Avid announced yesterday that it will release a free version of the non-linear film and video editing software that was used to edit Avatar, Iron Man, Die Another Day, The Avengers, The Hunger Games and plenty of other blockbusters.
Media Composer is Avid’s flagship product and the company says it was used to edit every 2015 Oscar nominee for Best Picture and best Film Editing, as well as produce 99% of all network broadcast prime time television in North America.
This move is intended to offer aspiring video professionals, video enthusiasts and students an introduction to the paid version, and as such it will include several limitations.
The limited version, called Media Composer | First, will still allow you to work on a project from start to finish and will be released “later this year”.
Media Composer, as you’d expect from such a capable piece of software, is rather complicated, full of features and can be intimidating to anyone who is used to other software. It can be twice as daunting to anyone completely new to video editing software.
That’s where Media Composer | First comes in. The scaled-down software will be a lean version enabling new users to use it without getting lost in all the features, and users experienced in other software will be able to get a feel of Media Composer’s workflow and potential.
This user-friendly interface will come at a cost (feature-wise) but Avid aren’t quick to specify, as can be seen in their FAQ sheet:
“At this time we aren’t releasing detailed information on the feature set, as Media Composer | First is still in development, and won’t be available until later in 2015. However you can expect a limited feature set that makes Media Composer | First less intimidating to new users, but also less appealing to power users. You can expect fewer settings, menus, timeline tracks, monitor features, bin features, titling features, effects and other features than the full Media Composer. You can also expect that Media Composer | First won’t work with Avid Interplay Production, Interplay MAM, or MediaCentral UX, and that shared projects won’t be supported on ISIS storage systems. In addition, all projects will be stored in the cloud, and you’ll get a limited number of projects and a limited amount of cloud storage space. There will be options to expand Media Composer | First, from additional project and storage capacity to plug-ins, options, and additional applications to stock footage and music to upgrades to the full Media Composer”.
It is important to note that the free version will be upgradeable with various paid plug-ins, extra cloud storage space, etc. Users will also be able to upgrade their Media Composer | First copy to a fully enabled version of the professional Media Composer.