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Forums Avid Media Composer Should I AMA link or batch transcode media in Media Composer? Suggestions wanted!

  • Should I AMA link or batch transcode media in Media Composer? Suggestions wanted!

  • Luke Arndt

    August 17, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    I’m looking for some advice on a proper media workflow in Media Composer 6.

    I have hundreds of hours of 1080p video files, (.mts from Canon C100 and .mov from Canon 5D Mark III), and they are in hundreds of folders labeled with the dates shot (for instance, 2015-08-17, 2015-08-15, and so on).

    I’m trying to figure out the best way to use this video inside of MC6.

    Our standard approach has been to create new bin with folder name (2015-08-17), then import and transcode the media to DNxHD 36. This works, except it takes an extremely long time both from a CPU standpoint and then it requires a lot of attention in order to create a new bin for each folder, import the files, tell MC to transcode them, and then wait a while for the CPU to do its work.

    So I guess I’m looking for a better way. With the amount of footage we have, I know it’s going to take time to transcode. It makes me wonder if AMA linking might not be a bad idea, especially if I had a fast enough computer that can deal with AMA route.

    Or, if it’s still smarter to stick with transcoding, is there perhaps a better workflow? Perhaps I could select all 100-ish folders at once and tell MC to transcode everything… and then just check back in a month once it all finishes? 🙂

    I’m open to ideas! I’m just trying to figure out the smartest way to approach this. Would very much appreciate any suggestions.

    Thank you!


  • Michael Phillips

    August 17, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    The problem with AMA is that you never know when it will become a hindrance to your editing process and then you are stuck with transcoding sequences, sources, relinking to transcodes, etc. Seeing that you have a lot of footage, I would recommend transcoding via AMA up front.

    The transcoding will be muc faster than an import as it uses more cores, but you will still have to create your bin structure naming and organization manually. I wish they would develop features to be more widespread rather than just use folder name for DPX file naming…


  • Luke Arndt

    August 17, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    Appreciate the insight, Michael.

    With the concerns about AMA becoming a hindrance, is it possible to “blow it out of the water” with a top-of-the-line computer? Maybe that’s not yet feasible, but it wouldn’t surprise me if at some point MC could handle anything you throw at it without the need to transcode, providing the computer is fast enough.

  • Shane Ross

    August 17, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Sorry, the AVCHD codec and H.264 codecs are very compressed and just not manageable in Avid. Top of the line computer or no…Avid isn’t designed to tackle them in that manner. Premiere Pro is…if you get really fast processors and a kick ass graphics card that enables CUDA, and GOBS of RAM, then Premiere will be able to deal with this format, smoothly.

    Unfortunately Avid doesn’t enable CUDA, nor leverage RAM as much. Yes, the faster processors and more RAM will help, but it’s the decoding on the fly that Avid just isn’t designed for. AMA is for accessing, and CAN work on some formats (Like MXF XDCAM files)…but still, best to consolidate if it is MXF, or transcode if not.

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

  • Luke Arndt

    August 18, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    I really appreciate that info!

    With that in mind, does it sounds like my workflow is about the most ideal for transcoding such a volume of footage? It would be nice if there was some way to tell Media Composer to transcode EVERYTHING in this folder, including all its subfolders, and then just let it churn away for days and days.

  • Shane Ross

    August 18, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Well, AMA link everything first…bring EVERYTHING in. And then transcode. Have it churn for days. And if you are running MC 8.3 or later, you can have it transcode in the background and continue to work.

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

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