A comparison is a new thing for me when it comes to this newsletter series. I've done reviews of both of these tools before (links at the bottom). However taking two great tools, and pitting them against each other is another thing.
I'll probably be singing the praises of both, but I'll try to mention the issues I've faced too. Magic Clips is also still quite new, and Opus isn't much older itself. That is something very important to consider.
Additionally, I think it should be pointed out that I feel that even though the features themselves are similar, that the use cases are different. Magic clips are great if you're already in the Riverside ecosystem, and you have videos in the system already recorded there. Whereas Opus is great if you have a huge backlog of youtube videos, that need to be repurposed.
There is some grey area, especially for me since I use both, and I use them for different reasons.
This post will go first into the overview of both (the order is random as to not make it seem like one is more prudent), then the pros/cons, My experience, what/why/how, then the Takeaways. Note: All links to the tools will be affiliate links!
This is something I truly want to be fair to both parties, but as a content creator to all of you reading this I want to be as agnostic as possible. That way you get the best outcome you can from which one you decide to go with.
Personally, I love both tools, and I find it hard to choose between them. However I also use them for different purposes. As much as I would've loved using Magic clips, it came out around the time I started using Opus. It also doesn't really help me in the sense of my 100 videos in the backlog that won't work. Probably only about 10-20 of them are new enough to use that feature.
On Opus you simply have to put a youtube video link into the box, and you can technically upload a video (although I've only done that with videos that are 3 minutes or less personally).
Next comes the pre-run stage, and now this one is easily missed. However it is quite important to get right. Most short form platforms do better with either 10 seconds or less, or 40 seconds and more. I generally go for the 30-60 second range, and you have to make sure you check that box here.
From there you'll have to wait a bit until it finishes processing, and this is one area I hope Opus keeps improving on. It can take quite a while to process sometimes.
From there you have each of your clips, I've been noticing that they have been getting more and more and more over the last few months. At the start I'd maybe 22 clips per hour and half long video. Which about 14-15 would be usable. Now I get anywhere from 30 to 45, with perhaps 25 of them being usable.
On riverside you go to your recordings, and you see that pretty gradient purple box? Go ahead and click generate clips.
Once generated you can see all of the clips lined up, and they will be in front of anything else you made. For example I make a clip for my final export to do some formatting in riverside before moving to Davinci Resolve for final cut. Meaning my "clip" that is the full length is at the end of the row. Not a big deal, but wanted to mention.
They generated about 17 clips in Riverside whereas Opus generated about 31. However the number of USABLE clips is I think perhaps stronger in Riverside, but in the end they basically are pretty comparable.
Here are both pricing for each tool.
The thing is about Riverside is that they are a recording tool first, but that means all of your content will be in one place. You already have your videos ON THEIR SERVERS, which means it is quick turn to just convert them into clips.
However it also means you're paying for a lot more features. They are the BEST recording tool on the market, I've used all of them (either as a host or guest), and they have a lot more to offer too. Such as livestreams, their magic editor for long form video (which is integrated with the clips), and more.
Now the really interesting thing is that the Magic Clips feature is included on all plans. Even the free option, which can be a huge deal to some smaller creators, but you only get 2 hours per month on free, or 5 hours on standard. Those hours being how much you can record via the tool, and in turn where your clips will be coming from.
With Opus if you have a lot of videos in the backlog, such as how I did (over 200 videos, not just my interviews), then all you have to do is simply drop a youtube video link. A good 33% of my interviews were on Zoom prior to moving to Riverside, and some of my Riverside ones were made before their update. Meaning I can't use the Clips feature on them. A small issue, but Opus can be used then for those videos.
One of my biggest gripes with Opus, and I've told them too, is the price is pretty high. However the cost of ChatGPT's API is also pretty high, and they are doing a lot more than just finding clips. If you are just using it month to month, and not trying to convert a whole backlog. Then the price isn't so bad.
The price does jump down quite a bit for the most basic option when you go to yearly. Although depending on how long your videos are, you might eat up that amount rapidly.
This is a huge part of it, and I feel like both tools need to get better at editing. However it is my understanding that both are indeed working really hard at adding better editing features.
Riverside just released more in depth captions editing capabilities, and Opus released manual reframe allowing you to move the viewport of a person talking (which helps if the auto reframe messes something up or isn't to your liking).
In the end these are to make your captions look better, perhaps positioning of people's view ports, and to trim the length if need be (I usually don't trim).
I do have to hand it to Riverside on this one, the user interface is a lot more clean. However they have been around a lot longer, and this editor was also used for the long form videos too before. So it was just remixed for the clips. Perhaps it could even be TOO much for clips (take a look at that timeline stretched all the way out, when it could be better to zoom in on the clip automatically).
You can zoom in more, but it takes many clicks, and I did lose my place for a second (I pressed play which brought me back).
This section is hard for me, but I'll do my best at being fair!
I spent years working with content repurposing tools, and it wasn't until Opus that it was simple enough to where I got off my ass and made these clips. I'm serious it was a pretty big herculean task to go through over 100 interviews, and over 200 YT videos total (as I did use my vlogs too).
However there has been many issues, or rather growing pains, that I have had to deal with. From extremely long processing times (when the servers were busy I left the tab open, and I'd leave it all morning), to the reframe being quite poor in some videos (now I can fix that with manual reframe, but tedious for 30+ clips).
Even having some of my videos stuck in limbo back in June. They were growing, and I had a few videos that didn't run properly, and I wasn't going to spend MORE money to do more videos when these weren't done.
Let me be clear that support has always been helpful, and they were eventually able to help me with those videos getting finished. There is a reason why I became a brand partner, and that is because they know what they are doing and they are on the right track.
- Quick and easy clips from Youtube links (and from uploading).
- Numerous clips, almost too much, but I'd rather have too many than too little!
- A very helpful and caring support team.
- Automatic editing, captions, emojis, and eventually b-roll!
- Can be quite pricey (I even said that in my individual review too).
- Support is great, but sometimes can be slow to respond due to timezones (that is getting improved though).
- Title cards can't be edited at this point in time, and they look alright visually (more of a big deal to me personally).
- No bulk edits if a video ran wrong (such as if each clip needs the same edit you can't edit them all at once). #nitpicky
I love recording with Riverside, and the team has always been really helpful and supportive of my content journey. I even met with the founders back in 2020 when they were first making the tool.
They believed in me back when I was a lot smaller of a podcaster, and gave me access to a tool that leveled me up big time.
While I had to deal with growing pains there too, they weren't as frequent I guess you could say. I think that is important to note since that these "Magic Clips" are quite new, and they're just going to keep adding more features like the caption editor that just released.
- Price-y but it includes a robust recording/live studio, and a variety of other features.
- The user interface has been refined for a longer period of time.
- Your recordings are ALREADY THERE on their servers, so it speeds up the process maybe 10 fold.
- Easy to use text editor, and the styling of the frame is simpler.
- No extra animations like emojis, progress bars, waveforms, etc.
- Still in the early stages, but presumably will grow quick.
- Doesn't generate as much clips (still can't tell if that is good or bad though).
- Not the main purpose of the platform, but rather an extended feature.
Let me be honest here:
These pros and cons are what I can tell right off the bat, and it really feels like there is equal grounds. They both have stuff that the other does not, and they both are bringing out new and unique features.
Note: That this may be what I had happened, but your mileage may vary.
Given that my experience with the Magic Clips has been short, not just because it came out recently, but also because I had Opus at the same time. I want to point out that my opinion of Riverside overall is quite high, and I was estatic to see them in person at the podcast conference.
My opinion on the Magic Clips does not change how I rated the tool on the review either. Since that was more of a holistic look at how the platform works.
Perhaps magic clips will take more spotlight as I go along. Especially since the reframe in Opus can't handle that full screen look (see picture below), which is more preferable in my opinion to the "zoom" style that most people tend to use.
I had to wait a whole month until those few videos were re-ran before I could really continue. That was frustrating, but since then I was able to finish up most of the rest of the interviews. I will say presumably due to how Riverside presented the final aspect ratio (THIS WAS MY CHOICE). Opus wasn't able to reframe this video well. I have four videos in limbo right now because of it.
So while I've had a great experience with Opus, and it ran 100+ interviews relatively fine. I've had about an 8-10% margin of error with some videos.
However maybe I should just simply run those particular videos through Riverside, since they were made in that tool in the first place.
Although I really want to clarify just how many a 100 videos are. Those are all hour and a half long podcast episodes on average. From those I was able to generate over 1300 clips from this platform that I will be scheduling out over the next FEW HUNDRED days.
From this post I really can't say if one is better than the other. It really depends on your use case, whether or not you are already using Riverside, and if you have a huge backlog like I did.
If anything it may be wise to use both tools if you can manage it.
Now despite the fact that I am partnered with both, that didn't impact my analysis or comparison today. If anything I might've been too blunt, but that is how I do these kinds of posts. Hope this helps you decide which one is best for you!