MEP 2013 Review

gandjcarr wrote on 10/30/2012, 2:46 PM

Hi,

I have been using the MEP 2013 trial for about 2 weeks now, and I have some comments to offer. 

1. I see virtually no increase in speed, memory, or processor efficiency with this version versus MEP 18.

This one is orange because I do now see some improvements, especially after preview rendering.  While it still takes as long as it used to, once it is done, playback is silky smooth.  Much better than in MEP 18.  System and project load times for me remain no faster, but I must say when rendering is done, this is a HUGE HUGE BENEFIT.

2. The claim of improved or enhanced travel route animation is simply a fantasy on someone's part.  It is the same travel route animation as what is in version 18.  No changes, no difference, nothing new or unique.

I no longer beleive this to be true

3.  The trial is limited to 3 minutes which means there is no way to test export, or burning on a realistic video.

4. Virtually no difference in content (fades, effects, or titles) from version 18.

5. The audio on one track is positioned as a feature when in fact it is a big disadvantage as you now need to go through one more step in the work flow to seperate the audio from the video.  I don't know why anyone thought to do this because virtually all audio shot with a consumer, or even a professional video camera with on board michrophone needs some adjustment.  Even if you had a off camera audio recorder going, you still need to adjust the camera audio and mix it with the off line audio, so it just means more work and another step in the work flow.

I no longer beleive this to be true either

6. I need to say this again, virtually NO performance improvements (at least in a real time editing world) were noticeable. None, period, zero, nada!

This is no longer true either, see my comments above about preview rendering.

7. Would I reccomend that someone new to Magix purchase MEP 2013, yes.  MEP is by far the best consumer editing program that you will find anywhere.

8. Would I reccomend upgrading from MEP 18 to MEP 2013?  Absolutely not!!!  In spite of the "marketing hype" there is really nothing new here.

George

Comments

johnebaker wrote on 10/30/2012, 5:13 PM

Hi George

An interesting review which is the complete opposite to my testing and findings so far.

I have been running the full version of  MEP 2013 since it release and find there are some significant improvements in the following areas:-

1.  Program load time - from double clicking desktop icon to getting first dialog window  

         MEP MX  18 secs            MEP2013        8 secs

2. Bulk loading the same 50 AVCHD video clips to timeline - from release off mouse over timeline to last clip loaded and ready for editing all temporary files deleted between tests

        MEP MX    60 secs             MEP2013      42 secs

3.   Loading existing project of 300 AVCHD video clips, 40 still images, 11 titles and 1 sound track - total length 21 mins- timed from first click to ready for editing

         MEP MX     108 secs             MEP2013      55 secs

4.  Render and burn same Blu-ray multiple movie, 7 movies in 1 project,  to BD disc (brand new blank BD-RE's) - no GPU acceleration, erasing image before repeating

         MEP MX     6hrs 50mins          MEP2013      5hrs 30 min

As you can see - significant differences on a relatively low power quad core computer compared to an i5 or i7.

Is MEP 2013 better - a definite yes.

The single video/audio per track is a matter of personal choice - I prefer it - less scrolling up/down when I have up to 21 tracks in use - and it is very quick to seperate the audio to another track if you are used to using keyboard shortcuts - Ctrl + A followed by Ctrl + H

Note:

All tests conducted on the same computer (spec below) and compared to MEP MX - both patched to latest versions.  Antivirus (Avast) running and set to scan on demand.

All tests were done using AVCHD video clips and 12Mpixel still images, transitions were cuts and crossfades only, all temporary files deleted in between tests

Computer spec:  Windows 7 Pro 64bit on Intel Quad Core Q8300 2.5 GHz, 4Gb RAM, 350Gb +1Tb HDDs, ATI 4550 512 Mb graphics card, AVCHD video from Sony XR520EV Video camera and Contour HD 1080 Sports cam.  Software installed to C drive, all project resources located on second internal SATA hard drive.

John

       

 

Last changed by johnebaker on 10/30/2012, 5:13 PM, changed a total of 2 times.

Lateral thinking can get things done!

VPX, MEP Premium, MEP 2016, and earlier versions, Music Maker Premium, Music Maker 2016, 2015.

Running Windows 10 64bit on Intel i7-8700K 3.2 GHz, 16Gb RAM, 1Tb + 2 x 2Tb internal HDD + 60Gb internal SSD, + 6 x 2Tb ext HDDs, Sony FDR-AX53 Video camera, Contour HD 1080 and Sony HDR-AS30V Sports cams.

cpc000cpc wrote on 10/30/2012, 8:00 PM

George,

I've had little opportunity to do any real speed testing, but the new option to preview / trim / insert (using current mode) is simply wonderful!

A fair bit of my work involves selecting say several lots of two seconds from a minute long clip. I jumped from MEP 17 to MX and then to 2013; don't know if came in with version 18. Likewise the tool tips that occasionally appear under the arranger tracks.

I've no problem with the combined video /audio track. Like John, I find the economy of tracks is very useful. I was going to say I agree with others that the choice should be under  'Program settings', but I checked and it's already there!

Regards,

Carl

Added: Comments are for 2013, not MX. Sorry for any version confusion.

gandjcarr wrote on 10/31/2012, 10:15 AM

Hi,

After reading the responses from johnebaker and cpc000cpc, I did my own speed test.

Application load time MEP v18 = 25 seconds  MEP 2013= 40 seconds

Project load time MEP v18 = +55 seconds for a total of 80 seconds before any work can be done

                                MEP2013 = + 70 seconds for a total of 110 seconds before any work can be done.

Project contents = 109 jpeg, 3 avi, 4 MP4, 5 wmv, and 8 mpeg.  project length = 41 minutes, 59 seconds and 24 frames.

My system specs =

As such, I see zero performance benefit, in fact it is to me and the types of productions that I am currently creating, a slow down in performance.

I do like the fact that the program default can be set to display the audio track instead of having it always joined with the video track.  The ability to have that option is a very good thing.  Thank you cpc000cpc for pointing that out, I missed it.

As for render and burn, the trial is limited to 3 minutes, how can anyone actually test the ability to render and burn with a 3 minute limit?  This makes no sense to me!  The trial expires after the period ends, so why limit people to 3 minutes.  Yes you could say that some will use the trial to finish their project and then not buy, but in reality if someone is in that mode, all they need to do is create a bunch of 3 minute segments, pull them together in another editor and burn them. 

I will also go back to the travel route animation.  Nothing new there, so why bother even listing it as a "new feature".  It is a OK travel animator, but nothing earth shattering or even worth mentioning.  Half the people who think they have it can't even get it to work and I see not proactive attempt to help them as we get a question about it 2 or 3 times per week.

I do need to look at the new option to  preview/trim/insert as mentioned by cpc000cpc to see if I see any benefit there.

Finally, I use almost no AVCHD which may well be where the big performance gains are, but if someone does not use AVCHD, I really don't see any performance improvements.

George

 

 

john-auvil wrote on 10/31/2012, 11:22 AM

I agree and disagree on a few things as well. 

Something that I didn't much like was the removal of the Preview Render icon from the arranger toolbar. The feature is still available (Alt+R), it is just not as easy to access and can often be overlooked by new users. 

What I wish we could see in the future is different skins, it would be nice to have a choice in the interface look. I also would like to see a Template Maker add-on, so I can make new templates that fit my needs... though this might be available somewhere, I did not find anything for it. I also would to have a way of adding our feature icons to the arranger toolbar; something like the Preview Render, or Single Frame export. Things that I use constantly would be great to have as user defined shortcuts... not just keyboard shortcuts, as not everyone remembers CTRL+ALT+B when they are needing something on the spot... but I digress.

I personally have noticed program performance increases. From starting the program, to exporting a project. While this might not seem exciting to most users, it does give me a sense that the developers of the product are not just sitting back and doing nothing. I am also pretty certain that most of these changes were for the anticipated Windows 8 release.

I personally like the audio integration within the video from the standpoint it is cleaner than before. Many of the videos I have created have been pre edited, so I am just adding them in and they need no audio changes at all. I agree that it can be a slight annoyance if you constantly need to separate the two, which is something I would have to do for new capture edits. At least it has a way of changing this in program settings (tab "Video/Audio" > "Video/Audio on one track") as-well-as a keyboard shortcut (CTRL+H) to separate the audio from the video for that object. To me, this is a win, win for any way you like to edit.

The major improvement for me is the "preview/trim" system that was added that cpc000cpc pointed out. I also think the new "tab" system implemented for adding multiple movies to one project. I am sure most users do not even know it exists, but when they find what they can do with it, how elaborate they can make a project, they will too learn to appreciate this change.

I cannot say much for the travel route animation, it is not developed by Magix. I have used it as something like an "Indian Jones" effect in some projects, but I have never done much more than that. so, there you might be seeing marketing hype. But for those that do not know how to use it, the proactive reach by Magix was the webinars I conducted showing how to use the program... basically a hands on watch and learn manual.

In terms of upgrading, I have never been a fan of the term. If what you have now does what you need it to do, then is there really a "need" to upgrade? I will agree that I truly think there is no better editor on the market... hype or not, than the Movie Edit Pro. Still, I do not think that the 2013 version is "better" than the MX, I just think its newer and has improvements over its predecessor. Maybe not staggering improvements, but improvements nonetheless.

Oh and about the trial... I think something that might not be mentioned is that Magix does not make every component of the software... like the authoring, the encoders, the Dolby and possibly other things that I am even not aware of... For this reason, the limitation in time could be a result of a partnership or license agreement.

cpc000cpc wrote on 10/31/2012, 12:21 PM

 

Something that I didn't much like was the removal of the Preview Render icon from the arranger toolbar. The feature is still available (Alt+R), it is just not as easy to access and can often be overlooked by new users. 

Perhaps not on the toolbar but easy access from new 'eye' icon at the top of the timelines:

Overlooked by me until just now! :-) Is the little greenish band that shows the rendered range new as well? Applying the render brought up a dialog including the option to have MEP auto find the ranges -- haven't tried that yet.

john-auvil wrote on 10/31/2012, 12:36 PM

oh most excellent!... I hadn't even noticed :) thanks Carl

johnebaker wrote on 10/31/2012, 12:54 PM

Hi Carl

The render range first appeared in MX (= 18) and is very useful for HD transitions and complex segments.

I originally posted about them here then found the answer

John

 

Last changed by johnebaker on 10/31/2012, 12:54 PM, changed a total of 2 times.

Lateral thinking can get things done!

VPX, MEP Premium, MEP 2016, and earlier versions, Music Maker Premium, Music Maker 2016, 2015.

Running Windows 10 64bit on Intel i7-8700K 3.2 GHz, 16Gb RAM, 1Tb + 2 x 2Tb internal HDD + 60Gb internal SSD, + 6 x 2Tb ext HDDs, Sony FDR-AX53 Video camera, Contour HD 1080 and Sony HDR-AS30V Sports cams.

gandjcarr wrote on 10/31/2012, 3:11 PM

Hey Guys,

Why are you hijacking my question?  LOL  Just kidding  this is a good discussion, let's keep it going.  We don't do enough of this on this forum!!

George

cpc000cpc wrote on 10/31/2012, 6:22 PM

Re: good discussion 

Indeed a pleasurable and useful exchange reminiscent of the 'old' forum days. Pity many didn't make the transition when Q&A with all its warts first appeared. Just as long as we don't drop down to the level of newsgroup flame wars (how many here even know of them?) ala comp.sys.*!

Carl

Scenestealer wrote on 11/1/2012, 5:34 AM

Hi All

I agree with all the positive comments about the new version except that I find the usefulness of the preview rendering somewhat negated by the fact that if you do any insert / deletion upstream of the previously rendered section you have to render the section again. In other words the render does not stick to the section but instead stays at the time code where it used to be. What's worse is that rendering again doesn't overwrite the original render file but creates a new one, chewing up disc space.

BTW rt.clicking the area just above the first track gives the pre render options also

One feature I find really useful in 2013 is the ability to set up a set number of frames to automatically trim each end of each clip on import. I find I usually jerk the camera as I hit the record button at the end of the clip and then spend a great deal of time topping and tailing all the clips after import, before I can even do anything creative. About half of a second at the end covers most of the unusable footage and it is nice to know there is a small "handle" there where you might be able to crib a few more frames if push comes to shove. Cool!

I wish for the old forum too Carl. I really can not fathom this site. I also appreciate the respect that everyone shows for each other here though, as so many other forums degenerate to endless bickering.

Peter

Last changed by Scenestealer on 11/1/2012, 5:34 AM, changed a total of 1 times.

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gandjcarr wrote on 11/1/2012, 2:19 PM

Overall,

I think this has been a great discussion.  Experienced users of MEP 2013 have really started to change my mind from my first impressions.  Every time someone makes a comment about some of the things I have found, I learn more and the more I learn, the more value I start to see to upgrading to MEP 2013.

I do wish that Magix had bundled some better "bonuses or add ons" with MEP 2013 like a decent video stabilizer, a decent animated 3D title application.  I was a heart beat away from buyin a competitive product because of the "extras" that are included because those extras have more value to me than some of the performance improvements that I am learning about here.

For now that decision is on hold. 

Just a note in case anyone from Magix sales or marketing happens to look at this web site.  One of your competitors is selling their premium product with these added bonuses worth over $500 for $50 less than MEP2013 Premium

NewBlue® Video Essentials
    20 high-end filters and effects
    Boris Graffiti 5.4
    Template-driven, broadcast-quality titles and effects
    proDAD Mercalli SE
    Advanced image correction and rock-steady video stabilization
    proDAD VitaScene V2 LE
    100+ fully customizable, high-speed effects, transitions and filters
    proDAD RotoPen
    Exclusive to XYZ product Ultimate!

MEP2013 Premium Includes:

NewBlueFX Video Essentials IV

Phenomena. proDAD Adorage 13

Plus Photo Manager MX Deluxe (which can't do half of what Picassa can)

Just something to think about.  It is just as easy to run with 2 editors and use the bonus features of one, import the file into the other and use the one you prefer which to me is MEP.

But this is a competitive world and it is all about features and add ons.  The biggest thing MEP has going for it is application stability, but don't rely on that to grow market share. 

George

ps. Anyone from Magix who may choose to read this may not be happy to see my comments, but this is sales and marketing 101.  The company needs to get with the program and compete agressively.  You have the best product, but at least outside of perhaps Germany and possibly Europe, you are not a dominant brand.  If you have plans to be dominant then you need to start acting like a Global company, not a local company!

 

johnebaker wrote on 11/1/2012, 2:38 PM

Hi George

Interesting comment re competitors offers however I must ask the obvious questions and they are :-

Just how many of the video effects does one really use in producing a video.

and

How many times has anyone sat through some ones holiday videos, promo videos etc  with lots of bells and whistles, hundreds of effects and come away shaking ones head and wondering 'What the heck was all that about'  - and thinking/saying - I would never do that !!!

Personally I hate loads of bells and whistles where they do not contribute to the story being told in the video.  If I want to do something different I like the challenge of rolling my own.

For me I have virtually all I need with MEP and Music Maker  plus  Adorage, Heroglyph, Particle Illusion and Atmosphere Deluxe.

John

 

Last changed by johnebaker on 11/1/2012, 2:38 PM, changed a total of 1 times.

Lateral thinking can get things done!

VPX, MEP Premium, MEP 2016, and earlier versions, Music Maker Premium, Music Maker 2016, 2015.

Running Windows 10 64bit on Intel i7-8700K 3.2 GHz, 16Gb RAM, 1Tb + 2 x 2Tb internal HDD + 60Gb internal SSD, + 6 x 2Tb ext HDDs, Sony FDR-AX53 Video camera, Contour HD 1080 and Sony HDR-AS30V Sports cams.

gandjcarr wrote on 11/1/2012, 2:52 PM

Good point John,

However a good stabilizer is worth its weight in Gold, and MEP has a mediocre stabilizer at best.  Animated brodcast 3D titles are a requirement if you are in the video production business, effects, splash and all that stuff is what paying clients want.  Do I put that stuff into my personal productions? No! Do my clients request and demand it? YES!

What I post here are my own personal productions.  I do not have client releases to post any paid productions.  So, I try to run my business, and I need to deliver what the client wants.  It really does not matter if what they want is right or wrong, good or bad, it is what they want.  If they are happy, then I have done my job and the next time they will come back to me.

That is what it is really all about.

George

PS. One could say that the features that I am looking for are only available with high end professional editing software, but nothing could be further from the truth.  The product I described above costs $79.99 with all the features mentioned.  MEP2013Premium now costs $129.00 with the features also mentioned.  Neither would be considered "professional" but both are good.  MEP is just more stable.

johnebaker wrote on 11/1/2012, 6:26 PM

Hi George

I agree totally that the client knows best . 

I have had the same problem with busines customers - in a previous reincarnation

Image stabilisation - I agree this is limited in MEP however when you consider what has to be done to stabilise an image and maintain a full screen without black borders showing is a difficult thing to achieve at a reasonable cost. 

That is why I have a videocam with adjustable optical stabilisation  - absolutely essential and really works well.

I should say that I do use the competitors image editing software and have done since version 7 which was only replaced recently with the latest version - for me it is better than Photoshop!!!.

John

 

 

Last changed by johnebaker on 11/1/2012, 6:28 PM, changed a total of 2 times.

Lateral thinking can get things done!

VPX, MEP Premium, MEP 2016, and earlier versions, Music Maker Premium, Music Maker 2016, 2015.

Running Windows 10 64bit on Intel i7-8700K 3.2 GHz, 16Gb RAM, 1Tb + 2 x 2Tb internal HDD + 60Gb internal SSD, + 6 x 2Tb ext HDDs, Sony FDR-AX53 Video camera, Contour HD 1080 and Sony HDR-AS30V Sports cams.

john-auvil wrote on 11/2/2012, 9:32 AM

I still cannot figure the Image Stabilization out to safe my life.

My camera has pre-stablization, and I use a weighted mount for recording so personally my footage is decent from the start. If I add stabilization to the captures, I see no difference unless I allow the black boarder to show. I can see where it makes some adjustments, so I know it works, it's just not something I am seeing overall.

As for effects...

I really like the Color Correction. I like that I was able to take the splotching brown spots out of my backyard recording and making everything a happy green without affecting the people or the sky around it. 

I like the Movement effects, Pan, Zoom, and especially with the Key-Frames. To be honest, anything with Key-Frames is pretty interesting.

Effect Masks, Picture-In-Picture, and the Fades are used a lot in my projects, but I think the biggest win for the Movie Edit Pro is just the simple object handles. 

I agree that projects with a overkill of effects loses it focus. I just come from an idea that the Movie Edit Pro is my toolbox, every effect, feature, gizmo, or gimmick is in fact another tool that I can (and I use can strongly here) use in my personal productions. I would rather have an abundant overkill of tools then a sparse limitation of them when I am creating something. I am sure I am not alone in that sentiment too.

I have looked at competitors, and some have pretty cool features too, I wouldn't knock any of them for what they offer. I just found them lacking value. What I get with Movie Edit Pro is more than just a editor, it is a production suite.

Personally, I would like to see more add-ons for the software. Things like theme packs, template production tools, skins, a whole separate interface for Multi-cam, and more tools for DVD menu construction.

For a base product and I have been using the "Plus" version for the majority of my time with the software, I find nothing at all that comes close for the price paid. This to me might be the biggest advantage to Movie Edit Pro, it simply has outstanding performance at an extremely low price.

But there I go again, writing the novel...

BTW, great thread. I have really enjoyed this from everyones perspective :)

Scenestealer wrote on 11/3/2012, 4:20 AM

Hi John-auvil

Re the stabilisation - it sounds like you need to increase the maximum zoom for the borders to more than the 10% default to see a greater effect. Also try increasing the stabilisation radius to 15-20  and experiment with drawing a larger and repositioning the white box in the preview window. There has been a big increase in speed of the analysis in the last couple of versions too, by optimising for multicore processors, another reason for upgrading. The Mercalli pro V2 stabiliser plug in for MEP can not be beat (although expensive) and Magix did bundle this in the German version some versions ago.

I agree with everybody about less being more with the use of flashy effects but like some have said it is nice to have them in your toolbox. The classiest ones Magix have bundled with Premium are Prodad Vitascene and New Blue and you often see these used in broadcast television. There is one in the latest NB Essentials IV called Fisheye which can also do Pincushion which is fantastic for removing the barrel distortion created by wide angle lenses and adapters. I had been wishing for this for some time. The Magnify and Reflection Fx are pretty neat too.

 

Last changed by Scenestealer on 11/3/2012, 4:20 AM, changed a total of 1 times.

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terrypin wrote on 11/4/2012, 12:34 PM

One feature I find really useful in 2013 is the ability to set up a set number of frames to automatically trim each end of each clip on import. I find I usually jerk the camera as I hit the record button at the end of the clip and then spend a great deal of time topping and tailing all the clips after import, before I can even do anything creative. About half of a second at the end covers most of the unusable footage and it is nice to know there is a small "handle" there where you might be able to crib a few more frames if push comes to shove. Cool!

Hi Peter,

Seems I'm in no-brainer mode today, and having trouble following what you mean.

Could you step through it in a bit more detail or point me to the manual page please?

EDIT: OK, sorted, Carl straightened me out thanks!

 

--
Terry, East Grinstead, UK

Last changed by terrypin on 11/5/2012, 11:39 AM, changed a total of 2 times.

Terry, East Grinstead, UK. PC: i7 6700K, 4.0 GHz, 32GB. Most versions of MEP; including 2017 Premium. Using mainly MEP 2016 Premium.

terrypin wrote on 11/4/2012, 12:51 PM

 

George,

I've had little opportunity to do any real speed testing, but the new option to preview / trim / insert (using current mode) is simply wonderful!

A fair bit of my work involves selecting say several lots of two seconds from a minute long clip. I jumped from MEP 17 to MX and then to 2013; don't know if came in with version 18. Likewise the tool tips that occasionally appear under the arranger tracks.

 

Hi Carl,

I know it's going to be embarrassingly obvious but can you spell out how to use that feature please?

--
Terry, East Grinstead, UK

cpc000cpc wrote on 11/4/2012, 3:04 PM

Terry,

The three icons are Preview, Trim, and Load.

Click on the triangle and the object (it can be a still or audio as well!) is seen in the preview window. Audio and video start playang -- you can stop / re-start with more clicks.

Click on the curly brackets and the object loads and the play marker bar under the preview window gets a set of brackets and a blue range bar. These can be moved to define your region of interest and then you drag the preview window onto the timeline. The mode of addition (intelligent, single ripple etc) you must set before you trim.

The load icon does what a double click would have done before -- the whole object is added to the timeline.

Note: If you don't click in the timelines in between, you can make multiple trim selections.

------------------

The auto end trimming is set up under 'Program settings' >> 'Video/Audio' >> 'Crop videos'.

Regards,

Carl

terrypin wrote on 11/4/2012, 4:42 PM

Thanks Carl, appreciate the fast response. It's Sunday 4 November 2012, 22:41 here in UK so I'll try that tomorrow.

--
Terry, East Grinstead, UK