Avid as a company means a lot to the post-production industry. You only need to look at the recent turnout at the Avid Connect London event to see that. Ever since the introduction of The Avid/1 Media Composer at NAB in 1989 (I wasn’t even born then!) they have helped create, edit and deliver some of the most memorable content that we have all treasured so much.
That’s 30 years of successful business! Given the history and the wide use of their products it’s fair to say Avid are one of, if not the biggest player in the post-production industry.
A New Era for Video Creation
I’d like to start with a focus on Media Composer – but before we go any further, I would encourage you to go and watch the original demonstration of Media Composer from 1989 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac1J1bLMucw . This video is incredible and although the features on show are very limited compared to what we are used to in 2019, you still get a sense of just how ground-breaking this system would have been at the time. The video itself also gives those relative newbies to the industry like myself a true understanding of the history of Avid Technology, something I hadn’t really considered before.
Since its initial release we have seen no less that 53 major feature releases of Media Composer. This is an application that is constantly updated and improved based on user feedback, industry requirements, trends, pinching some competitor’s features and 3rd party hardware and software advances. It’s a software application that has become a pivotal tool for post houses and broadcasters all over the world. As a freelance editor having Media Composer on your CV means you are instantly more hireable and that alone shows the success of this incredible software.
But Avid is more than just Media Composer. Though Media Composer is now one of many products that Avid offers, you can think of Media Composer as the catalyst to all that we see from them today.
To me this highlights the importance of the foundations laid in 1989. It’s no surprise that 30 years later Avid Media Composer is still so relevant, commanding so much from the Avid R&D budget.
So where are we now? Well we’ve seen some interesting things from the Avid camp recently. Including a fresh and welcomed change of approach regarding product announcements. No longer are customers teased with promises of features that take months or even years to materialise.
Avid NEXIS | Cloudspaces
Take Avid NEXIS | Cloudspaces as an example. Yes, we saw this coming but the maturity of the product at release is impressive and exciting. It’s easy to understand and looks like a very well thought out system that perfectly bridges on premise and cloud-based storage, which can slot straight into their customers workflows. Take a look at our in-depth review of Avid NEXIS | Cloudspaces.
MediaCentral | Editorial Management
We also saw the introduction of MediaCentral | Editorial Management, the next phase of Avid software systems within the new MediaCentral product range. It’s taken a while, but we now have an asset browsing system for companies that just don’t have the need for a full MediaCentral Production Management environment. The amount of companies that are asking for remote workflows with real native sequence-based collaboration is difficult to ignore; well here is the answer so go out and use it. And the game changer for this product is there is nothing new to learn. Its integration with Media Composer is elegant and well thought out. Seriously it’s a really useful add-on if you want your Avid Nexis to be more than just shared storage.
Avid have been busy, haven’t they?
They also recently launched the hugely successful
Media Composer 2019
This now brings me full circle, 30 years on from its original release with the recent launch of Avid Media Composer 2019, and rightly so. Arguably the biggest update in the past decade for current and new Media Composer users, here’s just some of the new features:
- Boasting a new user layout that will please both old and new users
- Avid Media Engine – for sending renders and exports to spare CPU on the network to aid in number crunching
- Additional finish and delivery tools – including IMF package creation
- The ability to customise the application to the user’s requirements, don’t want the edit assist to export, take it away, don’t want projects created in the wrong format, get rid of those pesky formats that no one uses anymore!
It’s really refreshing to see this well thought out release of Media Composer. I remember a few years back, when they last tried to change the UI there were riots all over London. This time they have made it so easy to settle back into the old Media Composer you know and love but for those who want their software to look as sexy as possible you won’t be disappointed.
Our industry is loyal, if you don’t let them down then they won’t shop around. Avid are great at customer retention and in my opinion it’s due to product reliability and the value add to the customer. So when new systems are released it’s easy to see what the vision is from Avid. I’m looking forward to getting products like MediaCentral | Editorial Management in front of our customers as I think they will be excited by what they see.
Keep up the good work Avid!