ACD VideoMagic 1.0

The Good Easy to turn home movies into videos; simple interface; fun to use; efficient tech support.

The Bad Conflicts with some software video codecs; can't import video from camcorders; limits your control over output; slightly overpriced.

The Bottom Line Though we wish that VideoMagic 1.0 let you import clips from a camcorder, it's still a good buy for beginners looking for a quick-and-dirty way to edit home movies.

Editors' Rating
7.0 Overall

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Review

ACD VideoMagic 1.0

Unless you're a video-editing fanatic, we bet that you don't want to give up more than one precious Saturday to edit your home movies. Reclaim your weekend: ACD VideoMagic provides an effortless way to shape your home movies into minifilms that look so good people will think you spent days cutting and refining your footage. Simply select your best clips, pick a soundtrack, select a style for the finished product, and VideoMagic quickly does the rest. However, this program cannot import video from your camcorder. If you need to do that, you'd be better off with Pinnacle Expression. Unless you're a video-editing fanatic, we bet that you don't want to give up more than one precious Saturday to edit your home movies. Reclaim your weekend: ACD VideoMagic provides an effortless way to shape your home movies into minifilms that look so good people will think you spent days cutting and refining your footage. Simply select your best clips, pick a soundtrack, select a style for the finished product, and VideoMagic quickly does the rest. However, this program cannot import video from your camcorder. If you need to do that, you'd be better off with Pinnacle Expression.

Take your pick
Installing VideoMagic is a no-brainer, but we hit a snag when we tried to launch the program. Thanks to ACD's helpful technical support, we discovered that a video codec necessary to run another application on our test machine conflicted with VideoMagic. This type of small hurdle is common in first-generation products, but tech support resolved the issue in a flash.

VideoMagic's interface is easy to understand, even if you're not especially technically inclined. First, select your video or music clips from a Windows Explorer-style box on the top left; you can import AVI, MPEG-1, and QuickTime video files, as well as WAV and MP3 audio. Next, preview them in a pane at the program's top right. Drag your selections down to two storyboard areas along the bottom--one for music and one for video--and rearrange them in the order that you prefer. Finally, choose from the list of cinema styles on the lower right to determine the style of your creation. Voilà--your clip is ready to go.

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