Muvee: Fun Software for Home Music Videos

Some months ago I was invited to try Muvee AutoProducer software (and become an affiliate marketer – if you click on the banner at the bottom of this page and buy the software, I get a cut).

I didn’t have a lot of time to play with it then, and my first reaction was that this software, while cute, would be of limited interest to hard-core videobloggers – it just doesn’t give you enough control. Then, at CES, Jack Olmsted raved about it to me, and said it was far more flexible than I had realized. More recently, it came to mind when someone asked in the videoblogging group:

“I’ve got a large number of hour-long digital video tapes of my family sitting on the shelf.  I’d like to share key clips of these with my family and friends, but am turned off by the hassle of culling through each tape manually to find the most interesting clips (it seems that 80% of the time, the camera is just rolling and my kids aren’t doing anything too interesting to anyone else but me and my wife).  Is there an easy way to solve this online…?”

Online, I don’t think there is, but it occurred to me that Muvee might be a fun solution for him. So I decided to try it out again, and the Muvee lady graciously sent me a product key so I could try it at no charge.

The process (as explained in Muvee’s helpful startup window), is simple: select the video clips and/or photos and music you want to use, select an “editing style,” then select Make Muvee.

The first time around, this can be slow (especially with large videos) as Muvee analyzes all the material you’re using. But this analysis is only performed once, so you can make changes to your project and test it again very quickly.

Muvee is essentially designed to make music videos using your own video and/or photos; it assumes that you are going to add an audio soundtrack, probably a song. The two samples shown here illustrate this:

Test One – Our Smiling Cat

This Muvee includes about 10 clips from Ross’ digital still camera, plus a bit of video shot with my Canon digital video camera.

I used Muvee’s “simple music video” style.

music: James Taylor “Your Smiling Face”

Test Two – Beautiful Baby

This one uses only still photos, with Muvee’s “personal” style.

The effects on still photos (zooming in or out, panning across) can be done automatically by Muvee. I didn’t like what it was doing by default, so I used Muvee’s magicSpot settings on most of the photos to control “camera movement”.

Muvee produces video in MPEG1, MPEG2, WMV, AVI, DivX, and MOV (Qucktime) formats. I used my usual Sorenson Squeeze software to compress it into FLV (Flash) format for viewing on this page, so don’t judge the quality of Muvee’s video output by what you see here.

My conclusion is still that Muvee won’t be appealing to videobloggers like myself who need a lot of editing control. But it’s a lot of fun for the casual user who wants to create personal videos to share with friends and family, quickly and easily.

I’ll be playing with it some more as I have time and will post the results here.

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