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.
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.
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:
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.