It all started for me when I saw a youtube vid two days ago. I loved SO much; I wanted it for a screensaver so I could watch it several times a day.
Then by floundering around the net; I learned to download the swf and convert it to mpeg. now I can watch all the time but it still is not a screensaver.
Yesterday I found this forum and spent a few hours looking through it trying to figure out were to go from here. (I have the desire but not the skills). IRISHMARKS reply to topic "easiest software" was SO straightfoward and clear that it really cleared up for me an otherwise overwlming and confusing topic.
The post was pretty old though so I hope its still acurate. Under $150 dollars is doable and I am strongly considering it. Will go to bookstore today and see if I can find any books about this Vegas program first though. Even if the screensaver idea doesnt pan out; I could use the sofware for home music videos.

But here is my questions first.
1. Can I turn a video into a windowsXP screensaver with it.... or is that a whole other program in a completely different category? I ask because the only good screensaver makers are $100+ (too much) and since the concept of a screensaver is itself obsolete; I have a hard time not beleiving that it shouldnt be a very simple trick by now that anyone can do with the right know-how.
2. I read here that vegas platinim can edit mpeg4 FILES but not mpeg4 CLIPS...only pro version can do this. I dont understand the difference. What does clip versus file mean?
Well thats it for now. Thanks in advance to anyone who offers me some opinions or advise. This forum prooved very good reading for me. As an artist I know all about composition, color, focal points and what looks bad or good..... But Im completely inexperienced about all the rest. Hope this wasnt too long.