*Note: My update of this post for this year can be found at this link Editing Software Choices for 2013 over at my new site. I will ultimately be moving all my content over there but in the meantime if you want to go over the 2012 choices… read on!
So now that we have officially entered into 2012 I thought it might be a good time to present 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 none of the major players will be upgrading their products until at least September the information and ranking here should stay the same for the majority of the year.
Overall 2011 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.
If you are familiar with this blog or my other site The DIY Video Editor you will know that my overriding purpose is to help cut through the information overload that the average person hits when trying to decide on video editing software.
The same goes for that murky swamp of marketing hype that also seems to come with the territory.
Sometimes I look at it all and think that most people must be just taking a guess and hoping for the best!
That’s why I don’t cover a wide range of software brands, once you cut through the crap you soon find that there is a little group of frontrunners and a huge mass of mediocrity following along.
It is my firm policy to only deal with the frontrunners… provided of course, they are worthy of inclusion.
So here is my take on the best video editing software programs for the consumer as it stands at the beginning of 2012.
As I already mentioned, anything you read here will hold true until at least September when the new round of updates will begin to roll out.
First up we have CyberLink PowerDirector 10
This one has been my number one choice for about three years now and for 2012 it remains at the top of the heap.
They had every opportunity to take a holiday on their latest version, safe in the knowledge that the competition would most likely not do enough in one year to catch them.
Two things became apparent on all of this:
1. The competition didn’t do anything to catch up and,
2. Cyberlink didn’t take a holiday.
In version 10 of PowerDirector Cyberlink put their foot down and pulled away even further.
With a feature set only rivaled by the number two, Magix, 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 10 Review
CyberLink PowerDirector 10 Product Details
Number Two: Magix Movie Edit Pro MX
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 now has 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 seem well under control as of the latest version, Magix Movie Edit Pro MX.
Although they have to some degree benefitted from better general 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 so this year I have elevated them in my ranking to the number two position.
Magix Movie Edit Pro MX Review
Magix Movie Edit Pro MX Product Details
Number Three: Corel Video Studio Pro X4
Relegated to number three this year not because they did anything particularly wrong but because Magix did more right.
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 had their trials and tribulations but as it stands today VideoStudio is an excellent video editor with a good feature set that would serve the average enthusiast very well.
Corel Video Studio Pro X4 Review
Corel Video Studio Pro X4 Product Details
Number Four: Adobe Premiere Elements 10
I find it kind of hard to get enthused by Premiere Elements at the best of times and with version 10 of Adobe’s take on a consumer level editor nothing has changed.
Let me be blunt here:
Premiere Elements 10 has an average set of tools and functionality for the home user. The software is stable and is reasonably easy to learn and use.
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!
So what’s my beef with Premiere Elements 10?
In a word… laziness. I find it hard to get past the fact that this is a product made by Adobe.
They are one of the biggest software companies on the planet and the 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 and still manages to run slower than the top three!
It is not that I don’t like Adobe Premiere Elements 10… I do! It’s just that I really don’t like Adobe’s attitude towards their customers.
Adobe Premiere Elements 10 Review
Adobe Premiere Elements 10 Product Details
Ok! Well that about it for this short round up of this years video editing software choices which I think I will leave here as my top four 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 button or leave a Comment and I’ll help out as best I can.