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  • Avid Finally Drops Free Media Composer Software — Here’s What to Expect

  • Craig Seeman

    June 29, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Avid Finally Drops Free Media Composer Software — Here’s What to Expect
    https://nofilmschool.com/2017/05/avid-finally-drops-its-free-media-composer-software

    Features
    Free (email required to download)
    4 Video Tracks
    8 Audio Tracks
    Export either Quicktime Movie H.264 or DNxHD of HD raster (1080×1920) 59.94fps.
    Can link to any media (4K, UHD, HD, etc)
    Projects can have up to 5 bins

  • Michael Gissing

    June 30, 2017 at 12:56 am

    I saw a comment from an editor friend on FB that said you can’t export or import AAF or XML nor can you open a lite project in a paid version? That seems utterly pointless except for the most basic AVID training or non aspirational home movies.

    The bar has been set for free software like Resolve, HitFilm etc. This looks like a toy editor by comparison.

  • Andrew Kimery

    June 30, 2017 at 1:14 am

    Here’s my two scents from just watching the video and reading the interview.

    They said it took so long because they couldn’t just ‘turn off’ MC features, they had to make it more approachable to novices. But in the video it looks like that they just turned off MC features and didn’t change anythig in the UI to make it more approachable to novices. Of course, making significant UI changes isn’t doable if they are trying to easy people into MC.

    Also, having a bunch of editors and AE’s that have spent years (if not decades) using MC going “Wow, this is so simple!” doesn’t exactly sell me that it is, in fact, simple. Put a novice edit in front of it and tell me that it’s simple. Save the experts/advanced users for when you tell me that it’s capable as well.

  • Craig Seeman

    June 30, 2017 at 2:25 am

    [Michael Gissing] “nor can you open a lite project in a paid version”

    Basically assuring you that you can’t use this as an offline or rough cut tool. So in order to “protect” sales they also hinder user base growth. The indie film maker can’t start their project in First and then at some point say, “Now that I’m confident, like how my project is coming along, I’ll spring for the big bucks and get Media Composer with Symphony features.”

    So by “protecting” facility sales they kill indie growth. Hmm, isn’t that part of why Avid can’t grow their user base in the first place.

    But for the same free, you can start a project in Resolve, finish the project in Resolve, decide you need the facility level features and pay the soon to be reduced cost to move your project to the facility.

    Avid, when will they ever learn…

  • Oliver Peters

    June 30, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    [Craig Seeman] “Basically assuring you that you can’t use this as an offline or rough cut tool.”

    That is not its intended purpose. It’s not there to give people who could pay a free tool to use instead. That being said, I believe that an update down the road will let you migrate First projects to full projects.

    [Craig Seeman] “So by “protecting” facility sales they kill indie growth.”

    How do you figure that? A) You can use it now to completely start and finish a job. B) Its purpose is as a learning tool-gateway for people who eventually will end up working on full versions.

    [Craig Seeman] “But for the same free, you can start a project in Resolve, finish the project in Resolve,”

    Time will tell whether or not Resolve actually catches on as the NLE of choice for larger scale work. It certainly sets the bar for a free version, but that’s not the end-all-be-all of the business.

    – Oliver

    Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
    Orlando, FL
    http://www.oliverpeters.com

  • Joe Marler

    June 30, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    [Craig Seeman] “Export either Quicktime Movie H.264 or DNxHD of HD raster (1080×1920) 59.94fps.”

    The review on ProVideoCoalition says it can only export up to 720p not 1080 and posts screen caps of this: https://www.provideocoalition.com/media-composer-first-free-and-finally-shipping-after-all-these-years/

    However the Avid comparison page says it can export up to 1080 resolution, just not 4k. They may have updated it after the above review: https://www.avid.com/media-composer-first/comparison#General

    I can’t tell whether Media Composer One supports proxy mode but if it can’t do 4k there would be less need for this. It’s great for editors and educators to have another fairly full featured free option.

  • Craig Seeman

    June 30, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    [Oliver Peters] “That is not its intended purpose.”

    Clearly not and I think that’s a mistake.

    [Oliver Peters] “I believe that an update down the road will let you migrate First projects to full projects.”

    I suspect they mentioned that because it’s a door they want to keep open.

    If Avid decides that their real business is enterprise/storage then the greater demand for shared storage is a good thing. Being able to share projects from First to MC/S might foster that growth and that may be more important than pushing a few more seats of MC.

    [Oliver Peters]
    [Craig Seeman] “So by “protecting” facility sales they kill indie growth.”

    How do you figure that? “

    I think a good business goal would be to push the indie filmmaker to move from First to MC. Helping that would be an upgrade path that would allow one to continue the project. Sometimes indie film makers, in course of their work, realize they need to pay for the “power tools.”

    If First is relegated to “training tool” then filmmakers who want the option to expand their tools during a project are going to look elsewhere.

    [Oliver Peters] “Time will tell whether or not Resolve actually catches on as the NLE of choice for larger scale work. It certainly sets the bar for a free version, but that’s not the end-all-be-all of the business.”

    Resolve does have an upgrade path though. One can start in free and, if the project grows to the point where collaboration is important, one can move to the paid version as the project expands. As to whether Resolve catches on as an NLE for large scale work, I think it will for some even though “some” is an unknown quantity.

    FWIW nobody has really supplanted Avid for major feature film and broadcast TV work. There’s been some erosion it seems and Avid certainly didn’t win over the tiers below that.

    Looking at the “indie” market I see Blackmagic Resolve eventually becoming more competitive with Adobe. It may not dominant that market but Adobe will probably see erosion as well. This is a market Avid could compete in if First weren’t limited to “training tool.”

  • Craig Seeman

    June 30, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    [Joe Marler] “I can’t tell whether Media Composer One supports proxy mode but if it can’t do 4k there would be less need for this”

    My understanding is that it can handle 4K sources (except DNxHR) in 1080 timelines.

  • Shane Ross

    June 30, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    [Michael Gissing] “an editor friend on FB that said you can’t export or import AAF or XML”

    You can’t export an XML from the full Avid either… It’s not in it’s wheelhouse. AAF export is mainly used for audio and to get to Resolve. The point of Avid First is to learn how to use Avid, for free. DO be able to do self contained projects to figure out how to learn the app the TV and Feature people use…

    Shane
    Little Frog Post
    Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def

  • Robin S. Kurz

    July 2, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    Waaaaaaay too little, waaaaaay too late if you ask me.

    Even iMovie is upwards compatible (with zero export dance, just a simple menu point!) and can easily edit 4K natively, never mind all the other free options that offer even more. So if you’re going to do something like this (especially YEARS too late), then it better be a doozy or AT LEAST on par with the competition, whatever you think that may be. And I personally don’t buy the whole “It took so long because it’s SO hard to do!” thing. Nothing other than their “super-pro” arrogance kept them from doing it earlier.

    Either way, I say they’re still screwed. Nice try though. The last rearing of a dead NLE from where I stand.

    Seriously… what motivation could anyone outside of the existing, minuscule Avid market have to get going on this? How is this anything but a (failed, if you know what you’re looking at) PR vehicle?

    – RK

    ____________________________________________________
    Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!

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