As far as softwares goes, there are too many to quote. I would suggest go to either Ulead or Nero website and download a trial version of their program and give it a try.
And for the hardwares (burner or player), I don't know what you have on the computer now (maybe take a look at the handbook), but the new drive you get now should be ALL multi-platform and format.
Have a Presario F500 laptop with Vista home premium. I have some DVDs that I've made that I want to download into the laptop and hopefully learn to do some editing. I put the DVD into the player and it doesn't seem to be recognized. What am I doing wrong? The DVD is a multi player, DVD+RW DL. I'm using DVD+RW discs. As long as I'm on the subject, can I only use the DVD+R or RW discs or can the minus type be used in some way. Sorry if these are knuckleheaded questions, I'm not all that savvy with the extras. Kind of like the microwave that I only use to heat stuff!!