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Avid announces Media Composer 5.5

Interview with Angus Mackay, Marketing Manager, Avid

Interview with Angus Mackay, Marketing Manager Avid (part 1)

Interview with Angus Mackay, Marketing Manager Avid (part 2)

Announced at BVE in London is the release by Avid of Media Composer 5.5.

In the above interview, Angus Mackay, Marketing Manager, Avid, runs through key new features of Media Composer 5.5, and also details the openness of the Avid platform in working with additional hardware and other systems.

Avid releases Media Composer 5.5

Avid has released an upgrade to its Media Composer video editing software for Mac and Windows -- along with new versions of its NewsCutter news editing tool and the Symphony finishing system.

Media Composer 5.5, NewsCutter 9.5 and Symphony 5.5 gain the PhraseFind add-on. This allows editors to quickly find clips and segments by searching for words or phrases used in audio tracks. It uses the same Nexidia phonetic indexing engine found in the ScriptSync plug-in, which is designed to match dialogue to a script.

The new versions of Media Composer and NewsCutter add support for AJA's Io Express, a low-cost video input and output interface. This adds to the support for Matrox MX02 Mini monitoring hardware added in Media Composer 5. Editors can also now leverage Artist Mix, Artist Control and Artist Transport control surfaces (formerly from Euphonix).

The growing support for third-party hardware from a company that has traditionally focussed on its own boards and devices shows that Avid is trying to win over current users of other editing software, especially Apple Final Cut Pro, by allowing Media Composer to work with the hardware they already own. Support for other hardware is expected to be added in future releases.

Also with Final Cut users in mind, Avid has added direct timeline control of transitions as an alternative to using separate transition tools.

Editors using the applications with the Nitris DX hardware can gain support for real-time capture and increased playback streams of Panasonic AVC-Intra media through a user-installable chip.

Other new features include support for Sony's HDCAM SR Lite format (through the AMA framework), improved search, and support for Pro Tools hardware.

The new versions are expected to ship on March 8.

Key new features include.

  • Edit HDCAM SR Lite footage natively
  • Speed up editing and mixing with the Artist Series
  • Gain better search capabilities
  • Capture, monitor, and output video with support for the AJA Io Express interface
  • Natively access and edit Sony HDCAM SR Lite media through AMA (Avid Media Access)
  • Accelerate Panasonic AVC-Intra projects—and use multiple streams—with support for the new Nitris DX AVC-Intra hardware interface
  • Control video and audio editing/mixing with EUCON support for Artist Control, Artist Mix, and Artist Transport control surfaces 
  • Search for clips with support for the new PhraseFind option
  • Directly manipulate transitions in the timeline with the expanded Smart Tool
  • Quickly find files across local and shared storage bins using the improved Find tool
  • Capture and monitor audio in Media Composer projects using Pro Tools hardware
  • Specify audio track formats during import or through AMA, and expand your creative palette with 20 included AIR effects plug-ins
  • Get more flexibility with audio signal routing when sending material to air (Send to Playback), with up to 16 audio output channels
  • View portions of the software interface in localized languages, including Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, French, Spanish, German, and Italian
  • Get better Long GOP performance when using Send to Playback with AirSpeed servers
  • Use proxies of H.264 material in AirSpeed MultiStream environments for faster response time and increased stream counts
  • New format support with Matrox MX02 Mini now includes SD 23.976, 720p 23.98, 1080p 23.98, 1080p 24, 1080p 25, and 1080p 29.97 as well as the ability to select PsF or true P output in 1080p modes. Also MX02 Mini with Max acceleration has been qualified on Mac OS systems.

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