Magix Movie Edit Pro MX Plus review

16 Nov 2011

Movie Edit Pro needed to pull off something special to catch up with its competitors – this update fails to deliver

Price when reviewed 
47
3

There seems to be a stigma about double-digit version numbers for software, leading various publishers to rebrand their products – think Photoshop CS or Corel VideoStudio X. It's not only a cosmetic issue, though. Multiple updates can leave software feeling bloated and unfocused. Sometimes a reboot is needed – an idea Apple embraced with Final Cut Pro X.

Magix's video-editing application is now up to version 18, but the company has ditched the numbers in favour of an MX suffix – short for media exchange. As these letters appear on Magix's other media-related software and online services, we can expect to see tighter integration between them. It's a worthy ambition, but for now it's business as usual for Movie Edit Pro.

Magix Movie Edit Pro MX Plus

The headline feature for this release is an updated video engine, which draws on GPU acceleration via CUDA and OpenCL technology. Magix claims that, on average, it's three times faster than before. Sadly, our tests didn't back this up. Preview performance was indistinguishable from version 17, with both versions playing only three simultaneous AVCHD streams on our Core i7-870 PC before dropping frames. Export performance was actually slower than version 17 in our tests, usually by around 8%, but in one instance by almost 30%.

Magix's website quotes specific tests that it has done to deliver export performance increases of over 300%, but points out that it "made the deliberate decision to exclude current high-performance systems" in its tests. If this explains the difference between its test results and ours, that doesn't bode well for the new engine's ability to take advantage of a fast processor.

Magix also lists an accelerated effects preview function among its new features. After much head scratching, we eventually tracked it down to a right-click Start Preview Rendering command, which rendered complex sections of the timeline for smooth previews. Various other editors employ a similar technique, but do so in the background when the system is idle. Magix's implementation must be invoked manually, whereupon all further editing is suspended until it's complete. This often involved long waits – a 90-second AVCHD clip with an Old Movie effect took 12 minutes to render. Any changes to a clip, and even just moving the clip on the timeline, meant the whole process had to be started again from scratch.

Details

Price ex VAT £39
Price inc VAT £47
Overall rating 3
Ease of Use rating 3
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 3
Software subcategory Video editing software