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Video Editing Software Choices for 2013

Video Editing Software Choices for 2013

Video Editing Software Choices for 2013

*Note: You can click here for my Video Editing Software Choices for 2014 or if you are hell bent on sticking to 2013 cos’ it was so awesome then ignore this and read on!

So now that we are into 2013 I thought it might be handy to have a little round up of exactly where I think we are as far as consumer video editing software choices go for this year.

Given that most of the major players have released their products for the coming year and will not be upgrading until at least August the information and ranking here should stay the same for the majority of the year.

Overall 2012 was a pretty good year for the consumer as far as editing software goes. The competition within the market kept everyone on their toes and did what it should do by pushing innovation and providing a bigger bang for your buck for you, the user.

My overriding aim here on this site has always been to help cut through the information overload that the average person hits when trying to decide on video editing software.

The murky swamp of marketing hype as opposed to real information that comes with this territory can be terribly confusing, sometimes I think that most people must be just taking a wild guess and hoping for the best!

It is for that reason that I don’t cover a huge range of software brands here, once you cut through the crap you soon find that there is a little group of front-runners and a huge mass of mediocrity following along.

It is my firm policy to only deal with the front-runners.

So here is my take on the best video editing software programs for the consumer as it stands for 2013.

* The Windows based programs are listed at the top of the page and towards the bottom are some of the more specialized products such as my choice for Mac or a more specific market.

As I already mentioned, anything you read here will hold true until at least August when the new round of updates will begin to roll out.

First up we have CyberLink PowerDirector 11

CyberLink PowerDirector 11 BoxThis one has been my number one choice for about four years now and for 2013 it remains at the top of the heap.

Around three years ago CyberLink did what most of the competition were (and probably still are) afraid to do. They all but trashed their existing program and rebuilt it from the ground up.

Any software company knows that doing this can either go really well or go horribly wrong!

In the case of PowerDirector it went really, really well! They absolutely blitzed the competition for usability, speed and stability.

Since then they have had ample opportunities to take a holiday on subsequent versions, safe in the knowledge that the competition would most likely not do enough in one year to catch them.

Two things became apparent in all of this:

  1. Only a few of the competing products did anything to actually to catch up and,
  2. Cyberlink didn’t take a holiday.

In versions 10 and now 11 of PowerDirector, Cyberlink put their foot down and pulled away even further.

With a feature set only rivaled by the number two, Corel VideoStudio, they expanded the software’s capability, enhanced it’s stability and added even more speed to what was already the clear leader in the processing speed stakes.

CyberLink PowerDirector 12 Review
CyberLink PowerDirector 12 Product Details

Number Two: Corel Video Studio Pro X6

VideoStudio Pro x6 BoxRelegated to number three last year but now back to number two with this latest release and update. It has easily overtaken Magix by adding incredibly powerful new tools and features.

I have had a copy of VideoStudio on my computer for nearly 7 years now from back in the day when it was a Ulead product.

Corel inherited the program about three versions ago and have made great inroads on making the software more user friendly and much more stable.

They have overcome their tendency to introduce shiny new features that are perhaps a little half-baked in preference to stabilizing last year’s half-baked ideas and this year have presented a very solid product.

They have had their trials and tribulations but as it stands today VideoStudio Pro X6 is an excellent video editor with a great feature set that would serve the average enthusiast very well.

With this release they are only being held out of the number one position by Cyberlink’s slightly better rendering performance times.

Corel Video Studio Pro X6 Review
Corel Video Studio Pro X5 Product Details

Number Three: Magix Movie Edit Pro 2013

Magix Movie Edit Pro 2013 BoxI have, over the years, had a soft spot for the Magix editor. This was mainly due to the fact that it has always offered an incredible array of features and functionality to the user.

Just about everything you could ever wish for seems to be included in the program as well as a bunch of stuff you probably never thought of.

The problem with Magix up until the MX version had been twofold:

  1. The sheer complexity of the program resulted in the early versions being buggy and unstable.
  2. Due to the fact that they are European based company their online support presence was lacking.

Happily these two problems have been quite aggressively addressed by Magix resulting in a far more stable program backed up by extensive online resources.

Although they have to some degree, benefited from general improvements in computer performance on the average consumer computer, I also know they have done a great deal of work on the internals of the software as well.

This has resulted in the software actually being able to deliver what they have been promising for some time now.

They have also been steadily building their forums and online knowledge bases for English support and have added an extensive library of “how to” videos on their YouTube channel, but a lack of innovation holds them at number three.

Magix Movie Edit Pro 2014 Review
Magix Movie Edit Pro 2014 Product Details

Number Four: Adobe Premiere Elements 11

Adobe Premiere Elements 11 BoxI find it kind of hard to get enthused by Premiere Elements at the best of times and with version 11 of Adobe’s take on a consumer level editor nothing has changed.

Before I say too much here let me explain why you may be getting the idea that I don’t like this software.

Premiere Elements 11 has a good set of tools and functionality for the home user. The software is fast, stable and reasonably easy to learn and use compared to the others.

The vast majority of people could safely buy this software, have absolutely no problem with it at all and be quite satisfied. That’s why I have it at number four ahead of at least a hundred other products!

My complaint about this product is not the product itself, like I said, it is a good product.

My complaint is that this product is made by Adobe, one of the biggest software makers in the world and I find it hard to get past the laziness and disdain for the target market they display.

They resources available to them would most likely make the developers at CyberLink, Corel and Magix collectively cry themselves to sleep every night.

Yet despite all of that, they can only come up with a “reasonably good” piece of software that has an “average” set of features!

It is not that I don’t like Adobe Premiere Elements 11… I do! It’s just that I really don’t like Adobe’s attitude towards their customers.

Adobe Premiere Elements 11 Review
Adobe Premiere Elements 11 Product Details

Specialized Editors

There are a couple of other products that do not necessarily fall into the same categories as the ones above so I’ll list them here.

Editing Software for Macs

Easily my choice here is ScreenFlow from the Telestream company. What started off in life as a screen capture program has evolved into a a fully fledged video editor with the same ease of use and elegant design you would expect from Mac based products.

Read the ScreenFlow Review Here or

Check it out for yourself HERE

Easy Video Editors

This category has opened up a little over the past few year given that the continual adding of features to the mainstream editors has resulted in them becoming quite complex.

In answer to this a few of the better software makers have come up with some good alternatives.

muvee Reveal X

This is quite a well endowed video editor but with a twist in that it takes the entire editing process and makes it semi-automatic.

Very easy to use with a good set of editing features you can use of you want to step in and override the auto functions.

muvee Reveal X Review
muvee Reveal X Review Product Details

Magix Video Easy HD

A simple and very easy to use video editing software developed by Magix with the beginner in mind.

All the tools you would need for basic editing and offers an excellent onboard help system.

Magix Video Easy HD Review
Magix Video Easy HD Product Details

CyberLink PowerDirector 11

Within the full PowerDirector interface you have the option at start up to go into a simple “Wizard” mode that guides you through the steps of creating a video.

Of the major editing products that offer a feature similar to this I would say that the offering from CyberLink is the easiest to use and most functional.

CyberLink PowerDirector 12 Review
CyberLink PowerDirector 12 Product Details

Multimedia Suites

There are about three main products in this category that offer within their feature set a video editing function. Roxio, Nero and Cyberlink are easily at the top of the list.

Of those, my choice for a simple video editing solution would be Cyberlink Media Suite but it is important to note that when looking at something like this you would have to have a need for all the functions available.

It would be pointless to simply get one of these for the video editing unless you also needed the disc burning, image manipulation and audio file functionality as well as everything else.

Cyberlink Media Suite Product Details

Ok! Well that about it for this short (well it was supposed to be short!) round up of this years video editing software choices.

If your video editing software needs are more specialized and the programs mentioned here are not exactly what you want take a look through the sidebar menu and see if there is anything that catches your eye!

As always, if you have any specific questions regarding your situation just hit the Contact link and I’ll help out as best I can.

14 comments to Video Editing Software Choices for 2013

  • Karen Cowan

    Hi I am contacting you on behalf of my husband who for years has used Pinnacle. He has upgraded to Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 17 and can’t get on with it at all and the customer support is non existent. He has tried Windows programme and I made him buy a Sony programme all of which he finds difficult to use.He is very frustrated and video editing is his main hobby and I would say he is very good for an amateur. Do you know of anyone who would come to the house to show him how to use it. Obviously we would be willing to pay. I hate to see him so disheartened particularly as he enjoys it.

    Hoping you can help

    All the best

    Karen

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Karen and thanks for stopping by!

      First of all sorry for not getting back to you quickly. I am supposed to get an automatic email when someone posts a comment but for some reason it didn’t happen this time.

      One of the reasons I don’t place the Sony product front and center on my site is that it has a particularly steep learning curve and this is made worse for someone who has used another program. They keep expecting certain things to occur in certain ways or for certain functions to be available in particular ways.

      It’s not a matter of better or worse or even harder or more difficult, it’s just different!

      Having said all that the important thing to keep in mind is that the Sony product is really good!

      I don’t know of any service that your husband could use to learn the new ins and outs of the Sony product but I do know that the tutorial videos that can be accessed from within the program are very good.

      My advice to you would be to get your husband to imagine he is going back to the beginning, take a deep breath and work his way through those tutorials and he will be back up to speed very quickly.

      As well as that there are hundreds of tutorials on YouTube offering free lessons.

      Maybe he can start here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7oZuYX69n34VFHgctJWQPA

  • Nolan

    I am currently really struggling with Vegas Pro 12 – super unstable all kinds of issues with File I/O surrogate (Apple software that manages files from 32bit to 64bit or something)
    I use Ipod pics and Vids abd video from a GoPro to make small (15 to 20 min) family videos of vacations and such. I love the real time editing power of Vegas (when it does work) – and can turn out some pretty awesome work – but I am just too frustrated with all the instability of Vegas – Is there a program out there that is as powerful but super stable and NOT $600!?

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Nolan,
      Strange that you report instability problems with the Sony product. That is a little unusual!

      Generally the instability stemming from Vegas is in the mind of the user trying to learn out how to make it work!

      Anyway it seems you are on a Mac? If that’s true then really I recommend this one: http://diyvideoeditor.com/screenflow-review/

      In fact it’s the only one I recommend!

      I have a bunch of friends that used to use all the high end editor for their projects and in the end converted to ScreenFlow because it just gets things done.

      It probably gets overlooked because it started out in life as a screen capture program but it has evolved enormously over the past few years.

      If I am totally confused (very possible) and you are on a Windows machine then the new PowerDirector 12 is awesome.

      I just finished the review of it here: http://diyvideoeditor.com/cyberlink-powerdirector-review/

  • Hello,
    I purchased Corel’s Video StudioPro X6. I am a beginner at video editing. I find the manual assumes prior knowledge and some of the visual tutorials are difficult to see.I gather I should have purchased an easier program. I would like to delete the audio on existing video and replace it with narration. I cannot find anything to really explain how to delete the existing audio. Do I need to use audacity with X6? I wish I had found your site before purchasing. Is there an easier program? I prefer programs that have a CD over downloads. At this point I am willing to purchase another program. I will be using video for product reviews. Any suggestions will be gratefully appreciated. Thank you.

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Paula and thanks for dropping by… and actually asking a real question… and not trying to link back to some spammy Ugandan “I need you to help me move a gajillion dollars through your bank account” scheme!

      Give me a minute cos’ clearly I just finished cleaning my spam folders so a real question has taken me a little by surprise!

      OK! let’s begin!

      “I purchased Corel’s Video StudioPro X6. I am a beginner at video editing. I find the manual assumes prior knowledge and some of the visual tutorials are difficult to see. I gather I should have purchased an easier program.”

      Actually I don’t really think this is the case. I totally agree that there is a huge learning curve for anyone starting out with video editing software.

      The real problem here is that the software designers have nothing in the “real world” that they can use to give to a comparable experience and ease you into it.

      Think of a word processor. They can at least present you with a screen that has what appears to be a piece of paper on it. You already have a keyboard… this whole scene is already familiar to you so getting you started is much easier.

      Not so with editing, it’s all foreign and even the easiest ones have to get you over that hurdle.

      The Corel product is very good and if you can bear with it until you find your feet you will find you made a pretty good choice.


      “I would like to delete the audio on existing video and replace it with narration. I cannot find anything to really explain how to delete the existing audio.”

      With the clip or clips on the timeline just “Right Click” with your mouse and select “Mute.” Remember, all these editing programs don’t physically change any of your original files. That’s why it is called non-destructive editing.

      They just use your instructions to make a new file at the point when you want to finish it off.


      “Do I need to use audacity with X6?”

      No.


      “I wish I had found your site before purchasing. Is there an easier program? I prefer programs that have a CD over downloads. At this point I am willing to purchase another program. I will be using video for product reviews. Any suggestions will be gratefully appreciated. Thank you.”

      OK you may have gathered I am being a little reluctant in suggesting something else rather than what you have.

      So if you feel totally lost with Corel and there is no hope then I would recommend the equivalent software from CyberLink, PowerDirector 11.

      The reason I suggest it is because it has an enormous support library with all sorts of tutorials online made by themselves and by other users to help each other.

      Also, although it is a fully fledged editor with all the bells and whistles, when it opens on your computer it gives the choice of going into the full editing suite or the “Easy” mode which is a wizard based, step by step system to guide you through the process.

      In the short term you can use that Easy mode and in the long term begin to learn how to take full advantage of the software.

  • SmartPixel is also a new choice for the beginners’ video editing.

  • Ed

    Well, I have just about had it with Roxio’s NXT Pro software. I have been using the VideoWave editor to edit a set of 4 HD AVI files with the intention of producing a rendered file to make a DVD. While trimming out some unwanted sections of each file and adding transitions, the software just stops working and closes down. One has to constantly do a save operation, not knowing when the software will shut down unexpectedly. I finally managed to finish editing after restarting the video editor many times. Next comes the step to render the production into a mpg file. I tried 4 times. the rendering operation stops after about 4 minutes and closes down.
    Luckily I found your site and will seriously look at your recommendations. I don’t need a really fancy video editor. I just need some simple editing tools, transitions, etc. But most important the program must be stable!
    thanks,
    Ed
    the VideoWave editor is very unstable.

    • Lance Carr

      HI Ed,
      Boy, I really hate getting messages like this. I totally understand how you are probably feeling at this point!

      A few years ago Roxio purchased what was then one of the most buggy pieces of video editing garbage on the market… VideoWave! No-one at the time really understood what they were doing but I think everyone figured they would apply some Roxio magic to it and bring it up to scratch.

      Then last year Corel, the makers of VideoStudio brought Roxio. They probably bought it because Cyberlink were kicking their butts in the Multimedia arena and were also worried that Nero may start getting competitive in the video editing part of their multimedia software.

      Either way it seems that VideoWave still languishes at the bottom of the heap!

      Before you start getting all crazy here can you tell me what the properties of the files are that you are editing?

      You say HD AVI but unfortunately AVI is a wrapper extension that applies to over 800 different types of video file!

      Where did the files come from?

      Maybe I can give you some tips to at least get you through the current… ummm… challenges!?

  • El

    Thanks for evaluation that tells the whole story. I have been in your site for years, but it’s the first time I leave comment to say thank you.

  • amadasun aimuamwosa

    I want you to be my mentor

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