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Magix Movie Edit Pro 16 Plus review

Magix Movie Edit Pro 16 Plus
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £53
inc VAT

Not short of powerful features and the interface is better than average too, but outshone by the similar Sony Vegas Platinum

Movie Edit Pro used to be a sprawling mess, but for version 15, Magix got its act together and delivered a capable, approachable editor with much to recommend it. In this latest release, we’re delighted to see that its developers have concentrated on improving existing features rather than reverting to their old habits of simply adding more.

The timeline is where the vast bulk of editing occurs, so the streamlined timeline controls are extremely welcome, even if they are copied wholesale from Sony Vegas. Each clip has handles for truncating, fading in or out and adjusting the opacity or audio volume. Overlapping two clips automatically creates a dissolve transition.

These controls are responsive, too, avoiding the wading-through-treacle effect that some editors exhibit. Preview performance was frustratingly variable, though. Sometimes our test PC was able to play four simultaneous AVCHD streams, but at other times, two streams was as much as it could manage. We also found that adding a single effect to a single clip could cripple performance, and exports were slower than with most other editors.

Projects can now contain up to 99 tracks, and we really like how each track accepts any type of media. Other editors keep video and audio tracks separate, but Magix’s approach makes the timeline much tidier. Another neat touch is that the software offers to match the project’s specifications to the first imported clip.

New to version 16 is secondary colour correction, which tweaks only specific colours in a clip. Sadly, though, both the precision of the selection and the correction controls are lacking. Disc authoring has been overhauled, and you can now create AVCHD discs as well as DVD Video and Blu-ray. The titles editor has been redesigned, too, and includes some templates that manage to be attractive yet understated – a refreshing change from the gaudy designs in most home-oriented editors.

Some templates appear on the timeline as multiple objects on separate tracks. This might confuse casual users but others will appreciate the precise control it affords. It’s also possible to pick from a range of 3D text effects, although it took us a while to work out how to insert our own text. A dialog box suggested that we “use the quick entry box in the title menu”. A more useful instruction would have been, “Double click the preview”. Confusing messages such as this aren’t as common as they were in previous versions, but they’re not vanished completely.

Travel route animation is listed among the new features, even though it was introduced in version 15. Previously this was courtesy of a third-party plug-in but this time it’s Magix’s own. Sadly, it has fewer options than before and its animations are clumsy, but the map looks smarter and now covers the whole planet. It’s still distinctly Euro-centric, though, preferring to take the long route from Japan to USA rather than crossing the International Date Line.

A stripped-down version of Movie Edit Pro without the Plus suffix is available for £39. It lacks nearly all the features mentioned above and requires an upgrade for MPEG-4 support. The cut-price Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD 9 is a far better prospect. Comparing the full price versions, Magix’s editor has a wider range of features, but despite recent improvements, Sony Movie Studio HD Platinum 10’s sublime interface makes Magix’s controls still seem clumsy.


Price £53
Rating ****

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