Magix Movie Edit Pro 14 Plus video-editing suite - Review

Magix Movie Edit Pro 14 Plus video-editing suite - Review

Magix Movie Edit Pro 14 Plus video-editing suite - ReviewA powerful and affordable video editor that still has a few rough edges

Pros: Powerful video-editing tools; competitive price; lots of additional software included

Cons: Poor documentation; cluttered interface; MPEG encoding requires online activation

Bottomline: A powerful and affordable video editor, marred by poor documentation and online activation for basic export options

Manufacturer: Magix

There’s no doubt that Movie Edit Pro 14 Plus is packed full of useful video-editing tools. However, those features are often presented to the user in a somewhat untidy manner.

The first worrying sign was discovering that the 128-page manual was accompanied by a separate 128-page supplement to the main manual.

The supplement says that it acts as an introduction to ‘fades, effects, and edits’, which are the sort of basic editing tools that ought to be covered in the main manual rather than a supplement.

As a result, we found ourselves constantly flicking back and forth between the two manuals as we introduced ourselves to the program.

The installation process is rather long-winded too; this is due to the fact that Movie Edit is accompanied by a number of additional bundled programs, including a simple 3D animation program, photo editor and a program for compiling music playlists that you can use as soundtracks for your video projects.

When you eventually enter the main editing program, you’ll see that it offers three main working modes, which are activated by buttons running across the top of the screen.

The Record mode allows you to import audio and video clips, and quickly arrange them into a simple storyboard sequence in the program’s Timeline window.

You can do some simple editing here, adding text to individual clips, or adjusting colour controls to improve image quality. However, importing clips can be a slow process as the program annoyingly keeps asking if you want to merge each new clip with the previous clip or keep it as a separate clip.

Click on the Edit button and the program switches into its main editing mode, which offers a very wide range of transitions, special effects, and other tools. In this mode, the Timeline window also changes to provide more detailed control over the editing process. It allows you to work with up to 99 separate tracks, which makes it possible to perform very complex editing work.

The program’s interface can start to look a bit crowded and confusing at this point, but there’s also a ‘1-Click’ button at the top of the screen that provides help for less experienced users.

Pressing this button activates a window called the Movieshow Maker, which can gather the video clips you place in the Timeline and turn them into a complete project by automatically adding music and some simple effects and transitions.

The program also includes some useful templates that can help you with more complex tasks, such as creating picture-in-picture effects.

Finally, there’s the Burn mode, which allows you to create DVD menus so that you can burn your movie projects onto a DVD. Other export options include the ability to upload files straight onto Youtube, and MPEG4 support for exporting files onto handheld devices such as an iPod or Playstation Portable.

Unfortunately, for some reason you have to go through an annoyingly convoluted online-or-telephone activation process to use either the MPEG4 or MPEG2 features (MPEG2 is needed for burning DVDs).

Movie Edit Pro 14 Plus provides plenty of editing power – enough to compete with rivals such as Adobe’s Premiere Elements, or Pinnacle Studio and it’s cheaper than both. However, it lacks the streamlined interface and ease of use that they offer, so Magix needs to work on its presentation and usability to match the sheer slickness of its video-editing rivals.