Media Composer 2.7: Worth the Price?

DV by Frank Capria Media ComposerA great editor in an expensive package. If you can justify the cost, you can’t go wrong with Media Composer. For the better part of the past 15 years, Avid has been my preferred editing platform. Throughout the 1990s, Avid systems were head and shoulders above the competition in usability, making me more productive. But, lately, the ground has shifted. Other NLEs come close to or match Avid in basic usability and stability. All leading editing systems can now deliver pristine image quality. And the prices of systems have plummeted, as Apple and Adobe are now pushing complete software suites that include DVD authoring, motion graphics and audio sweetening applications. The logical question is: how does Avid justify Media Composer 2.7, a $4,995 software-only NLE? (To add 3D from SoftImage, Avid FX compositing tools by Boris FX, and Avid DVD by Sonic is an additional $1,295.) Avid has touted its Xpress Pro editor at $1,695 as its direct answer to Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro. Media Composer, previous to version 2.5, had only been available in combination with Avid’s proprietary Adrenaline hardware. The software-only version of Avid Media Composer has the same feature set of its hardware-paired sibling, and can used with Avid Mojo SDI, Adrenaline and Adrenaline with Avid DNxcel (HD). Version 2.7, released just prior to NAB 2007, is the first version of Media Composer to work with Intel-based Macs. Like other Avid software-only NLEs, it ships with both Mac OSX and Windows XP versions in the same box. The software remains dongle-protected, which means Media Composer owners can install the software on multiple machines, but are limited to running one seat at time. (I have always been a fan of this approach—it makes managing multiple workstation facilities much easier.) read more...

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