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MAGIX Movie Edit Pro 11 Review by Joshua Austin

I will simplify my review by telling you the pros and cons about Movie Edit Pro 11.

Pros: Movie Edit Pro 11 is the best Digital Video editing program I've ever used. It is a giant leap from Windows Movie Maker. Although not the absolute best in the world, this program is a great pick for amateurs and low-budget professionals. Movie Edit Pro is at a great price that few can beat. The import and export options are much more flexible than in any other small video editing program I have ever seen. You can import/export in .vob (DVD), .mpg, .mpeg, .mp4, .avi, .wmv(Windows Media Video), .mov (QuickTime), and a few others. The user interface was easy enough for me to teach myself how it works without the need of a user manual (though I would not recommend this type of learning process unless you have seen how movie editors work). The multi-tracking was superb, since I have never needed to use more than 16 tracks at the same time when editing a normal movie. This program can take a PNG (Portable Network Graphic) that has transparency and treat it like a blue screen effect! If you wanted to make a cartoon using this format, it would be pretty easy to do if you are advanced in your knowledge of movie making and graphics. The titling is very flexible--lots of fonts to choose from and many different styles. Movie Edit Pro also has multi-screen capability. You can have up to two screens for editing and a TV (which technically can be considered a third screen) with your movie playing on it as you edit! When burning to a disc, you can choose from Video CD, Super Video CD, DVD, mini-DVD (a DVD burned to a CD, but the time is very limited), SLIDESHOW, and WMVHD (Hi-Def video format for Windows Media Player 9). The capture options are rather easy and flexible for the advanced user. The Story Maker overlay effects are fun, useful, and sometimes humorous. They are quite fun to use for home videos. If you want to make something like a frame-by-frame 3D sequence or a scanned cartoon, Movie Edit Pro can do it frame by frame. The zooming function can zoom in on individual frames. If you remember that 30 frames equals one second (also called 30 fps), then you are okay. (By the way, you can edit in 30 frames per second and then export into just about as many frames per second as you like!) The surround sound is fun to use, but you need a home-theater system that is PCM-compatible to play it back fully. My home-theater system uses Dolby Pro-Logic technology to pick up any surround sound off of the PCM-formatted DVDs, and it sounds awesome! The audio samples included with theMovie Edit Pro package are in the Ogg Vorbis (.ogg) format; although this format can be hard to access separately from Movie Edit Pro with Microsoft Windows, it can be very fun to put on a KDesktop Environment (versions 3.4 and up). Movie Edit Pro also has a "service components" installation so that you can fix certain errors without having to uninstall and re-install the whole program.

Cons: I did have a lot of trouble editing with MPEG-captured videos; two big problems occurred. First, a lot of frames were dropped here and there during the capture process. Whenever a frame was dropped, the movie would flicker and Movie Edit Pro would replace the dropped frame with the first frame in the clip. I had captured a video clip of two separate speakers who were speaking at different times during the clip. So whenever a few frames dropped while speaker two was speaking, I would see flickers of the first frame, which was speaker one preparing to speak. Second, the timing of the audio would gradually move out of the video's timing, which made the editing process much longer and more tedious. The menu rendering seems to fail if I maintain pre-encoded DVD video files for burning; but I have been able to work around that by opening a separate burning program and telling it that I was burning a Data DVD and then manually placing the files in the VIDEO_TS folder and putting the "content.plv" file on the disc separate from the folders. Also, the program will not run optimally if you have a lot of other programs and files already installed and in use. It really pays to have an extra hard drive if you will be doing serious movie making--preferably one 100GB or more for saving your movie files. You also need a speedy processor to run optimally.

As a Christian, I will give a few warnings to other believers who may be considering this product. The graphics on the box are immodest, and the program's startup splash screen is highly questionable (it's the same graphic that appears on the front side of the box). Also, the MovieShow Maker has a style fade that has female silhouettes passing in front of the screen. Needless to say, I don't use Movie Show Maker, and I haven't even tried the bonus film content yet. It might contain inappropriate material.

Product review by Joshua Austin, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May 2007