Avid Creative Software FAQ

Avid Creative Software FAQ with Everything You Need to Know about Media Composer 2018

At NAB 2018, Avid announced a comprehensive line-up of video, audio and notation software that empowers creative professionals and aspiring artists alike. Whether you’re scoring, recording, mixing or editing, you can create at the speed of inspiration using the tools embraced by the industry. Now, there are products for everyone—and they’re more affordable than ever.

What are the new product tiers?

Avid has expanded and better aligned their creative software brands to make it easier to understand the product tiers and grow within the family as you develop your skills and career.

1. ) "First" - The popular entry-level

“First” products are all free and make it even easier to unleash your creativity. They are only available through the online Avid Store. (Media Composer | First, Pro Tools | First, Sibelius | First)

2. ) "Need more power? Step up to the full versions (subscription based).

This tier offers more functionality to help you tackle increasingly complex projects and tighter deadlines. (Media Composer, Pro Tools, Sibelius)

3.) The “Ultimate” products are the most advanced and comprehensive (subscription based).

With unparalleled collaboration tools, connectivity and game-changing features, you and your team can increase productivity and accelerate your workflows. (Media Composer | Ultimate, Pro Tools | Ultimate, Sibelius | Ultimate)

Here is the BIG news! (Avid creative software re-branded)

New for Media Composer

  • Media Composer is now available at a super affordable price point- starting at $199.99 USD for a 1-year Subscription. Does not include Avid bin locking or project sharing. – get it now
  • Media Composer | Ultimate offers advanced functionality providing all the same editing tools as Media Composer, but with expanded workflows and additional software options included for collaborative film, television, news, education, and other video teams and facilities. For those who need Avid bin locking and project sharing.It' s $499.99 USD for a 1-year Subscription. Ultimate includes Newscutter, Symphony, PhraseFind, and ScriptSync optionsget the details
  • Media Composer | Legacy Perpetual license is the same perpetual license (not a subscription - you own it) and includes all of the collaborative features of Media Composer | Ultimate; however, ScriptSync, PhraseFind, and Symphony are add-on options purchase separately. It also requires a Media Composer 1-Year Software Updates + Support Plan ($285.00 / yr )to receive software updates in your Avid Account.

Are you currently using one of these creative apps (subscriptions)? Upon your next product update or renewal:

  • Media Composer customers (version 2018.3 and earlier) become Media Composer | Ultimate. Along with the new name, you’ll also see some new options. Ultimate includes Newscutter, Symphony, PhraseFind, and ScriptSync.
  • If you use Media Composer | First and would like to upgrade to Media Composer, you can do so at a new, lower price point ($199 per year).


New for ProTools

Are you currently using one of these creative apps (subscriptions)? Upon your next product update or renewal:

  • Pro Tools | HD customers will become Pro Tools | Ultimate. Along with the new name, you’ll also benefit from some new options.
  • Pro Tools and Pro Tools | First customers won’t see any chances. You’ll still be able to create, record, edit, and mix music and audio with the industry standard.


New for Sibelius

  • Sibelius welcomes a new FREE entry-level version—Sibelius | First. Available directly from Avid.

Are you currently using one of these creative apps (subscriptions)? Upon your next product update or renewal:

  • Paid Sibelius | First customers will become Sibelius customers. You’ll get the same great product, simply with a new name.
  • Sibelius customers (version 2018.3 and earlier) will become Sibelius | Ultimate customers. You’ll have the same best-selling product—with a new name.

Avid's Updated Terminology

Avid has updated its versioning terminology. Now, software updates align to the year and month of release. For example, Pro Tools 2018.4, is an April release.

Media Composer FAQ

Click to enlarge comparison chart.

Is Media Composer now only available as a subscription?

Not at all. Many Avid customers prefer the flexibility of a subscription, as it provides the lowest cost of entry to the industry-standard video editing toolset—especially for professional independent editors and moviemakers. In fact, you can now get Media Composer starting at only $199.99/year.

Subscriptions also make it easier for facilities and media organizations to add extra editors as needed for a project, without having to purchase a full software seat. That said, Avid will still offer new Media Composer perpetual licenses (now known as Media Composer | Legacy Perpetual) through 2018.

This gives you more choice—get access to the latest Media Composer or Media Composer | Ultimate toolset as needed on a low-cost monthly (only available from Avid), annual, 2-year, or 3-year basis. Or purchase a perpetual license and own the software outright.

Media Composer License Comparison Guide for more information about the latest Media Composer licensing.

My facility has a lot of freelance editors coming and going. What’s my best option for adding Media Composer?

Avid offers Media Composer and Media Composer | Ultimate monthly (only available from Avid), annual, 2-year, and 3- year subscriptions, as well as Media Composer | Ultimate floating license offerings, making it easy for you to scale your workgroup as needed—even at a moment’s notice. With subscriptions, you can add additional Media Composer seats on a month-to-month basis when production demands extra editors, and scale them back between jobs. With floating licensing, you can quickly and easily distribute licenses across your facility—on demand— from a single, centralized server, making deployment quick and easy. And because Media Composer | Ultimate editors can collaborate both locally and remotely, you can extend your production beyond the walls of your facility.

I rely on being able to edit in real time, but high-res media files are huge.

Thanks to the Avid DNxHR codec, Media Composer and Media Composer | Ultimate can handle real-time 2K, Ultra HD, and 4K editing, with support for resolutions up to 8K. You can get multiple streams of playback when using lower bitrate DNxHR compression levels, depending on your system configuration. To use higher bitrate DNxHR compression levels, you will need a high-performance workstation and high-speed connectivity to your storage system. Media Composer also plays several formats natively, included ProRes and XAVC media. For optimized performance with other formats, you can convert/transcode your original camera source material to DNxHR in the background while editing.

There are so many different 2K and 4K formats, and I need flexibility.

Media Composer and Media Composer | Ultimate support a variety of high-res formats, including 2K DCI, UltraHD-1 (or UHD-1), and 4K DCI, and it supports a wide range of frame rates, including 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 47.95, 48, 50, 59.94, and 60.

Transcoding media and rendering effects take a long time and I can’t afford the extended wait time that 2K/4K will bring.

Media Composer and Media Composer | Ultimate offer background transcoding and rendering, enabling you to continue working without the wait. This is especially valuable since 4K media can take 4x longer to process than HD media. Your exact transcoding and rendering times will vary, depending on your computer, storage bandwidth, the specific codec, the frame size, and the frame rate.

I work with high-res and HD media—will I need to choose between DNxHR and DNxHD, and what about ProRes, XAVC, and other formats?

You can use all supported codecs together—simultaneously—in Media Composer and Media Composer | Ultimate. DNxHR is completely backwards compatible with DNxHD. And because Media Composer can also decode Apple ProRes, Canon XF-AVC, Panasonic AVC-I, Sony XAVC, RED, and many other formats, you can mix DNxHR, DNxHD, and a wide range of other media types in the same timeline.

Avid seems to have done away with providing upgrades for Media Composer—how do I get all of the new features going forward?

If you subscribe to Media Composer or Media Composer | Ultimate, you have access to all new software releases as they become available throughout your subscription. If you own a Media Composer perpetual license (now known as a Media Composer | Legacy Perpetual license) and have an active Media Composer 1-Year Software Updates + Support Plan (formerly known as an Annual Upgrade and Support Plan) you also have access to all new software releases as they become available—be sure to renew your plan annually to continue receiving the latest updates.

How often will Avid release new updates for Media Composer?

The great thing about no longer having to tie features to a major software release is that Avid now has the flexibility to release new tools, features, functionality, and fixes as soon as they are developed and tested. That’s why Avid has been releasing—and will continue to deliver—a steady stream of updates throughout the year. You must have an active Media Composer or Media Composer | Ultimate subscription or 1-Year Software Updates + Support Plan to receive these updates in your Avid Account.

Can I still get Media Composer through my favorite reseller?

Yes, you can purchase Media Composer and Media Composer | Ultimate subscriptions, Media Composer | Legacy Perpetual licenses, and floating licenses from your local reseller as before. However, monthly subscriptions are only available through the online Avid Store.

With a subscription, can I use Media Composer on more than one computer if I’m at work and then want to take a project home on my laptop?

No. Whether you have a monthly, annual, 2-year, or 3-year subscription, your Media Composer or Media Composer | Ultimate license can only be used on a single computer.


Avid's Product Announcement Videos

Media Composer — The professional’s choice for creative editorial

Pro Tools — Power your sound with the tools that power the industry

Sibelius — The fastest, smartest, easiest way to write and share music

AvidGuidesMedia composerMedia composer | ultimateNlePro toolsSibeliusVideo editing

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