Kicking the Tires on Avid Media Composer 6

the Editblog on PVC by Scott Simmons

The rewritten application is now 64 bit, all new and yet very familiar at the same time.

Avid Media Composer 6 began shipping last week after being announced just under a month ago. The release has seen quite a bit of press as it was teased back in the summer and a large part of that tease was letting users know what they could expect when this version came along. I haven’t had a chance to really pound MC6 as of yet since it just shipped but I have been kicking the tires on it for the last few days. Keep an eye on That Post Show for upcoming episodes all about MC6.

It’s a big release both under the hood and on the surface. Under the hood brings a full 64bit port of the application while the surface brings about an updated user interface. It’s rather obvious to look at a big release like MC6 in the context of its competitors, Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro, as they’ve all gotten big updates with three entirely different philosophies as they go to battle for the future of non-linear editing.

We all know what happened from Final Cut Pro 7 to Final Cut Pro X. Apple thinks they know better than the user base as to what editors need so they made FCP into a totally different application. While it’s a modern application that does modern things, like edit with great speed and allow for background processes, it simplifies the traditional editing interface that FCP users have come to know and removes a number of tools we’ve used for years while trying to simplify others and add new ones entirely. It’s an approach that has been controversial to say the least and there’s a lot of differing opinions on whether Apple has succeeded. The fact is that only Apple could have done such a thing as both Avid and Adobe could never afford to alienate that much of an installed user base.

Adobe updated Premiere Pro a couple of versions ago with blistering playback performance back at version 5.0 (it’s now at 5.5). Adobe concentrated on performance for all the different native camera formats with the Mercury Playback engine that, when accelerated with NVIDIA CUDA technology, can provide realtime playback and effects that has never been seen before on a desktop NLE. While PPro has made a lot of extra inroads since FCPX came along Adobe’s real weapon in this NLE war will be when CS6 ships, presumably next year at NAB. read more...

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