Friday, August 3, 2012

MDS2: First Impressions

I promised to give you some more information on the new MDS2 software today.  I've been playing with it for two days now and I all have to say: WOW!

I mentioned on Wednesday that there are 75 new features with the software. For the next several weeks I will be sharing some of these new features, tips and projects each Monday for MDS Monday.  I know today is Friday, not Monday, but I couldn't wait to share so you get a bonus today.

One of the first things to love about My Digital Studio is the ability to work in 2 page spreads instead of just one page at a time.  That was something that used to annoy me about the original My Digital Studio: even though you could view two pages at once, going back and forth between the two pages was slow and cumbersome.  This is a screen shot of the first project I started working on in MDS2.  It is an album of our trip to Disneyland last year. Since all print projects are 31% off this month, I'm hoping to complete this album, plus at least one more before August 31.
To toggle in between the two views, you click on the icon just to the left of your individual page previews at the bottom.  I circled it in this screen shot so you can get a better look:
Toggle between working on one page at a time or a two page spread by clicking these icons.
As you can see from the screen shots, the overall look of the software has changed.  The screen is darker and some of the icons have changed just a bit but I found it easy to use and figure out what is what. 
We were told at convention that Stampin' Up! had an internal goal of releasing MDS2 on August 1.  Someone leaked that date accidentally to the public so the company did everything they could to get the software in our hands on that date.  Unfortunately, that means there still might be a few bugs.  They have promised to fix those in the next several weeks with free updates.  However, in working with it the past two days, I have only crashed the program once trying to use the new "draw" feature.

Over all, I find the software faster than the previous version.  There doesn't seem to be as much lag time between switching pages or adding new elements.  Of course the speed of the program is completely dependent on the computer you have and how much RAM you have on board.  Stampin' Up! recommends a Pentium 4, 1.6 GHz  processor with at least 2 GB of RAM. (Just FYI, my laptop runs 64-Bit Windows 7 on a 2.00 GHz Pentium Dual-Core processor with 4GB of RAM.) 

I chose to purchase MDS2+ for $79.95, instead of just the upgrade for $19.95.  But this is a personal decision.  I went through the list of downloads included with the plus version and there were more than $70 in downloads I didn't have that I knew I would use. The full version of the software with very limited content is also available for $39.95.  You can see the difference between the content here:
If you already have the original My Digital Studio, all the downloads you have purchased will automatically transfer to the new program when you install it on your computer.  Any projects that have started in the previous version transfer over just fine as well.

Anyone can try a free 30-day trial of MDS2, even if you've already tried a 30-day trial of the original MDS.  The free trial includes about $200 in content (select content that comes with MDS2+) so you can really get a feel for the program and play around with all the features. 

Here is a closer look at those pages I showed you above:

Colors:  Green Galore, Basic Black, Whisper White and Almost Amethyst.  Digital Stamps: Blast Off Ensemble.  Embellishments: Candid Frames.
Just a couple of quick things to mention about these pages.  You probably noticed I used "retired" colors on my page.  With MDS, there is no such thing as retired.  Green Galore and Almost Amethyst just matched Buzz Lightyear best.  Also, the Candid Frames download is one of the 31 digital content items available for 31% off this month.
If you are ready to get started with MDS2 head on over to my online store to download your free 30-day trial or to purchase your software.  All versions are now available as a download so you can get started right away!  If you have questions about MDS that you would like me to address in future MDS Mondays, please post them in the content section and I will do my best to get them figured out.


Angie (fingers inky girl) said...

Great post and I love your pages Paula!!

Yapha said...

Love, love, love MDS2!! And I'm really excited to see how you use the new features! Great pages!

Mickey Roberts said...

These pages are just adorable! Thanks for the tips.