Essential Tools for Editors: Avid Media Composer 5.0

Studiodaily blog by Scott Simmons

Today is the day when one of the bigger announcements from NAB 2010 hits the streets (at least it’s supposed to be up for download this afternoon) Looks like the downloads are up: New purchases, upgrades and trial version. To call Avid Media Composer 5.0 a useful tools for editors is a bit of an understatement I suppose … kind of like calling a wrench and socket set merely useful for a mechanic. Those are essential tools when working on a car and a non-linear editing application (be it Media Composer, Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, Vegas, whatever) is an essential tool for for editing moving picture content. Media Composer is that essential tool of choice for many and the 5.0 update brings a whole slew of changes to the application. It’ll be a big update for current Avid users as well as possibly bringing new users into the fold. Here’s 5 bullet points that describe the biggest new features of 5.0.

1. The Smart Tool – This addition to the Media Composer timeline is a new tool with several parts that can be turned totally on and off, or selectively on and off. The Smart Tool enables timeline interact that previously wasn’t possible in Media Composer which brings us to bullet point two …

2. Drag and Drop Timeline – This term drag and drop means that when the Smart Tool is enabled you can then click and drag and drop most all elements in the timeline. Clicking and dragging on edits will trim edit points. Click and dragging on an entire clip will allow you to drag and drop that clip elsewhere. That may seem rudimentary to a Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere editor but this hasn’t been possible in the past as Avid has used a different concept for its timeline interaction. With this upgrade that has changed, if you want it to.

3. Support for Matrox MXO2 Mini – Another paradigm that has changed is what many have seen to be an Achilles heel for Avid, very expensive hardware compared to the competition. The MXO2 Mini is a ?$449 box that allows for very inexpensive HD monitoring. With so much file based acquisition today it’s all many will need as there’s often no reason to capture or output to tape. Avid has announced a development kit for other hardware manufactures to write support for Avid products so there should be more to come. read more...

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