Latest post Thu, Sep 1 2022 7:51 PM by Robert Bowlus. 14 replies.
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  • Thu, Aug 18 2022 8:54 AM

    • TMVC
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    Is Avid Media Composer Going to be Obsolete?

    Not sure which forum this should go to, but since we've been using MC on Mac, this seems as good a place as any.

    We've been using Avid for about 25 years in TV and it remains our choice for an editing tool based on its stability and no-nonsense approach.  That has come with trade-offs obviously which we've had to live with.  A primitive Title tool (and buggy upgrade), limited plug-in support (the MC Plug-in page has zero video plugins listed as of this post: https://www.avid.com/media-composer/plugins) and perhaps the biggest one that we cannot ignore - the lack of a growing editor base worldwide.  Not in Hollywood where it's still touted as the standard, mind you, but across smaller production companies in places like Asia where we are.

    What bothers us is the way Avid remain invisible in today's marketplace, and relies on its legacy enterprise and other users.  Yet unlike Protools, which is the audio mix standard, Media Composer seems to be pretty much an unknown quantity for many new editors. Why? A lack of marketing and user engagement.  

    For years, most schools have been using Adobe Premiere and prior to that, Final Cut Pro (not X).  On their own, indie users now have more choices like Davinci Resolve and view Avid with suspicion.  It boils down to production companies to introduce it to new editors, and become ambassadors, for lack of a better term, for the tool.

    Even worse, it's taken MC a long time (by today's standards) to get this up and running with newer computers (Apple Silicon). We don't have much of a choice and perhaps have to convert to PC if we're upgrading, sure.  The point is, if it takes a long time, if ever, to work natively with the preferred computer of choice - then that automatically limits its appeal to current users and people looking to upgrade in that area.  And Macs are preferred by many creative people.

    Had a look at the revenues and it's nice to see that things are growing.  But the mindset still seems too inward.  This is no longer a tool that should only appeal to a specialised crowd that valued it for EDL, Film conforming, etc. It's an editing tool that has to start being available.  Yes, we understand if the pockets aren't as deep as Adobe's - but isn't it weird that a stable, reliable and more usable tool (especially for long-form work) fails to capture the imagination of users?  Education is needed.  Been saying that for years.  Avid First was something but still not enough to tip this precarious balance.

    Eventually, we may have to jump ship - not because we want to, but because after all the tweaks under the hood, it won't matter to the new users in today's editing world.  Not sure how the future looks for Avid or who's driving it, but user engagement has to do more than work with the converted.  Not asking to be Tiktok friendly, but just to be present so people even know you exist as an option.

    If anyone from Avid is reading - pls. forward this to your marketing folks.

     

  • Fri, Aug 19 2022 9:33 AM In reply to

    Re: Is Avid Media Composer Going to be Obsolete?

    Here in the UK it's the lack of vision in pushing MCin higher education that's done the damage.

    Few places I used to teach at now offer MC but Adobe do such a good edu package it's the default.

    With the grading issues MC has Resolve has stolen that area in education and as Resolve has evolved more and more are using it as a complete tool.

    Avid seems to rely on its Hollywood base of users on one hand but is also making changes to weekend that market by trying to appeal to the Premiere Resolve users. It risks suiting nobody. 

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  • Fri, Aug 19 2022 3:30 PM In reply to

    Re: Is Avid Media Composer Going to be Obsolete?

    TMVC:
    We've been using Avid for about 25 years in TV and it remains our choice for an editing tool based on its stability and no-nonsense approach.... we may have to jump ship - not because we want to, but because after all the tweaks under the hood, it won't matter to the new users in today's editing world.  Not sure how the future looks for Avid or who's driving it, but user engagement has to do more than work with the converted.
    .

    TMVC,

    While I see your point(s) and agree mostly, I believe the essence of the problem with Avid, specifically Media composer, is exactly within a contradiction in your post. On the one hand you and your employer have been part of Media composers development cycle, able to upgrade from version to version, probably in a shared environment, and in most cases still able to use the first project you created within today's version. A 'stability' essential to the evolution of your business.

    On the other hand you see that the tools for video editing are being used in a completely changed market since 25 years ago.  And of course that has an impact on the eductional sector and editing skills taught. But that doesn't mean that the requirements for broadcast, functionality, performance and reliability wise, can be replaced and/or integrated with those of the social media/youtube editor.      

    Now, there is no doubt that both Avid AND the customer base (broadcast and large production houses) could have done a better job at making Media composer's presence in the educational system larger. But what you are asking for is for Media composer to be a tool that appeals to all. And broadcast always being a niche maket, that is complicated.

    I'm not saying broadcast/hollywood and the home editor are mutually exclusive but imho Avid should make it clear who they are designing their products for. And how their internal organisation, commercially, technically, logistics, etc... is evolving in 2022 to meet the demands for that target group.

    And from where I am sitting this is where Avid is having so much difficulty. To sell more and have more profit they want to do precisely what you ask, but as a result create a set of tools that functionally, performance and reliabilty wise, and ultimately commercially, is compromised more and more for more users.

    Also being 25 years in TV I don't have an answer on the direction Avid should take keeping them in business for another 25 years. It depends on the evolution of our industry and the role of broadcast in it, if any. What I do know is that if you continue to build on the, in essence, same architecture, functional design and integration in Media composer, Mediacentral production (Interplay), Mediacentral newsroom (iNews), Mediacentral (Cloud) UX, etc... and choose not to, or can't, regularly overhaul and expand this set of products you essentially made it clear who the products are for. 

     

    From the old Apple Quadro 950 to HP Z8xx. My current own systems: 1x Z420 E5 1650 32GB memory quadro K2200, 1x XW8600, 2x 3.0Ghz Quadcore, 24GB memory... [view my complete system specs]

    Jeroen van Eekeres 

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    Always have a backup of your projects....Always!!!! Yes Always!!!!

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  • Wed, Aug 24 2022 5:58 AM In reply to

    • TMVC
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    Re: Is Avid Media Composer Going to be Obsolete?

    The call is for Avid to be more current and relevant.  Not to add more and more features to appease the masses, but to improve their engagement and compatibility.  It would be a different story if they were still running a 100% proprietary hardware + qualified PC system but at some point they realised it made no sense to do so anymore. 

    While you are right and pointed out that they serve a niche market in some ways, it's also a market that has been disrupted. Sony still sells broadcast ENG cameras that cost more than DSLRs that produce nicer images, but they work in the environment they were designed for.   Yet, who would have envisioned that DSLRs would one day be qualified for broadcast use?  The lines have blurred tech wise.  People are also finding different ways to broadcast and caption their shows.

    I would also not confuse the broadcast newsroom and playout environments with the independent production community. Away from the newsrooms, Avid needs to be a player - that's where we are coming from.  The world has changed and independent production drives a lot of content in film and broadcast.

    It seems more likely that a company such as Adobe has a chance to address and adapt to niche broadcast needs (should they wish to, but unlikely) or users will find a way to use them regardless.  It's already made its way into the broadcast editing and indie sector where it honestly struggled for years before being taking seriously for long-form.  Our first Adobe Premiere system in 1999 was totally unusable, but thanks to FCP, and the strength of After Effects / Photoshop, they've come a long way.

    Unlike camera brands like Arri or Panavision which are niche but associated with quality like a Ferrari or premium brand, Avid has different challenges in convincing people that it is a better creative tool.  That's what it boils down to.  It is certainly more reliable than the rest, but for how long more?  We have seen other editors struggle with other NLE bugs and not realise that they could use a better tool like Avid.   When you have users that are willing to put up with a tool that is buggier, then something seems to be wrong somewhere.  People may not be able to afford an Arri, which will not be suitable for all workflows, but they will acknowledge that it is a superior camera in many respects. Whatever it is, more work is needed to promote the product to potential users and sell the upsides. 

     

  • Mon, Aug 29 2022 5:23 PM In reply to

    Re: Is Avid Media Composer Going to be Obsolete?

    As an ACI, teacher and trainer in the UK, I tried to retire recently but I'm being called back to the university I worked at for 10 years to step in and run workshops for the coming academic year. I am a (very) long-time Avid user and enthusiast and yes, I have used Premiere, Resolve, FCP7 and (ugh) FCPX but we make the point that if students want a career as an editor, they MUST know enough about Media Composer to make a sensible impact at an interview. What's wrong with MC right now? Terrible implementation of drag-and-drop (I don't do that, but many moving from PPro will wish to) and grading/colour correction. The clever linking and rippling of clip data in Symphony is unique AFAIK but on a real job, I'd export an AAF to Resolve ... which is a pleasure to use, even in the free version. As for Media Composer First, pretty good, really. When money runs out and I'm a non-commercial individual, I could do most of what I need in First. Anyone remember Free DV? Oh dear :-(. Enjoy the sunshine.

    iMac i5 27", 40GB RAM, OS 11.6.4 with MC 2022.7 with Symphony option, BlackMagic 4K. 2020 MacBook Air with MC 2022.7 ... and NewsCutter 7.x on Dell... [view my complete system specs]

    With best wishes, Roger Shufflebottom

    ACI, Dorset, UK. www.avid-companion.co.uk

  • Mon, Aug 29 2022 11:29 PM In reply to

    • jef
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    Re: Is Avid Media Composer Going to be Obsolete?

    Having just started my first REAL foray into the new UI, I will say the simple fact that workspaces do not save and recall reliably will be a turnoff for any user - old Avid hand or never seen it before.  When you end up wasting time trying to use the interface the way you have been told you can, all else falls by the wayside.

    Jef

    Avid DS 11.0.2 R.I.P | MC "Well, it depends ..." 2021 iMac w Big Sur [view my complete system specs]

    _____________________________________________

    Jef Huey

    Senior Editor

  • Tue, Aug 30 2022 12:41 PM In reply to

    Re: Is Avid Media Composer Going to be Obsolete?

    jef:

    Having just started my first REAL foray into the new UI, I will say the simple fact that workspaces do not save and recall reliably will be a turnoff for any user - old Avid hand or never seen it before.  When you end up wasting time trying to use the interface the way you have been told you can, all else falls by the wayside.

    Jef

    Hey Jef

    Which version of MC are you running?

    Editing Movie Magic.

    My Equipment & System Specs

    Media Composer Ultimate 2022.7 | Pro Tools Studio 2022.7 | Avid Play | Sibelius Artist 2022.7

  • Tue, Aug 30 2022 7:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Is Avid Media Composer Going to be Obsolete?

    Let's face it, Jef is right. I spend too much time saving and resaving workspaces to get them to look the way I want. There is lots of good stuff in the recent releases but the whole UI thing has been messed up for ... who knows why? If I return to a 2018 release, I can breathe out 'Ah ..' all is good in Avid's little world. I know it's been logged, but WHY in recent releases do we see two Bin Containers when making a new project? If the engineers wanted to remove the settings from the Project Window, fair enough ... but leave the bins in there! Actually, they are in there. I Hit cmnd+9 and up comes the 'Project Window'. I can park it in a corner and see what's what. I have said it before: Bring back the Superbin. Some folk disliked it but I never knew why. It is a USER setting allowing editors to place it within their saved workspace. What's in it? BINS!

    iMac i5 27", 40GB RAM, OS 11.6.4 with MC 2022.7 with Symphony option, BlackMagic 4K. 2020 MacBook Air with MC 2022.7 ... and NewsCutter 7.x on Dell... [view my complete system specs]

    With best wishes, Roger Shufflebottom

    ACI, Dorset, UK. www.avid-companion.co.uk

  • Wed, Aug 31 2022 5:15 PM In reply to

    Re: Is Avid Media Composer Going to be Obsolete?

    I have found ways to have the new UI essentially behave like the previous interface. I actually went back and forth between 2018.12 and 2022.x. I wasn't bothered much -- BUT: I also see little to no reason to prefer the newer versions over the older ones. Save for the new export engine, but that is not something I use daily. And that worries me. Many film editors I know are still on 2018.x, nearly 4 years after the new UI was first introduced. One of the reasons is that few people see any reason to move forward. There's not enough innovation happening. At the same time, Titler+ is a total turd. It has been quite some time now that various folks at Avid have assured us they were working on it, but at this point, I'm not sure we'll ever see the day. It's really sad to see and while I think of myself as an avid Avid advocate, but I am getting a bit sceptical because of the above.

    Media Composer Symphony | PT Ultimate | Win10 HPZ | OSX MBP | ISIS5000 [view my complete system specs]
  • Wed, Aug 31 2022 5:45 PM In reply to

    • jmcbrg
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    Re: Is Avid Media Composer Going to be Obsolete?

    The only advantage to the new UI I can think of, is if you are working on a laptop with no second screen, I imagine you could set it up to have lots of things available to you on the sidebars, etc., without using a lot of screen real estate.

    Except that's not how I work. I (and I guess many others) have a two-screen setup, lots of available real estate, and I have also found ways to set it up essentially like it was in 2018.12, but there are some troublesome quirks, like bins randomly swapping places; I have the Host panel shrunk down so that I can see and access the desktop and other programs I need to have open while editing, but there doesn't seem to be a way to make the shrunken Host panel stick, I have to do that first thing when I fire up every time.

    I guess I feel a bit like, whatever, it's fine, but it is frustrating. I always say editing isn't about software, it's about storytelling, but man, some days... 

    "Doctor, it hurts when I do this..."

     

    MC 2020.12.3, Mac Pro (Late 2013) 3 GHz 8-core Xeon E5 64 GB ram, AMD D700 Mojave, JumpDesk from iMac 2017 i7 Mojave

  • Thu, Sep 1 2022 12:16 AM In reply to

    • stevecohen
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    Re: Is Avid Media Composer Going to be Obsolete?

    I only know a handful of people using the new MC UI in longform. A rental company I know of has upwards of 100 systems with just 5% on the new UI. Upgrading takes work and relearning -- a significant speed bump. And there are so few major new features that the value proposition isn't compelling.

  • Thu, Sep 1 2022 8:32 AM In reply to

    Re: Is Avid Media Composer Going to be Obsolete?

    I think the new UI (or better MC 202x as a whole) can and will eventually evolve into a functionally usable product for the large majority given enough time.

    But the questions I have are:

    - Is 2-3 years an acceptable duration? Which bug fixes/improvements should have never been needed in the first place as they shouldn't have passed quality control? How long is 'too long' for titler+, dynamic relink, slow performance, etc... to be fixed?

    - Is the duration different for a single seat home user, middle large production house or the broadcast facility using one or more integrated Avid or 3rd party products? And if so, how do they manage what is the right time to upgrade without jeopardizing their continuity installing the new versions on the systems in actual production? Should everybody have duplicate systems for testing in 2022?

    - How many releases/upgrades are acceptable (and as a result how many upgrade and downgrade cycles are acceptable) before reaching a stable release, to keep considering the development process and product roadmap as trustworthy or come to the conclusion we are part of an involuntary beta testing cycle? 

    - Is discontinuing support and development for older versions a good idea when the newer versions are still being considered 'not ready' by a significant (subjective) group of users?

    - Is discontinuing backwards compatiblity of the new mediacentral 2022 products a good idea if one or more of these products might contain problems compromising existing workflows? In other words, is forklift upgrading a viable option when one of the products might contain problems like titler+?

    - When does the subscription license model, and subscription licenses the only license type being sold, become an obligatory method of pushing users into upgrades while these upgrades might compromise existing workflows?

    And my main question being: When will the combination of above questions and their answers lead to the conclusion that customers and revenue might actually be lost if decisions are made to move forward in similar ways seen the past years?

    From the old Apple Quadro 950 to HP Z8xx. My current own systems: 1x Z420 E5 1650 32GB memory quadro K2200, 1x XW8600, 2x 3.0Ghz Quadcore, 24GB memory... [view my complete system specs]

    Jeroen van Eekeres 

    Technical director, Broadcast support engineer, Avid ACSR.

     

    Always have a backup of your projects....Always!!!! Yes Always!!!!

    A.V.I.D....... Another Version In Development

    www.mediaoffline.com

     

     

     

  • Thu, Sep 1 2022 11:52 AM In reply to

    • Mercer
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    Re: Is Avid Media Composer Going to be Obsolete?

    Job ter Burg:
    There's not enough innovation happening. At the same time, Titler+ is a total turd. It has been quite some time now that various folks at Avid have assured us they were working on it, but at this point, I'm not sure we'll ever see the day. It's really sad to see and while I think of myself as an avid Avid advocate, but I am getting a bit sceptical because of the above.

    This just about sums it all up, beautifully. There is no operational benefit to the new UI - I don't mind it but it is a cosmetic development and in many respects a step backwards, floating bins, for example, which have always made sense, have to be manually resized now and opening one produces a useless replicated pane. There has been no development for Symphony in years and the parlous ancient plugins are just taking up space; tracking is largely unusable, for instance. There has been some useless, IMV, development as well in SRT, which will be a shackle for most editors and adds nothing to core functionallity, or an editor's actual job tool, when there are already solutions out there. Facilities have them already. And Titler+, the longest development drama of a tool in Enterprise software history and they still won't admit defeat. Which would be admirable if there was any sign of it ever working properly. I've said it before but a smaller company, i.e BMD, who develop both hardware and software makes Avid's pace of product development look like suspended animation. And they are a very succesful customer focussed business too.

    But if you read Avid's anual statement (it is worth it) you will see there is much development going on with a cloud subscription infrastructure. I understand for a business, subscription makes regular revenue and leads to shareholder joy but that can be short term, when customers realise the business has moved away from focussing on them, witness Netflix. They need to get back to a customer focussed business model, that they were so good at once, pull those developers off the cloud and get them on the core product. 

    MC with Symphony option, 2022.10, HP ZBook 17 G5, i7-8850H 6 core/64GB ram/512 M2 ssd/Nvidia Quadro P5200/16GB/FHD, HP Thunderbolt Dock G2, BMD Ultrastudio... [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Sep 1 2022 1:22 PM In reply to

    • jef
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    Re: Is Avid Media Composer Going to be Obsolete?

    Philip Kapadia:

    jef:

    Having just started my first REAL foray into the new UI, I will say the simple fact that workspaces do not save and recall reliably will be a turnoff for any user - old Avid hand or never seen it before.  When you end up wasting time trying to use the interface the way you have been told you can, all else falls by the wayside.

    Jef

    Hey Jef

    Which version of MC are you running?

    2022.7 on Big Sur

     

    Avid DS 11.0.2 R.I.P | MC "Well, it depends ..." 2021 iMac w Big Sur [view my complete system specs]

    _____________________________________________

    Jef Huey

    Senior Editor

  • Thu, Sep 1 2022 7:51 PM In reply to

    Re: Is Avid Media Composer Going to be Obsolete?

    My top ten.

    1.) Cleanup the UI. I feel like I'm always moving/resizing bins.

    2.) All framerate families and resolution options available in one project. 

    3.) Fix Titler + or pay Boris to make a streamlined, simpler version of Title Studio

    4.) Completely redo the compositing engine. Effects applied to a clip ONLY effect that clip. Maintain alpha channels in exports. Here's the big one - HQ render option that uses the source resolution of a clip in the effect calculation. 3d warp on a UHD clip in a 1080P timeline will calculate from UHD. While you're add it, add motion blur to 3d warp. 

    5.) Send Filmlight roses and bundle Baselight for Avid with Media Composer Ultimate, integrate it as deep as Symphony. 

    6.) Make a bigger deal of Phrasefind (it's amazing!)- also make it easier to use. Allow numbers and apostrophes. 

    7.) Put the most powerful mastering grade mp4/HEVC encoder you can into the output panel. Hardware accelerate that thing and make gamma shifts impossible. Leverage those media encode/decode engines in the new Apple chips. 

    8.) Ready to mix? Hit the Pro Tools tab. Seamless bi-directional conform with Pro Tools. 

    9.) A tool that auto-identifies corrupt media. No more divide and conquer. 

    10.) Give half of your marketing budget to avidbeer on Youtube. But seriously, get some young influencers in the space. Many comparisons of editing software don't even mention Avid and when they do it is quickly dismissed. There is definitely a complete lack of mindshare amongst younger users.

    System 1: 2018 Imac Pro 2.5 Ghz Intel Xeon W 14-core Radeon Pro Vega 64 16GB VRAM 64GB System RAM System 2:Late 2014 5K IMAC 4 GHz Intel Core i7... [view my complete system specs]
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