MAGIX Movie Edit Pro MX: Pro-Level Video Editing for a Great Price
At a Glance
MAGIX Movie Edit Pro MX Plus ($100) offers many of the high-precision controls of Adobe's pro video editing software, Premiere CS5 ($382) in a significantly more user-friendly interface. Coupled with the company's Xara Designer Pro--which gives Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign a run for Adobe's money--MAGIX clearly has its eyes on one main competitor: Adobe.
Registering with MAGIX extends the 7-day free trial of Movie Edit Pro MX Plus to 30 days and unlocks free, downloadable video effects and filters that beef up the creative and professional potential of Movie Edit Pro MX. Filters such as dynamic noise reduction, a smoothing and deinterlacing tool, and the ability to pixelate parts or the entire screen seem suited to serious-minded producers; while funky toy-like effects like "liquid" and the FlaXen cartoon tool might not see use in every corporate video but could, very likely, sneak into a home movie.
The effects and filters are only a small part of the program's functionality. Movie Edit Pro MX Plus allows you to work with up to 99 video tracks of video, audio, text overlays, or chroma key feeds, just like Adobe Premiere Elements 10 ($100). Pinnacle Studio HD Ultimate 15 ($100), by comparison, allows you to work with a maximum of only two video tracks; Corel's VideoStudio Pro X4 ($100) lets you work with up to seven. This, together with support for multiple picture-in-picture streams means that with Movie Edit Pro MX you could, if you so desired, begin casting your remake of The Brady Bunch.
As you would expect, Movie Edit Pro MX Plus imports any desktop video file format worth using, as well as formats used by mobile phones and still images. The software can't export video files for computer playback in some of the AVCHD high-definition video formats, such as MTS, M2TS, MXV, or MKV formats, however you can still burn those high-def videos to DVD.
And, like all its competitors, Movie Edit Pro MX can upload a finished video--in full HD with stereo surround sound--to YouTube or Vimeo, or in standard definition to Facebook quickly and easily, with only a few mouse clicks.
In addition, Movie Edit Pro MX lets you reposition the various elements of the screen and create preset templates of different screen setups, much like VideoStudio Pro X4 and Premiere Elements 10.
With keyframing (identifying the key beginning and end points of transitions within your movie), Movie Edit Pro MX easily outshines VideoStudio Pro X4 and Pinnacle Studio HD Ultimate 15--and stands up to Premiere Elements 10. The keyframe button on the toolbar lets you manually insert a keyframe at any point; The speed at which individual effects are applied to scenes can also be minutely controlled using keyframe settings for each individual effect instance, or for all uses of the same effect within a movie.
Movie Edit Pro MX has a few features I hadn't seen in its competitors: For instance, The TV Anti Cropping video is a tool to generate videos that fit your devices perfectly, if you know what device and screen you'll use for screening your final production. The logoaway plug-in automatically obscures the little graphical TV network logos, known as bugs, that appear in the corner of most TV channels; another menu item attempts to find and edit out advertising content from broadcast TV clips. All are pretty specialized tools, but invaluable if you're responsible for presenting your company's media hits at a board meeting. There's also a Wizard that creates something called Travel Route Animation which you can use to generate something akin to the scrolling map sequence from any of the Indiana Jones movies. The feature uses open-source OpenStreetMaps.org maps which are capable but not exactly gorgeous to look at, and creates an interesting effect.
Movie Edit MX Pro Plus also includes screen-recording features and a range of text callout and title page styles, a feature comparable to Camtasia Studio ($299). Business users who want to create videos illustrating a user experience can simply switch on the screen recorder and create a video of a single window, a user-defined portion of the screen, or the entire screen.
All in all, MAGIX has wowed me with a product that blows the comparably priced competitors out of the water. If you are looking for $100 video editing software, Movie Edit Pro MX is more complete and better than anything else you'll find for the price. If you're looking for a capable, flexible editor with some unique features, or are considering Premiere, give it MAGIX Movie Edit Pro MX a shot: For 30 days, at least, you have nothing to lose.