by Steve Dent
If you’re serious about video editing and are weighing up your software options, two choices usually pop up: Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Final Cut Pro X (FCPX). But Avid, Hollywood’s go-to editing company, just played a wild card by releasing Media Composer First, a limited version of its pro software, for the hard-to-resist price of “free.” I’m well-acquainted with Avid and have used Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro since they launched. I was excited to try out MC First to figure out if I’d recommend it, and the answer is a qualified yes — I like it, but it’s not for everyone.
Avid’s Media Composer was the first widely-used “nonlinear” editing system that let you make video edits instantly and nondestructively. To suit its original feature-film and TV market, Avid developed it to be fast for cutting and allow for powerful footage organization. Nowadays, it’s a complete tool for finished effects, color correction, titles and audio, as Avid also owns Pro Tools, the standard for professional audio production.
The new free version, Media Composer First, mirrors Avid’s expensive software in most ways that count. “We’ve been showing Media Composer First to Hollywood film and TV editors, and they all asked the same question: ‘What isn’t in Media Composer First? This works just like my Media Composer,'” Avid’s Matt Feury told No Film School.