5 Things I Don't Like in MAGIX Movie Edit Pro 2013 Plus

Magix Movie Edit Pro Plus Interface
You know that feeling when a software that you've been using for a while gets an update that makes it different but not necessarily better?

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
Now, you can't tell what's what. Every segment looks more or less the same even if you make changes to it. If you wanna turn the music down, you have to drag a line within the segment but the segment itself keeps its initial height.

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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  1. Very good review. Have never used this software but your remarks are keenly insightful which a developer would do well to take heed and listen... I would only considering purchasing their software if they roll out the issues you mentioned and kept the old functionality.

    1. I love Magix but it was odd for me to switch from the previous interface. I guess I have to get used to it now - even though the first instance made more sense for me.

  2. I've been using Movie Edit Pro for several months and I've been procrastinating about "activating" the MP4 update. I finally had to get a new e-mail address, re-register the software with a thousand-number long password, and everything's great! Not. Now it plays MP4s, but most of them have no audio. Help is useless as usual, and apparently I have to pay money for tech support by phone, in addition to long-distance charges. It also has a bunch of add-ons which I'm not sure whether I need or not. This program has been pain in the [bum] anytime I try to do something that's not really basic. I still don't understand the S and M buttons. Maybe if I buy something American next time I can at least drive to company HQ and yell at them.

    1. Hi Michael!

      They should give your money back within 30 days - all software company offer that.

      The program can definitely be improved but so far it's been working fine for me. What version did you get?

    2. Sorry I never replied, but I got fed up and stopped making vids for awhile. The version is MEP 2013. For lack of a better idea, I've been converting my MP4 files to a format with crappier video quality. But at least I'm not bitter!

    3. :) I guess I must be the one who's bitter huh?

      I got over this issues with Magix eventually since I like the software for the most part. The M button mutes the track (so it doesn't show up if it's a video or you have no sound if it is an audio). Not sure what the S does but I assume something similar.

      You might think I know all the tricks in Magix but I don't. I shoot most of my vids in auto mode and then I do my basic editing in Magix. People think I'm a technical geek but the truth is, everything that's too technical scares the shit out of me.

      So I'm that guy that learns the minimum and then pulls a maximum out of that. Does that even make sense?

      What about on Magix.info? I always got my replies there (it's a community forum)

    4. I've been trying to edit some webinars (just the sound portion) using Movie Edit Pro 17 and the user interface is not intuitive at all. The help file has nothing about editing sound, let alone how to delete the entire sound track. I wound up here after two previous links and finally found out the audio has to be unlinked or ungrouped first in order to delete it.

      Regarding the S and the M buttons - SOLO and MUTE. SOLO being the way to play just that track, and MUTE shuts off the audio on the track.

      I've also tried Videopad Video Editor and their user interface is much more user friendly although it lacks some of the sound editing capabilities that I like in Audacity or other paid programs like Samplitude Producer. Videopad Video Editor seems much faster to accomplish basic sound editing of videos.

    5. I hear you... But for me Magix still does the trick, even though it has some issues.

  3. I have Magix 2013 and the one issue I have is that when I download from video camera to Magix the playback is very choppy while I try to edit and create my video. Tends to happen more with larger files (30 min plus). Do you know if this issue has been solved with the newer version (Edit Pro 2016).

    1. Hmmm... You should get the free trial. I had no issues like this with any version. Maybe it's your computer. Get more RAM.

  4. Hi, I was using Magix Movie Edit Pro 2013 to create a DVD when suddenly the controls for playing/testing the video creation disappeared of the screen? Though I've reloaded this program several times now, this play command is not anywhere to be seen and means I cannot test my DVD creations? Has anyone any idea what has happened and how I can get this back? Thanks :)

    1. Hi! That's odd... Drop this comment on Magix.info - it's their official forum and you'll definitely get a reply from their support staff.

  5. Good Morning, thanks for getting back. :) I will contact their support staff as recommended and see what they suggest? Very strange that this happened and very irritating to put it mildly. Thanks once again :)


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