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
This 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:
- Only a few of the competing products did anything to actually to catch up and,
- 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.
Number Two: Corel Video Studio Pro X6
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.
Number Three: Magix Movie Edit Pro 2013
I 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:
- The sheer complexity of the program resulted in the early versions being buggy and unstable.
- 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.
Number Four: Adobe Premiere Elements 11
I 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.