Avid Upgrades Media Composer Yet Again, to v. 5.5

Studio Daily by Scott Simmons

When talking software I think of new versions in two ways: updates and upgrades. Updates are more like the smaller “dot” releases that take a piece of software from version 2.0 to 2.0.1 or 2.1. Then there’s upgrades that move a full version from 2.0 to 3.0. Somewhere in between there’s upgradey-updates that move from, say, 5.0 to 5.5. Plus there’s the determining factor of what major features are added. The more and bigger they are, the more likely the release can be thought of as an upgrade. Finally there’s price. If you’re having to pay some good money for it, then it better be an upgrade.

This week saw an announcement from Avid that Media Composer was getting another upgrade to take what was the major release of 5.0 to 5.5. There’s a pretty big jump in the version number with quite a few features added as well as a cost to make that upgrade.

Here’s the feature list from the Avid website:

  • Capture, monitor, and output with AJA Io Express
  • Edit HDCAM SR Lite footage natively
  • Accelerate AVC-Intra workflows with Nitris DX AVC-Intra
  • Speed up editing and mixing with the Artist Series
  • Find the right clips fast with PhraseFind
  • Directly tweak transitions with the Smart Tool
  • Gain better search capabilities
  • Fuel your creativity with the Production Suite

There’s some really cool stuff in there but a few of the bullet points will require cash to be spent above the upgrade pricing.

It’s great to see AJA support for the Io Express. It costs a bit more than the base Matrox MXO2 Mini but it will allow both capture and output (as well as monitoring) for the first time ever using non-Avid hardware. This is quite the big deal for those of us who are longtime Avid users as there was a time when I don’t think anyone would have ever guessed this as possible. But it continues Avid’s commitment to openness. It’s no Kona support, but it is something. Too bad the Io Express isn’t a bit more of an attractive design — you might find yourself hiding it somewhere. read more...

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