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Software Review of:
Muvee autoProducer!
Create Your Own Videos


Larry Grosskopf is a Clinical Psychologist at the San Antonio State Hospital, with a thirst for computer knowledge. He is married to Marta, and they are raising two awesome children, their daughter Zoë is 10, and their son Jackson is now 8. If you have questions, e-mail Larry.

From the September 2003 issue of PC Alamode Magazine

Muvee autoProducer, offered by Muvee Technologies, is a software product that I first saw last year at the 2002 COMDEX event. You can make an infinite variety — as infinite as your imagination allows — of video productions because Muvee autoProducer automates much of the process for you. This is truly an innovative concept in modern-day video editing. If you are intimidated by the complexity of video editing software programs, trust me, they can be harrowing to use effectively, then trying Muvee would be a good way to get your feet wet. Built into the program is what the Muvee folks call AI, no, not artificial intelligence, rather “Artistic Intelligence.” Their version of “AI” consists of SmartCuts, SmartAnalyzer, SmartSync and SmartStyle. More will be revealed about these aspects shortly.

Meanwhile, your system should have a CPU speed of 550 MHz or greater (Intel Pentium III or AMD K-6) with MMX support and at least 128 MB of RAM. You also need a 16 MB video card and a 7200 RPM hard drive. The operating systems that are supported include Windows 98SE, Me, 2000 and XP. Finally, be sure you have DirectX 8.0 or higher installed on your system. Of course, if you plan to write the movies you make to VCD or DVD format, you will need a CD or DVD writer installed.

Back to how this program works. In one sense, it is kind of like magic because you start with raw, unedited video footage and SmartCuts will automatically trim your video for you. SmartAnalyze is a feature that will evaluate the video content and quality, thus eliminating low quality and irrelevant video. It will search the remaining video for important events, such as detecting faces in the frame or key movement in the video selection. SmartSync matches up the video transitions and effects with the footage to give your production a better look and feel. Finally, SmartStyle then creates the finished and polished video in one of 24 available styles that you have chosen.

 Muvee autoProducer

Now, let us go on to how it actually performed. What I did was capture some raw Digital Video from my Panasonic digital camcorder and downloaded it into my computer. The program can use AVI, DV or MPEG-1 files. Once you have selected your raw video the next step is to add music, which can be any a WAV or MP3 file of your choice.

From the raw video, the program superimposes an editorial “style” which can affect how the video footage looks and feels. Once you have gone through these three relatively effortless steps, then you press the “make muvee” button and sit back for a few seconds or a few minutes and wait as your new video project is being created. If you are satisfied once you have previewed it, you may then save it for later enjoyment, amusement or punishment, depending on how good, bad or ugly your final result was. That’s it. Using Muvee autoProducer, you have just made your first movie.

It is difficult to describe in words the variety of video output you can achieve using the different styles ready-made for this program. For example, one of the videos I made used the 1950’s TV style. After I viewed it, I wasn’t happy and decided a Chaplinesque style might fit it better. I did like it better, but I decided to try a few more of them before I make up my mind. I tried a simple music video style which I liked very much and I also found a slideshow style that basically picked out good snapshots of the video and matched it with the music I had chosen to make a nice overall presentation. Did I mention that you can vary the amount of the audio sound (from the mike on your camera) and your selected music file in your Muvee project?

You can personalize your video projects as much as you like, adding or editing credits and titles, changing fonts, adding multiple clips from various video files, and multiple music tracks as well. Once I finished the project, I saved it and at that point, you have several choices, you can save it as digital video, VCD or E-mail format, among others. However, the thing that impressed me the most about it was the fact that it does this with such great speed. For example, I had a 3 minute, sixteen second video and when it was saved as an MPEG-1 file to my hard drive, it was completed in 4 minutes and 8 seconds. It beats me how it can accomplish that daunting task so quickly, but it does. Guess their “AI” really is pretty intelligent

Muvee autoProducer sells on the company Website for $39.95 as a download and $44.95 for a boxed copy. Muvee Technologies also offers a new product, their Muvee autoProducer DVD Edition. The main difference I could tell, since I have not used it, is that it can recognize and utilize the MPEG-2 format. The DVD Edition is now going for $49.95 in the download version. If you already own Muvee autoProducer, then you can upgrade to the recently released DVD Edition for $19.95.

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