Video editing has reached a high degree of sophistication. Software editors can now handle many different audio and video formats, and choosing the right software means finding a package that’s kept up with technology. The best video software allows for exceptional creativity and flexibility while still managing an easy-to-use interface and plenty of support.
Magix has been attempting this with its Magix Movie Edit Pro series for several years, and the latest version - Movie Edit Pro 2013 - is essentially an enhanced version of Movie Edit Pro MX Plus released last year.
There are three version available - Basic at £59.99, Plus at £79.99 and Premium at £99.99. We investigated the top of the range.
The interface of Magix Movie Edit Pro 2013 Premium is divided into the same three key areas as before - video preview to the left, imported video clips and effects to the right and the timeline beneath.
Read: more video editing software reviews.
Importing clips into the Media Pool uses a simple folder search along Windows Explorer lines. As well as familiar video formats like AVI and MPEG-4, Movie Edit Pro 13 now supports AVCHD Progressive (50p/60p) in addition to 3D.
Speed is another key factor in this upgrade, as the AVCHD import time is a lot faster (Magix claim by 40%) and all effects previews are now calculated directly on the GPU so they can be viewed almost instantly.
Clips in the Media Pool can be played and then instantly added to the timeline, and video and audio coming from one source will be displayed on the timeline on one track (or alternatively can be split with one mouse click).
Where two-camera edits are required, yuo can cut live between them while automatic synchronisation occurs based on the audio track.
The chroma key feature has been beefed up with a new anti-spill feature to avoid annoying green 'haloes' around objects.
A useful slider has been added for text resizing and a collection of new animated menu templates have been included for burning to DVD and Blu-ray discs.
It's perhaps no coincidence that Magix Movie Edit Pro 2013 Premium's main rival Adobe Premiere Elements has just been updated to version 11, although the emphasis there was more on the use of an Optimizer to do much of the edit work for you.
The Magix Movie Edit Pro 2013 Premium software on the other hand does have a sharp learning curve for newbies and you'd do well to make best use of the online training videos and in-house forum.
Where the Premium edition of Movie Edit Pro 2013 differs principally from other versions is the extra software bundles that are included in the package.
NewBlue Video Essentials IV offers over 100 preset effects like transforming night into day, mirrors and removing wrinkles. Alongside this comes digieffects Phenomena which creates particle simulations (rain, snow, smoke, etc); and proDAD Adorage 13 with plenty more effects on themes like family and celebration.
Your completed videos can be shared to Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo.
All three versions also throw in Magix Photo Manager MX Deluxe which means the Premium version saves you an extra £249 if you were going to buy these anyway.