One of a steadily-increasing stream of applications set up to tackle this particular task, Magix Movies2Go 3 exists so that you can take your media and crunch it down to a format and size that your portable device will appreciate.
It does this with a user-friendly interface and by keeping technical information as far away from you as possible, and this generally proves to be a good thing (you can dig into the technicals should you so choose, however).
Let’s get some irritations out of the way first, though. The program took a little time to initialise and load on our test system (a none-too-shabby T7300-powered laptop) and while it was starting up it insisted on displaying a loading message over the middle of the screen. Why? Why do we have to wait around, unable to do anything else on our machine, while Magix loads its program?
Once it has loaded, you’re presented with the kind of screen that’s familiar to anyone who has used any kind of video editing application in the past. On the left is a preview window, while a window on the right allows you to import your media. The editing stage has a timeline visual in the bottom half of the screen should you choose to show the time axis (a simple mouse click), then you hit the export button at the bottom when you’re ready to perform the conversion.
All of the stages you need are contained on one screen, which does make things a little cramped, yet does also allow things to be kept relatively straightforward. It helps that you can toggle the aforementioned time axis as and when you need it.
The set-up is ideal for movie conversion, but Magix Movies2Go also supports audio and images. Whichever you opt for it’s a straightforward process that involves you opening, editing and outputting your required media. The editing tools are welcome and powerful enough, and it helps that when you output your media you can choose the name of an individual device. It streamlines the process enormously.
File support is broad, although it’s worth taking the program’s advice and making sure that the MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 codecs are up to date. We tested a broad selection of video material specifically without the application complaining. When you import a piece of video the timeline pops up by default, and it’s easy to edit things into the shape you want them in.
When it comes to exporting, the support for named portable devices is extensive and so, using the export panel, you can target your media for a specific product, be it a games console, digital photo frame, Pocket PC, Smart Phone or portable video/MP3 player. There’s more to the list, too, representing a significant increase in support over earlier versions of the program, and you can add a new device if one isn’t supported. There’s a further option to export to the Internet, although there are fewer options available for this.
Conversion times aren’t brilliant, taking 11 minutes to mash a 22 minute video, and we couldn’t find any way to cancel a conversion once it had begun. But the end result was good, with no compatibility problems that we came across.
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