Last weekend I rashly bought a copy of Pinnacle Studio 9.  Having briefly played with a trial ("SE") version that had come bundled with my PC, I was eager to begin editing the hours of camcorder footage that Jocelyn and I collected during 2004 into some home DVDs.

How I wish I had first taken the time to do a bit of basic research on the web - if I'd read a few of the reviews at ZDNet then I would have learned how buggy and temperamental it can be, and surely would have given it a wide berth.  But, foolishly, I jumped straight in, and have had an incredibly frustrating week trying repeatedly for many hours to render some short DVDs ,only to return to the PC to find each time that the software has crashed during rendering.  What a bag of spam!  This on a modern 3.4GHz P4 with 1Gb of RAM, running a clean install of XP, and the latest Studio patches.

This is really annoying, and basically money down the drain.  Don't be fooled by the glossy appeal and ease-of-use of Studio, it's worthless when the software is so unstable.  If this is version nine, I dread to imagine what the previous eight were like.

So, what video editing and rendering software should I be using?  Should I save my pennies for Adobe Premiere?  PC Pro's A-List recommends Pinnacle Liquid Edition, but after my experiences with the awful Studio, Pinnacle won't ever be getting their hands on my cash again.  Any other suggestions?

Update [2005-03-12]:  Getting a refund from Pinnacle is proving to be like getting blood from the proverbial stone.  Jocelyn points out that they have an unsatisfactory rating at the Better Business Bureau in Silicon Valley - I wish I'd checked this before buying their crummy software :-(

 http://www.bbbsilicon.org/commonreport.html?compid=204590&code=IA