Well, I think Magix has done just that with the 2013 Plus version of their Movie Edit Pro. They fixed what wasn't broken.
The software is still good (my favorite to work with) but it's not as intuitive as it used to be. Yet they still call it "for beginners" - but beginners need an easy & intuitive workflow, right? I'd want that.
Here's what I don't like in Magix Movie Edit Pro 2013 Plus:
1. Audio is invisible unless you un-link it from the video
In the previous version it was easier to understand what was going on. For instance, when you imported a video file onto the editing track, the audio file that was attached to the video was automatically dropped onto the next lower track.
So it was easy for you to tell whether a video had native audio or not.
In the 2013 Plus version - the audio is embedded with the video. You don't see it as a segment unless you un-link it from the video. This is not intuitive for a beginner...
Especially when the rest of the programs out there, including PowerDirector (rated no.1 for consumer video editing), automatically place the audio on another track.
This also creates issues with the workflow. If you start adding other media elements on the next track below the video, which still have its native audio embedded, and later you realize you wanna turn down the audio of a clip, what do you do?! You un-link it, it drops over the other elements (music, pictures). It's a mess. Not good, guys.
2. Transparency of a video segment is not graphically intuitive
When I looked at a video project in Movie Edit Pro 17 Plus it was easy to spot what I had done:
- If a video segment was thinner, I knew I set it to be transparent (ghostly)
- If a an audio segment was thinner, I knew I turned that audio down
Dear guys at Magix, make it graphically intuitive. There's a great book about this called: The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures.
3. Frame by frame bars are gone - I feel lost in space
When I zoomed in on the track (Ctrl key + arrows keys) for precision editing, those vertical bars would define each frame. This was particularly useful when doing slow motion or time lapse with footage - sometimes the speed factor would create a extra fraction of a frame at the end of the video segment. The vertical bars allowed me to position the cursor right between the frames and make the cut.
With all the blank space on the editing tracks, I feel lost. There is no reference point. The vertical bars are one of those small details that make you feel more comfortable - does that make sense?
4. The fade handles are no longer speaking to me
If you wanna create a fade in, you select the video and drag that small round pointer. It's round... it doesn't say anything.
Consider the handles in the older versions. They had an inward oriented arrow-like shape that spoke about the nature of the operation: drag me in that direction and I'll create a fade. Again, a small graphical hint that would benefit the amateur/beginner videographer.
5. Smaller thumbnails, harder to preview the footage
Since the video segment has those lines for setting transparency, it no longer shows you the thumbnail view on its full height. This means, the timeline is not as clear as it used to be.
For a larger thumbnail view, you have to enlarge the track itself but this means some of the lower tracks will disappear from your screen. If you're working with multiple layers and also doing sound design on different tracks, having tracks go out of your screen is an inconvenience.
Maybe I'm pretentious but I'm coming from using the older versions for about 3 years. It made more sense.
So I salute adding new functionality and effects but changing the design doesn't seem to add any value. In fact, it creates a new learning curve.
Now, it wasn't hard for me to figure out the new design changes but I sincerely believe it's all less intuitive and thus harder for a beginner to learn it.
While with the older version everything was understandable in a glimpse, now it's all sleek and colored without any gain for the user. Editing is a painstaking process if you wanna make everything perfect - if the software is not easy on your eyes and on your mind you'll get exhausted before you click Export.
So what I'm saying is even though the software is good and the new graphic look is not necessarily a killer, it puts a strain on your eyes that previous versions didn't. That's it. But the beauty of anything, software included, lies in the details. So why not correct those details?
Over to you
I'd love to you hear what you have say. Even if you don't use Magix. Just ignore my remarks, click to view the image in full size and let me know which print screen do you think looks more intuitive (the upper version or the lower version).
This will hopefully make me understand whether this is a real issue or not. Maybe I'm the problem. :-)
Lemme know what you think Thanks!
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