AVID MEDIA COMPOSER 5 – A FROG’S EYE VIEW

Little Frog in High Def by Shane Ross

OK, I am NOT going to say that Avid Media Composer 5.0 is a “game changer.” Mainly because I hate that term. And I don’t think that it is changing the editing game. But, what it is doing is adding more tools to make it a better application. Hmmm…well, I might actually have to change my thoughts on the term “game changer,” because it is actually changing the game, just not the game you all are thinking about. The game Avid is changing is the one it has been playing with it’s user base.

Initially Avid was good. They listened to the needs of the editors and incorporated many things they needed to do in early versions of Media Composer. But then they started to slip, and get lazy…or just plain neglectful. If we wanted a feature, they got around to giving it to us eventually, but they’d charge us $14,000 to “activate the new feature.” They got comfortable in their position and ignored the needs of their base.

But now the game HAS changed. Avid is not only listening to the editors and end users of their products (meaning post supervisors and facilites managers too), but they are actively seeking out our advice…and incorporate it into their latest releases. There was this great tool that we users of Final Cut Pro really rely on, and love. It is Select All Downstream, or Upstream…or between IN and OUT points. I myself use this daily. When we asked Avid to add that to Media Composer…low and behold, in Media Composer 3.0.5…there it was. And when we asked them to support the new camera formats…in less time than their usual record of a year or two, they listened to us. In fact, they are listening to us so much now, and taking our advice so much now, that they come out with a new MAJOR release of Avid Media Composer every 6-9 months or so. So fast that I personally have told them that they really need to slow down. Why? Because many large facilities and old guard post houses would be looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars for new upgrades, because they’d need to upgrade 12-40 bays, including hardware to view on client monitors. And historically a fully decked out Avid MC would cost tens of thousands of dollars. read more...

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