Videomaker's 2009 Best Home Video Editing Software: Magix Video Pro X Video Editing Program Review

View all of the best consumer video production products of 2009, selected by the editors of Videomaker

Woah-oh-ohh, it’s MAGIX!

We all want to edit like professionals; however, it’s a lot harder for some of us than for others. It’s not easy to pick up an editing program and start cutting up footage. After listening to its consumer base, Magix has decided to make good on user suggestions to develop an easy, affordable pro-level editing program. They call it Video Pro X.

Make It Easy

Video Pro X aims to grab a new level of consumer for Magix, those who are looking to move into the more professional realm but who are not quite there yet. With a $299 price tag, it’s sure to stir up the market. For many editors out there, the only software options are extremely basic or extremely advanced. With a new interface that sets both preview and timeline monitors side by side on the top left portion of the screen, the Video Pro X makes real the hope that pro level editing can be simple. The timeline sits directly underneath, with the effects tabs on top and neighboring the import bin. Visually, this creates an easier base for quicker cutting, since the tabs are directly overhead. This means that timeline editing is made easy, since you don’t have to work from a pulldown menu that can make navigation a bit troublesome. Editors can customize the interface however they choose and save their favorite settings to suit their individual needs.

We found Video Pro X quite universal in terms of formats and files. Everything from QuickTime to TGA is supported and can be edited freely on up to 99 video tracks. The program can also natively edit AVCHD and accepts XDCAM for those who are looking for better video quality. Exporting was a breeze with MPEG-4/H.264/3GPP with AMP and AAC audio formats.

Make It Pro

One of the biggest strong points of Video Pro X is the multi-cam option, which essentially turns the cut-by-cut post-production process into a live, technical directing process. We liked the idea of beginning a live edit by simply lining up our shots together and clicking the multi-cam tab. This is a huge time saver – we think all editing programs should come with this option, especially those designed to satisfy the professional crowd. This could make editing a wedding ceremony or a concert last the length of the viewing process, instead of the hours and hours of post production. What’s nice about the feature is that, if a cut doesn’t work, it is easy to fix. So basically, the multi-cam option takes out the time-consuming task of post production and eliminates the headache of fixing costly mistakes. The audio syncs up with the multi-cam by grabbing the audio belonging to the first available video track, generally the one sitting in Track 3 on the timeline. This is very beneficial to users looking to retain a specific audio bed and edit to the beat of a song.

Creating professional-looking titles in 3D motion has never been so easy. By simply clicking on the 3D option, we were able to make animated titles that we could click and drag into any direction to change the look and feel of our title. We created 3D wipes and transitions in seconds. Normally this would take hours upon hours of frame-by-frame editing to animate the text. But here it’s as easy as clicking the button. We liked the addition of the 3D effects, since it’s not a normal feature of most editing programs. Here we have all we need and more for professional-looking titles.

With the video effects tab lying directly above the timeline, creating professional-looking video is quite easy. There is an abundance of effects that we may or may not use in this lifetime, but we found it a plus that they are there and are so easy to access. Video Pro X also comes with a three-way color correction feature that we thought worked well. As for exporting, we found it to be quick and easy.

MAGIX claims that it will have patches available for AVCHD disc burning for both Movie Edit Pro 15 and Video Pro X, along with one for secondary color correction by April of this year.

The Verdict

MAGIX Video Pro X is a good program. It takes beginners up to the next step and applies that same user-friendly workspace so that they don’t get confused in the process. The new features offer an impressive reason to purchase the program, and, at $299, it is definitely worth it.

As a side note to those who want to stick with a more basic program, Movie Edit Pro 15 will be available by the time that you read this. It also offers multi-cam editing (two cameras) and a new preset for exporting video for Nintendo Wii users. It will run $80, so be on the lookout for both.

TECH SPECS

OS: Windows 2000/XP/Vista

RAM: 512MB minimum

HDD Space Required for Software Installation: 1GB

Formats Supported: Analog capture card, DV25, DVD camcorder, HDV, AVCHD, MPEG-4

Workflow

Batch Capture: Yes

User Interface: Storyboard, timeline

Nesting Tracks: No

A/V Level Envelopes: Yes

I-Frame Editing of MPEG Files: Yes

Surround Panner: Yes

Audio Scrub: Yes

Live Capture from Mic: Yes

Video Scopes: No

Effects/Rendering

Keyframe Animation: Yes

Background Rendering: No

VST Audio Plug-In Support: Yes

Video Effect Plug-In Support: Yes

Chromakeying: Yes

Output

MPEG-2 Encoding: Yes

MPEG-4 Encoding: Yes

Audio Output Formats: PCM, Dolby Digital 2.0/5.1

Batch Render: Yes

Disc Authoring Software Included: DVD, Blu-ray Disc

Direct upload to sites: No

Strengths

  • Easy professional-looking components
  • Multi-cam
  • 3D titles

Weaknesses

  • Basic functions hard to use
  • No export codec for Flash video

SUMMARY

Amazing new choice for beginners looking to move into the more professional landscape.

Tom Skowronski is Videomaker‘s Associate Editor.

MAGIX Computer Products International Corporation

1105 Terminal Way, Ste. 202

Reno, NV 89502

www.magix.com/us


Price: $299 box; $249 download

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