1Via Google Play‘s Editor’s Pick I came across Magisto; a self-proclaimed “magical” video editor with raving reviews of which ‘more than some’ are obviously false internet reviews. Magisto team of wizards might have felt insecure about their product or felt aggressive campaigning was necessary to push their product to the front lines. But in deciding to falsely review their own application themselves, or paying others to do so just to get the ratings up, I was turned off and ready to look for the next video editing application. I’m glad I didn’t.

What kept me curious during that first impression, so crucial for internet marketing; was their visual presentation of the product. Nice and professional graphics, great video presentation and commercials, catchy slogan that pretty much sums up all my previous frustrations: “Editing all your videos is hard… let Magisto do it all for you.”  OK, they misspelled it; “let Magisto to it all for you”, but I think we know what they mean and we all agree; Video editing can be pretty daunting and we like our apps sweet and simple, so we can use them while blindly crossing a busy road.

I installed the app and followed Magisto’s simple steps; I created some short clips of my little boy, chose a theme and a song, which resulted in my mommy heart bursting in a million flowers, butterflies and fuzzy little hearts. “Awww!” I really appreciate the creative selection of themes and fitting music options. The transitions and effects are ..ok I’ll say it; “magical”. I couldn’t edit them, but I did not want to either. It simply looked great. It sure inspired and motivated me to try and get the best of this app and make some memorable videos.  The steps are easy as cake! It takes about 4 minutes for the app to process your creation and send you a notification, but you can easily leave the app and let it do it’s thing, while you use any other function or app on your phone. Strong plus!

My reaction would have probably be different if I would have made my first test video with any other subject less perfect than my dear son. Although Magisto suggests to record a video holding your camera horizontally the end result was displayed vertically PLUS at some point during the process one of my short clips flipped upside down. I can’t watch my precious video without giving myself a whiplash . I did not discover a way to edit and rotate individual videos or flip the end result horizontally.I also wasn’t able to trim clips. Plus organizing the order in which they appear seem to be a hit and miss. Adding these features would be great, but could complicate the use of the app, which clearly is the opposite of their objective. Also;

My main annoyance is the fact that your video will be uploaded to Magisto’s own database. They hold your footage. It’s obvious that his isn’t just video editor software, something I was looking for. This is an attempt to become a new big social network, but that only became clear after downloading and using the app. Sharing your video creation on your wall with Facebook friends results in a big fat Magisto link and a little thumbnail of your video on your wall. Sending it via email will result in a link to the Magisto website, which is a clean and professional website, but not what I want. I want to create videos and keep them for myself and my family for years to come. I want to decide whether or not MY video appears in any database other than my own phone or hard disk. When I do decide to share my video on media like Facebook I want the video to come from me, not Magisto.

For free you get to upload 2 videos. If you want more, you’ll either have to successfully invite friends, or pay a $4,99 fee per month for 25 clips up to 25 minutes each, up to 20 photos and unlimited downloads or $9,99 for all features, plus HD downloads for Movies created on the Web. That is a quite a lot of money and commitment for movie editing software that is not perfect (yet?) and which  might as well be replaced tomorrow by a better and less restricting application.

I do respect that these apps cost time, resources and money to create and that in the end Magisto is running a business.  They are clearly attempting to create a high quality product that offers beautiful end results. I also understand, that with fast evolving technologies, it takes time, trial and error to upgrade apps to perfection and satisfaction of all it’s users. It’s slightly disappointing to see that in several of latest updates they perfected payment options, but did not address user’s property and privacy rights, which people are practically screaming for on the review board. Another move that would make this application more interesting would be other lucrative methods that allow users to download more movies, rather than pay a fee or successfully invite friends. For example; saving up credits for new video downloads; by writing a review, liking on Facebook or just a generous free credit per day for simply being “you”.I am intrigued, impressed and might just check in on Magisto later, looking for new developments. It’s not just the software I was looking for. It’s social media sharing. If that is what you are interested in and you do not mind paying for it or inviting enough friends to keep your account fueled up, than you will be able to create high quality and creative videos that will impress your friends. For now, unfortunately, I think I’ll pass.