Magix Movie Edit Pro 17 Plus review

£58
Price when reviewed

Movie Edit Pro doesn’t neglect video producers who shoot in two dimensions. The core timeline controls are friendly and responsive, with up to 99 tracks holding any combination of video, audio, graphics and titles. New features include multiple levels of undo and ripple-editing options, whereby clips shuffle along the timeline to make room or close gaps for upstream edits. It’s an important feature for any editor that wants to be taken seriously, but its execution is sloppy.

Edits are rippled when a clip is moved, but not when its length is truncated or extended. The new Effects Masks feature means effects can be applied to a limited part of the frame. The area is defined by greyscale bitmap, which appears on its own layer. This can be moved and resized to animate the mask, but only after ungrouping it from the video clip – something the online help fails to mention.

Magix Movie Edit Pro 17 Plus

Sadly, these kinds of slip-ups are all too common. While testing the 3D features, we moved the preview window to a second monitor, whereupon the button for activating 3D previews disappeared, and it didn’t return when we switched back to the default single-screen layout. We fixed the problem by reactivating hardware acceleration in the preferences, but only after much head scratching. We’re also baffled by the lack of an upgrade price. We’re told that existing users will receive upgrade offers by email, but only if they’ve registered and chosen to receive marketing emails from Magix.

Format support is excellent, with everything from Canon EOS footage to Photoshop PSD images with transparency playing correctly. Preview performance was frustratingly variable, though, managing anything from two to seven simultaneous AVCHD streams on our Core i7 870 PC before the preview started to shudder. It seemed to depend on the software’s mood rather than the complexity of the timeline – sometimes, a particular project would play smoothly, but the next time both the preview window and software’s controls ground to a halt.

Despite its many strengths, Magix Movie Edit Pro 17 Plus feels a little rough around the edges, particularly in comparison to our current favourite consumer editing software, Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum. However, those who want to experiment with 3D should download the trial version to see if it’s for them.

Details

Software subcategory Video editing software

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes

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