Magix Movie Edit Pro 11 review
Magix is best known for its audio manipulation and photo-editing apps, but it has long had video editing in its portfolio as well. Indeed, Movie Edit Pro is now at version 11, making it quite an old timer. Nevertheless, with so many great video-editing apps vying for your pound, this is the first time PC Pro has taken a look at Movie Edit Pro. So before we get onto what’s new with this version, first a tour of what the software has to offer in general.
As with many of Magix’s apps, Movie Edit Pro 11 is more powerful than you might expect for the price. It offers up to 16 general-purpose tracks and supports superimposed video layers. However, each track only accommodates either video, titles, still images or audio. So a video file with audio takes up two tracks, unless you don’t use its sound. Movie Edit Pro supports both picture-in-picture and chroma keying, although the latter only works with blue or green backgrounds.
Magix offers an extensive range of effects, but most are canned, so their parameters can’t be changed. More control is available for colour correction, motion control and transitions via the Story Maker applet, although this still doesn’t allow for keyframing parameters over time. There’s even automatic video cleaning and image stabilisation built in, and authoring to DVD is also fully integrated, using chapter markers from the editing timeline.
New with version 11 is the Soundtrack Maker. This is yet another automatic system such as SmartSound QuickTracks for creating background music from loops. There are visual treats too: the 3D Series transitions add a library of funky 3D animated wipes. Movie Edit Pro now supports 16:9 aspect ratios, and footage can be imported from DVD camcorders. In keeping with the YouTube trends, Magix has also fully integrated support for its iPACE online service, so you can upload your finished movies for sharing over the internet. If your desired distribution method is a portable device, Movie Edit Pro can export to PSP, iPod, mobile phones and PDAs. The WMV presets are comprehensive and include HD up to 1,920 x 1,080, as well as a variety of different-branded handhelds. The audio mixer now allows you to adjust volume and panning in real-time during playback.
Unfortunately, many of the best new features are reserved for the Plus version. Plus supports capture and editing of HDV footage, although you can edit previously captured HD with either version. Plus can also burn HD discs with 5.1 surround sound in WMV format, and Magix Photo Clinic 5.5 is bundled to create your own DVD menu templates. It can create music DVDs with ID3 tags, photos and videos, plus mix a video DVD with an HD version and project backup all on one disc. The picture-in-picture effects have been extended to the third dimension too. Plus also supports VirtualDub’s plug-in interface, so you can use some of the latter’s excellent open-source add-ons to extend your effects repertoire.
Sadly, at £52, the Plus version of Movie Edit Pro 11 is twice the price of the basic iteration. With Premiere Elements 3 available for just a few pounds less, it’s hard to recommend Magix at this level. But the cheaper version still has a lot of editing power on offer, and for £26 it’s great value.