Motion 5.1 sounds like it should be a big deal, but the main addition is support for 4K to match Final Cut. It can share to YouTube, but direct uploading to Vimeo is limited to 1080p. If you’ve ignored Motion in favour of an After Effects CC subscription, you won’t come to it now. However, it’s a good companion if you adopt Final Cut Pro X as your editing app, because Motion can create animated titles (Pixelmator makes static graphics to slide or fade in/out).
Many titles, generators, effects and transitions built into Final Cut can be edited in Motion, and dissecting them is a good way to learn how the app works. When creating titles from scratch, text can be directly edited in Final Cut. Other parameters, such as colour and font, can be exposed in Final Cut by setting up a rig.
The Match Move behaviour lets you track text and other objects to points of interest, with little more than the effort of marking them on a video layer. Videos of bike stunts are an obvious application, but it also brings unboxing videos to life with floating annotations.
Understanding Motion’s complex capabilities, such as particle effects, blend modes and working in 3D space, takes experience (a tutorial book is recommended). However, Motion’s titling capabilities are easily learned from Apple’s documentation and online reading, and it’s a powerful way to personalise your videos.
A complement to even basic Final Cut projects, and if you take it further, it’s money well spent.
Pros & Cons
Easily tailor Final Cut’s titles
Create templates for Final Cut
Huge creative potential
Takes time to fully master
TunesGo for Mac 4
Managing multiple media types in iTunes can be daunting, so TunesGo sidesteps iTunes in favour of its own solution. TunesGo includes a background helper, which appears as a green icon in the menu bar that can’t be disabled. Once an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is plugged in, it asks: ‘Device is connected, would you lik to manage it with TunesGo?’ Typo aside, it’s a little overzealous with this prompt, which kept showing up after booting, forcing us to click ‘Manage’ then exit the program. It presents a sidebar organised by media categories. There’s also Toolkit, for tasks such as converting music or videos into iTunescompatible files or exporting photos to your Mac. Four potentially useful tasks of contacts/messages backup and duplicate contacts search, are listed as ‘coming soon’.
TunesGo includes a feature we’ve yet to see in a media management app: creating custom photo albums outside of the Camera Roll without iTunes sync. Our experience with other features was hit or miss. TunesGo crashed when we tried to access our iTunes Match-enabled iPhone 5s music library, but an iPad 3 without the music-matching service enabled worked fine. TunesGo also failed to refresh while syncing iPhone 5s photo albums. Considering its core features can be performed more reliably with cheaper apps TunesGo receives a cautious recommendation for now.
It would benefit from an overall spit and polish, especially with the latest iOS devices.
Pros & Cons
Get albums out of Camera Roll
Easy to use, well-organised UI
Often crashes/slow data access
No Wi-Fi sync
Photo Recovery 6
Photos are the kind of documents that are irreplaceable if your hard drive crashes, and Stellar Phoenix’s Photo Recovery is designed to save these priceless files if they’re lost. It works on any kind of drive, including SD cards and hard drives.
Using the app is easy, although the interface isn’t pretty. As well as a scan feature, it includes an option to select what kind of files you search for – photo, video or audio by file type, and more. This allows you to choose files created by individual camera manufacturers. However, the product’s performance leaves much to be desired. After eight hours working on a 128GB drive, the process was still only two thirds complete – and in our tests, we never managed to complete a full scan. Stellar Phoenix claimed to have found more than 60GB of images and videos, and we were able to preview the ones available to recover. Previewing video files worked, but crashed when we attempted to scrub through the file.
Recovering files worked with small groups, but crashed when we tried to recover a lot of files. You can’t recover to the same volume you’re working on – so if you’re recovering from your internal drive, you’ll need an external drive as well. Overall, Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery is slow, ungainly, and behaves oddly with alarming frequency. When you need something to recover the irreplaceable, that’s not the kind of behaviour that inspires trust.
Slow and unreliable, Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery is cheap, but is best avoided.
Pros & Cons
Lets you select individual files
Unreliable recovery process
Slow to run through recovery
Prone to crashing in our tests