Magix Movie Edit Pro 2013 Premium review
Performance improvements don’t go far enough, and there’s little else to praise in this update
We're spoilt for choice when it comes to low-cost video-editing software. In the last six months the three strongest contenders – Pinnacle Studio, Adobe Premiere Elements and Sony Movie Studio Platinum – have made significant advances, extending their lead over the rest of the pack. As such, it requires some big changes to bring Magix Movie Edit Pro up to speed with the frontrunners.
It doesn't look good. Movie Edit Pro is now into version 19, but despite a major spring clean in version 15, the sprawl seems to be setting in again. Right-click menus are becoming impenetrably long, the help pages have errors and omissions and there's a general lack of cohesion and attention to detail. The improvements look promising on paper, but in practice, they mostly serve to highlight the software's weaknesses.
One of the upgrades concerns performance – a critical issue for any video-editing package. We can verify the superb import speed: it took only two seconds to import 12 AVCHD clips totalling 3.7GB. The previous version took four seconds, as did Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12, with Pinnacle Studio 16 taking 14 seconds and Adobe Premiere Elements 11 lagging behind at 19 seconds.
Preview performance is a much more pressing issue, though; to this end, Movie Edit Pro 2013 harnesses the graphics processor to accelerate effects previews, taking some of the load off the main processor.
Sure enough, it delivered glitch-free playback when using one of the more elaborate effects, where the previous version (Movie Edit Pro MX) stumbled. Elsewhere, we were typically able to apply twice as many instances of the less complex effects than before. However, the improvements weren't an order of magnitude better, as they are in Sony Movie Studio's recent move to graphics-accelerated effects.
Indeed, in our standard preview performance test, it was plain disappointing. Movie Edit Pro 2013 could only manage four simultaneous AVCHD streams before dropping frames, an improvement of a solitary stream over the previous version. That leaves it a long way short of rivals.
On the same hardware, Sony Movie Studio Platinum plays seven streams and Adobe Premiere Elements 11 plays ten streams. Magix also states on its website that this version has been optimised for 64-bit Windows, but it isn't a native 64-bit application. It was telling that the performance meter in Task Manager never exceeded 30% in our tests.
|Price ex VAT||£49|
|Price inc VAT||£59|
|Ease of Use rating||2|
|Features & Design||4|
|Value for Money||3|
|Software subcategory||Video editing software|