Getting To Work In Media Composer
Today is the first day that I’ve enjoyed editing in Media Composer. I feel like I might be starting to see why people love it so much. Hopefully this also means I’ve reached that tipping point where that I’ve learnt enough to be able to get on with editing and with a minimal level of frustration. But now. Media Composer 7!
New Features in Media Composer 7
At NAB 2013 Avid announced that on June 27th (sigh) Media Composer 7 will be available for a $299 upgrade*. The biggest new features are:
Background transcoding of your AMA files via Dynamic Media Folders.
Frame Flex – Reframe any media above 1920 x 1080 to fit. Also 1D/3D LUT support.
Some added audio features like cached waveforms, a master volume fader and clip by clip gain control (How are these considered new updates – they should come with an apology for the delay!)
Studio Daily also points out that “while AMA was formerly a read-only architecture, now it’s read and write, meaning you can write out to the same formats that you ingest.” Scott Simmons also tweeted that “QuickTime AMA links will support Alphas. Bring them in as a matte key.” Scott has a more detailed write up the new features on PVC and you can see him in the flesh talking about MC7 (and Lightworks) below.
Media Composer 7 Video Demo
You can check out a full 20 minute demo of some of these new features at work in MC7 as well as the (impressive) Interplay Sphere integration on the Avid Media Composer 7 mini site. Demo video direct link.
*Thought on paying for upgrades: I wonder how long this kind of model will continue if people like Blackmagic Design are giving away their upgrades to existing customers for free (although they have hardware to sell with it which makes a big economic difference) and players like Adobe are effectively doing the same with their cloud subscription service. From memory I also believe FCPX updates have been free too.
Michael Kammes has posted a balanced and thoughtful review of Avid’s announcements on his own blog which is well worth a read. He makes an important clarification on the new ‘background transcoding’ feature:
Let’s be clear about this. This is not background rendering. This is not background exporting. These are watch folders with user customizable profiles enabling the ability to import/transcode media into various formats for use with Media Composer, as well as consolidate or move media. Background rendering is planned for the future – however with no ETA. To assist, Media Composer presents a UI of the progress of the jobs to be accomplished in the background for the user to track progress, as well as cancel, pause or prioritize items. This is the first step (much like AMA for XDCAM in v3.5) in creating a robust framework which to expand upon in the future. As a side note, for those efficiency speed demons out there – there is no frame chase….the file must be fully transcoded before you can begin to edit with it.