MC5 Rides Again

Splice Here by Steve Cohen

Media Composer 5 will be released a week from tomorrow, and without question, it represents the biggest upgrade Avid has offered in years — since the last version 5, to be exact, way back in 1994, when the modern Media Composer was born. The symmetry is the result of Avid resetting its numbering scheme in 2003. So here we are at version 5 again. Five was — and is — a very good number for Avid. I can still remember the cheering at the user group meetings. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see that same excitement this time.

This version brings timeline changes that should appeal to the Final Cut Pro crowd and that arguably go FCP one better, making it easy to grab-and-drag in the timeline without monkeying with a tool palette. That’s because Avid’s new tools are smart, and let you select a segment or a transition or a keyframe without a trip to the toolbar. You can also stay in what used to be called Segment Mode and move around without losing clip selection.

Other changes include realtime audio effects, stereo tracks and clips, advanced keyframes for most visual effects and automatic image stabilization. And, of course, Quicktime AMA, which means that you no longer have to import and transcode Quicktime materials. Not every format is equally responsive, but with the right codec and the right hardware you won’t need to import. Red (R3D) material is handled natively, too, along with Canon DSLR material. read more...

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