Media Composer 5.5—You asked, we listened

I’m on a plane, on my way to London, where Avid will launch the next release of the Media Composer family of editing systems at Broadcast Video Expo. I brought along some industry magazines, thinking the time between boarding and when they turn off the seatbelt sign could be used to catch up on what the “trades” are saying about the industry. As I leafed through them, I came across an ad for Media Composer in CinemaEditor, the magazine of ACE (American Cinema Editors). I helped to create and place the ad, so I’m familiar with it, but just like a piece any Avid user has created, it always looks different when it’s published. The first line in the ad copy is, “You asked—we listened,” and on the eve of yet another Media Composer release, I thought I’d expand on that idea.

When I joined Avid in 2008, the company was in the midst of a complete overhaul. New management was learning about the industry Avid served and preparing the ground for the “new Avid” to grow. The executive team was embracing a new philosophy in response to the incredible changes that the industry had seen. The old way of doing things, where a handful of companies and workflows were dominant, was coming to an end. Software capabilities were replacing dedicated hardware, and the flexibility that it offered meant change was accelerated. The way things were done, and how much it cost to do them, could change overnight. And, of course, costs were coming down. So a new approach was necessary.

In marketing, Avid talked about “New Thinking.” That sounded pretty good, but what did it mean, and was it too late? Listening was one thing, doing was another. Could the once-dominant company in NLEs move quickly enough? Did it have the will to change, or was it just marketing-speak? Would customers have faith in the company that helped to make their careers flourish? Would the term “Avid editor” still have that great double meaning? read more...

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