News: Automatic Video Editor Shootout: Magisto vs. Vidify vs. V.I.K.T.O.R.

Automatic Video Editor Shootout: Magisto vs. Vidify vs. V.I.K.T.O.R.

Since the launch of Edit on a Dime several weeks ago, I've been putting a variety of automatic video editing apps though their paces. One of the first tested was Magisto, a web-based app that's directly accessed through YouTube, which I enjoyed, but found some obvious problems with. Since then, I've been in contact with Oren Boiman, CEO and founder of Magisto, who was kind enough to address my concerns.

Automatic Video Editor Shootout: Magisto vs. Vidify vs. V.I.K.T.O.R.

Originally, my review was on the web-based app accessed through YouTube Create, but Boiman has assured me that it is also a standalone app available directly at Magisto.com. Also, if you've used Magisto via YouTube, you can still access it for future editing on Magisto.com, using your Google login. I've tried the standalone version; it worked perfectly fine and was extremely easy to upload to YouTube.

Most recently, it was unveiled as a free iPhone app before the start of CES 2012, now making it worthy competition to mobile apps Vidify and V.I.K.T.O.R. I'll post a review of the mobile version in a couple days, but before that, let's get back to the web ones.

Automatic Video Editor Shootout: Magisto vs. Vidify vs. V.I.K.T.O.R.

There was a big issue with music licensing. Magisto has licensed a large number of professional tracks, but when I published the video on YouTube using one, I was told I didn't have the rights to the song.

Boiman said, "Magisto licenses its soundtrack library for Magisto users for personal use. Your videos have a version in Magisto.com and you can share them at will or embed them in your blog. However, once those videos are exported to YouTube (either directly via YouTube Create or from Magisto.com), it is YouTube's responsibility to handle their copyrights." He went on to tell me that you can still share and embed on Magisto.com.

Well, that's something, but the problem is that the YouTube-accessed version allows you to use tracks that aren't licensed on YouTube. So, it's still a large problem.

Music licensing aside, how about quality? When comparing automatic editors Magisto, Vidify and V.I.K.T.O.R., I've always preferred Vidify's edit. Yet, there is definitely "something going on" with Magisto's edit.

"The difference between Magisto and other automatic editing solutions is in the brains," Boiman explains. "Magisto utilizes unprecedented AI technology for analyzing and understanding your videos and editing them accordingly." Basically, it all boils down to if you shoot random footage, you'll get a random video. "But if you upload related clips from an event, Magisto will help you share the story, where other tools will still be random samples."

Maybe I'm fooling myself, but I believe he's right in a way, that there is processing going on behind the scenes with Magisto that doesn't happen with other apps. To give Magisto another chance, I shot some footage with my iPhone 4 during a dinner party. We had a student visiting from China, who thanked us by cooking an absurdly massive meal.

I ran a half-dozen clips through all three apps:

(1) Magisto test video, (2) Vidify test video, (3) V.I.K.T.O.R. test video

Again, I crown Vidify the winner, but once Magisto is able to output videos longer than one short minute, I think we'll have a better chance of gauging its ability to craft narratives on the fly.

Which clip do you think works best? Share your opinion in the comments.

5 Comments

Very cool. I haven't used any of these editors since I don't film very many videos that are unimportant enough that I don't want full control, but I might start now that there are ways to put together the footage without having to take the time myself. I think all the clips flowed decently enough for having been put together by a program. I do think the Vidify one is best.

Hey there Ben, before I tried these apps I had the same feeling as you re: wanting to have full control. But we're entering an interesting time here where we can think of these apps as tools and shoot accordingly, (am thinking here of apps like Hipstamatic that produce interesting and valid results and are used by pros not just consumers). Am looking forward so seeing what people come up with, shooting not only events like parties but also doing more out-there and dissonant stuff as well).

It is a very cool idea, and I'm tempted to do some experimenting with some artistic or more laid back videos. Most of the video work I do is step by step instructionals though, and I just don't think any program could get them edited in a way that would make sense. Worth a try I suppose.

I love this Magisto app and yes I am viewing as a tool. I do a ton of photographs and short videos, however I often don't have the time to sit and edit everything on my Imovie or whatever low key editor I happen to be using. I am a broke mofo and I am one that believes that with technology it has open up what was once a field for elitists to the masses. I being a mass so I am a great photographer and would like to put together projects similar in the style that is allowed to me by Magisto. Let the computer do the tedious labor so I can focus on the content. Is there however a program that I can buy that will do this for me for longer projects. Say anywhere from 3-10 minutes in length. I am not looking for feature films but the idea of shooting short movies is something that interests me and I would love to do on a low budget sort of scale.

Sorry but your videos were shaking awfully with vidify, its gross :-F

I think magisto was better of the three. It did a good job, may be its semi commercial, but end result were much better and professional. VIKTOR was comendable.

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