With one eye firmly on the existing Final Cut Pro 7 user base, Avid today announced Media Composer 6 using the phrase “Committed to the Professional.”
When Avid CEO Kirke Arnold opened the press conference this morning, her opening remarks included the phrase: “Not only is Avid committed to its customers, we are committed to the professional.” She also mentioned that recent sales of Media Composer have exceeded Avid’s expectations.
This is the sixth major release for Media Composer, according to Avid, in about three years.
Chris Gahagan, Senior VP of Products, then presented the new software by announcing upgrades to Media Composer, Symphony, and News Cutter. My report will focus on Media Composer.
Ship date: Nov. 15, 2011
Retail price: $2,499
Upgrade from MC5.5: $299
If you purchased Media Composer October 15 or later, the upgrade is free.
The upgrade focuses on four key areas:
2. Enhanced user interface
3. Stereoscopic 3D
4. Integration with stock footage and other outside resources
All new Avid applications are now 64-bit, providing much greater speed and more scalability.
Avid now offers an SDK (Software Development Kit) – called Avid I/O – for capturing and outputting media. They also announced that, in addition to Avid, AJA, Blackmagic Design, Matrox, MOTU, and Bluefish 444 will all be providing hardware support.
Native AVCHD support.
Native encode and decode for ProRes on Macintosh.
New DNxHD 444 codec providing 444 color support.
Support for Epic R3D files.
USER INTERACTION / INTERFACE
Avid has updated the user interface, but not how the software works. Same keyboard shortcuts, same “muscle memory.” Chris made a point of saying: “We can’t disrupt our professionals.”
More deeply integrated support for Avid Color hardware, though no new color correction tools.
Two weeks ago, Avid announced ProTools 10. Today, they announced support for surround sound workflow integration between ProTools and Media Composer.
Avid’s goal was to make editing 3D as easy as editing 2D. The new version provides significant speed improvements. Tasks that “used to take days now take minutes.”
They are also provides a complete suite of tutorials and workflows that explain, for editors that are new to 3D, how to edit 3D. Training on 3D is as important, Avid says, as the tools themselves.
CONNECT EDITORS TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD
Avid announced Avid Marketplace, with their first partner “Thought Equity,” a stock-footage supplier.
Avid Marketplace provides a series of plug-ins that allow you to search, view, create proxies, and integrate final version stock footage directly within the Avid interface.
They are also offering two support plans to make on-going technical support more affordable.
All in all, some impressive announcements. I’m looking forward to learning more and sharing the news with you.
As always, your comments are welcome.
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