394 (FireWire) port. Using a FireWire connection with a digital camcorder provides higher quality video with less compression than you'll see with the same camcorder plugged into a USB device.

In addition, FireWire capture cards, which typically run between $100 and $300, usually offer device control. That means you can use the software that comes with a FireWire capture card to start, stop, and record from your digital camcorder without having to reach over and press buttons on the camera. Dazzle sells its FireWire video capture card and editing software package, the Dazzle DV-Editor, for $99.




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RELATED SITES:
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