Impressions of Lightworks on the Mac

Rick Young's Movie Machine

The long-anticipated Lightworks for Mac has now been released as a public Beta. Anyone can download this to test the application and then decide if you want to sign up for the paid version, at £4.99 per month or £49.99 per year, or you can use the free version with more limited codec support. You can also buy the software for £179.99 and therefore avoid paying on-going monthly or yearly charges.

Having installed the software, opened it and played with Lightworks for several hours, I have to save this has exceeded my expectations at every level of what I would have expected for the Mac release.

First – this is beta software. I’m reluctant to test Beta software much of the time as you never know how stable it will be and whether it will mess up an other-wise working system. I loaded this onto an older 17 inch MacBook Pro, not my main machine, and have to say the Lightworks Beta seems to be rock-solid and very close to being ready for release.
Something I always look at when investigating any editing system is how responsive is it and how stable it is. Lightworks in wonderfully responsive. This isn’t surprising as Lightworks is designed to work with an external controller, in fact this controller is legendary, first having appeared with Lightworks systems in the early 1990s. At this time there was a war between Avid and Lightworks. Avid won the war, however Lightworks survived. The result is a mature system, with over 2 decades of refinement. The controller – available for £1850 – is a tactile way to play and shuttle through your media; very similar to operating the film controller on a Steenbeck. The responsiveness and feel of the system is fluid and feels great using the JKL keys and spacebar for shuttling forward and backwards. I have no doubt this would be fantastic with the controller in your hands. read more...

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