Pros: Imports and outputs multiple formats with ease. Provides multiple ways to perform common editing procedures. Ships with superb support material.
Cons: Some inconsistency when resizing palettes. Drab-looking interface could benefit from cosmetic enhancement.
SpeedEdit may be a relative new kid on the non-linear editing block, but it’s a streetwise kid who knows that today’s video editors have multiple video formats to deal with.
Whether you’re editing footage from mini-DV or HD sources, SpeedEdit lets you import multiple formats into the same project without seeing a dialog window complaining of incompatible file formats. It edits in the source clip’s native format so no time-consuming converting is required.
The package also provides you with plenty of export options so that you can output edited footage to DVD or Web-friendly formats with ease – it lets you assign DVD chapter markers to your footage, for example.
SpeedEdit demonstrates ways to streamline every stage of your video-editing workflow. When digitizing footage from a camcorder (above), there’s a handy Chop button that lets you cut footage into separate clips with a click, saving you the hassle of having to stop and restart the camera. If you capture a clip too early, you simply hit the Reset button to purge the unwanted section of the clip – effectively trimming as you digitize.
Another of the package’s strengths is its versatility. It offers several ways to perform the same operations. You can, for example, trim a clip in the conventional way by entering In and Out points via keyboard shortcuts, or by dragging the start and end point of the clip in the Timeline, or even via its thumbnail view.
Effective asset management further speeds the editing workflow by allowing you to identify assets more easily. You can see a quick preview of a clip’s contents by moving the cursor over a thumbnail in the Storyboard window and even whiz through the preview at 10 times normal speed. Another nice touch is that clips that you’ve already digitized display their filenames in bold, so you can quickly see what’s been imported and what hasn’t.
Once your material is in the Timeline, you can use the Jog/Shuttle wheel to scrub through the clip. The souped-up Jog/Shuttle control also has a set of preset speed buttons.
This saves you from having to hold the mouse button down to scrub through footage. These many, tiny timesaving attentions to detail add up and give SpeedEdit the edge over other non-linear editing packages.
As with most non-linear packages, SpeedEdit offer the ability to enhance your edited footage with a visual-effects like picture-in-picture. To speed up this stage of your workflow, you can make new clips inherit the keyframes of existing clips with a drag-&-drop action, making it easy to update the title sequence of a news programme, for example.