The niftiest new feature in this consumer video-editing application is Time Stretch, which lets you slow down, speed u,p and reverse clips.
A majority of home users will appreciate Corel Digital Studio's feature set, its interactive projects, and wide support for photo and video formats.
Apple iLife '09 is a great application suite for simple media organizing and editing, and the addition of features like face recognition, geotagging, and music lessons makes it worth the update.
Adobe After Effects CS4
Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium
Adobe Soundbooth CS4
Adobe CS3 Production Premium is ideal if you handle a mix of design, animation and editing tasks for video, the Web, and mobile gadgets. However, beginners should think twice about the splurge, and film pros without deep animation needs should probably stick to Apple Final Cut Studio 2 or AVID.
Final Cut Studio 2 is a solid value and worthy upgrade for serious film editors who work on Macs. However, hobbyists should consider simpler software.
Microsoft Expression Studio
Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection
Even with no serious competition, Roxio Toast stays on top of its game by adding important new features and beefing up old ones. It's a must-have for Mac users.
This light version of Premiere Pro successfully brings that package's power to home users.
Ulead has greatly improved VideoStudio with tools for all levels of users, though it's not without its problems.
MovieFactory 4.0 Disc Creator Edition is a terrific option for burning discs, although we wish its tools were a little more flexible. We still recommend Nero for hard-core users and Roxio EasyCD for the less tech savvy, but this is a worthy contender.
Apple Final Cut Express HD
You can't find a more reliable and feature-filled audio program for less than $70.
If you're working on a multimedia project that the iLife suite can't tackle, there's a good chance that Toast with Jam can.
Audition is a powerful end-to-end environment most suited for audio pros, but it's also handy for quick mixing or restoration of specific clips.