HOME PC Alamode About Us HELP
Reviews Columns Features   Archives  

Software Review of:
Video Deluxe


Richard Villafana is a long suffering frustrated movie director who turned to practicing medicine in San Antonio 15 years ago, after becoming fed up with the Hollywood "system".

From the October, 2002 issue of PC Alamode Magazine

Okay, listen up all you budding Hollywood, MTV, and recording directors and producers, this month’s review is on Video Deluxe from Magix Software. It is, as you might guess, a video and audio software studio. This is an all-in-one video creator, editor, mixer, and e-mail ready program. With this powerful, yet reasonably priced program, you can record video, edit video, add special effects, lay down an audio soundtrack, mix video, add subtitles, import and export files, mix audio, and export your little opus to your e-mail to share with all your adoring fans. 

System requirements are many, and are as follows: for Digital video recording and export (i.e. via DV camcorder) – Pentium II 266 or better, 64 MB of RAM (128 recommended), hard disk with a file transfer rate of 4 MB/s, OHCI compatible IEEE-1394 DV capture card (Firewire) with Microsoft DirectX8a, and Microsoft Windows 98, 98SE, ME, 2000, or XP. For Analog video Recording and export (i.e. 8mm or VHS camcorder) – Pentium II 400Mhz or better, 128 MB of RAM, USB port or “Video for Windows” or Direct Show compatible video card, TV card, or graphics card, and Microsoft Windows 95, 98, 98SE, ME, 2000, NT, or XP. For MIDI integration you need a MIDI interface or a sound card with a MIDI synthesizer as well as the appropriate drivers (MIDI mapper).  For Video Mail – standard e-mail software such as Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express. General requirements are 200 MB of free disk space, 5 GB of free disk space for video files created, SVGA graphics card with a minimum resolution of 800x600, 4 MB of RAM, 16 bit high color, 16 bit sound card with Windows drivers, CD-ROM drive, and a Microsoft compatible mouse. Whew. . .that was a mouthful.

Okay, having gotten all of specs out of the way, we can proceed. Installation was a snap on my HP P4 2.26 Mhz with 512 MB of RAM computer. Once that was done came the hard part, figuring out what to do next! To tell you the truth, this was my first attempt at playing Spielberg, and boy do I have a new found respect for all those creative geniuses. Upon running the program for the first time, you are offered the opportunity to watch an instructive on screen demo. It is pretty short and pretty fast and pretty much a waste of time. At least you get to see some the great effects you will one day be able to create. After this, I tackled the manual. The manual is very detailed, but unfortunately, not very well written. It starts out with another quick attempt at getting you up and running, but this is kind of like putting the cart before the horse. It tells you what buttons to push, but doesn’t tell you what they mean or how to best use them. Later on in the manual you get a very good in-depth explanation of what each one of these buttons and tile bars do, but again it is piecemeal and hard to follow. I finally just started experimenting with files and sounds and was able to create some productions well worthy of a near-sighted, tone deaf artist. Ludwig is probably rolling over in his tomb.

In any case this program has a fairly high learning curve, with or without a great tutorial. The great redeeming quality of this program is that it is just so much fun. I had a great time playing with all of the video and audio files and special effects. One can create video transitions, fades, distortions, text edits, sound effects, wav and MP3 backgrounds, 
equalizer mixes, and the program can even create its own soundtracks that you can manipulate in any number of ways. Once you are happy with your video, you can save and record it to your hard drive, camcorder, or even your VCR with the proper equipment. One can save the file as an AVI, MPG1 or MPG2, MXV (Magix Video), MOV, WMA (Windows Media Video), BMP, JPEG, RM (Real Media), and DV Stream (for NTSC or PAL). You may also export it directly to a Power Point presentation or attach it to e-mail.

Support is available online and by fax at 310-656-0234 and by toll free phone at 888-866-2449. 

In summary, Video Deluxe more than lives up to its promises and is an especially good program for those in the beginner to intermediate experience category. It is available in most local software outlets such as Comp USA or Best Buy, and the MSRP is less than $50.00. The only thing you have to remember is that you will need to devote a fair amount of time to reading the manual and experimenting with the features, but it seems a small price to pay for all the enjoyment you are sure to get after you have mastered it and are churning out your own little productions of Citizen Crane or Long Gone with the Wind.

Copyright© 1996-2010
Alamo PC Organization, Inc.
San Antonio, TX USA