While browsing the Store on my more than lovely Surface RT, I ran across a nifty app by the name of ArcSoft Showbiz. I couldn’t put my finger on why the name rang a bell, but then it hit me. This was the same Showbiz software I use on a daily basis to record my gaming for youtube,The software ships with every Hauppage HD PVR 2 device. Although I’ve never actually used the editing portion of Showbiz, I was excited none the less to dive in, especially at a very reasonable $4.99 price tag.
I was actually shocked at how simple the app was to navigate, there really wasn’t too much fuss to setting up a new project and importing media.The app even supported functions like splitting video and audio on the timeline, adding two additional audio tracks, adding pictures, text and a whole lot of transitions. So I started with a previously recorded video, added the only available theme which included text and some commentary. Although the ShowBiz app actually supported video recording right from the app using the Surface’s mic, I wanted to make a spectacle of this.
So I plugged up a fairly high quality USB Plantronics mic to the Surface, and used a voice recorder app called “Pocket Recorded.” My main intent was to see just how much the surface could handle without cracking. I started recording my voice using the Pocket Recorder off to the left in split screen mode while playing the video back in ShowBiz. The entire setup worked flawlessly!
I exported the recording from Pocket Recorder to a MP3, then imported into Showbiz, and BAM! There it was. This is where I ran into my only two complaints while using the ShowBiz app. Even though it had the ability to adjust independed volumes for each audio of video track, there wasn’t an option to layer tracks. This means you could only have one video track througout the entire project. Because I was commentating, I had to lower the volume on the video track, however, I was not commentating the entire video. It would have been nice to be able to split the track, add it to another layer, then return the gameplay volume to normal.
Rendering the video was fairly easy as well, the 9:00 video took a little over an hour to render in 1080p, which isn’t too bad. Especially when taken into account this thing is running a quad core arm processor. One note, I had to change the standby settings while plugged in to “never” because ShowBiz would close if the tablet went in standby. I even uploaded the video to youtube right from the tablet.
The entire exercise was a “I wonder if…” but I am pleased to see a good bit of functionality from the Surface this early on. Even more so, I am extremely pleased to see a metro counter part to the ShowBiz app with almost full functionality. This is an example to developers that metro can be done! Check out the video actually edited and rendered with the Surface below.