Magix is best known for its range of cheap-and-cheerful applications for editing MP3s, audio cleaning and entry level CD/DVD burning.
However, the emphasis has always been on "cheap". So it comes as something of a shock to find Xtreme Photo Video comes in at £120 (inc. VAT), which is almost twice the price of equivalent tools from Roxio or Nero.
The suite is aimed at being the sole source for all your media and multimedia needs and comprises a wealth of different tools, so to some extent it does offer reasonable value for money. So, you’ll find Xtreme Photo and Video Manager, Xtreme Movies on CD and DVD, Xtreme Photo and Video Slideshow, Photo and Graphic Designer and Magix TV and Media Center.
Once you install the software you’ll be confronted with an intro screen that asks you what you’d like to do. This is fine, in theory, but we’d prefer to choose which tool we want instead of being told which is best – especially considering many of the same programs open up for a variety of tasks.
Most programs feature around editing and controlling video and once you load up the appropriate program you’ll find that it’s easy to use and fairly intuitive. However, the interface isn’t as well thought through as other tools we’ve used recently – such as Pinnacle Video Studio or Corel Ulead Video Studio 11 Plus.
We were fairly impressed with the breadth of photo editing tools that were on offer and there are plenty of templates to help you develop your skills. When it comes to video, things aren’t so comprehensive and if you’ve outgrown Microsoft’s Movie Maker you’ll find this a backwards step.
Perhaps the best tool for editing is Movies on CD and DVD, as it allows you to import video and allows you to do a rough edit and composition and burn it off to disc but it’s not exactly a mature or rounded product.
Considering this is a video editing suite you would expect there to be support for editing as well as integrating audio into your films. However, this is sadly lacking and is a gaping in hole in the package.
Magix seemed to have missed a few tricks with this package. For one thing, we’re not too sure who the target audience is, as merely bundling a few tools together doesn’t make a comprehensive package.
What’s more, while it’s easy to get to grips with and use, the tools themselves aren’t polished enough to give you a truly satisfying conclusion.