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Avid goes free: Meet Media Composer First

3 minute read

RedSharkMedia Composer First being announced live on stage in Vegas

In case you thought it was expensive to use Media Composer: how about getting it for nothing?

There’s nothing like giving something away to get people’s attention and that’s what Avid’s doing with their new version of Media Composer: Media Composer First.

This is a well trodden path. Lightworks has had a free version for years and last week we heard about a free version of Media 100. Avid is also not new to the idea: It announced a free version of ProTools this time last year.

As you’d expect, this is not a fully functional version of Media Composer: it’s limited to four video tracks and eight audio tracks. There’s a selection of effects but they’re mostly pre-set or templated. But for the intended user base, that’s not going to be an issue, because it’s only intended to be a stopgap - an easy to use stepping stone on the way to full price and full function Media Composerdom.

It’s a smart move by Avid. The software will get a lot of attention. And a lot of users too. This is indeed a cut-down version, but it has important additions including a simplified user interface that walks new users through the formerly (and necessarily) somewhat unintuitive process of setting up projects etc.

And it’s certainly not short of features. There’s a lot of stuff that new users will find helpful to get their small projects delivered. One of which is Avid Everywhere - the all-encompassing interconnected software ecosystem that Avid has been developing for the last few years, making it easier to share projects and collaborate with other users.

Media Composer First will be available for download in June from Avid's website

Here’s Avid’s press release in full:

Avid Unveils Media Composer | First—A Free Version of the Industry- standard Video Editing System

Fully featured video editing solution will enable anyone to create professional-quality videos for free, based on the same creative tools that the industry’s top professionals rely upon

AVID CONNECT, LAS VEGAS, April 22, 2017 – Avid® (Nasdaq:AVID), a leading global media technology provider for the creation, distribution, and monetization of media assets for global media organizations, enterprise users and individual creative professionals, today announced the upcoming availability of Avid Media Composer® | First, a free version of the industry-standard video editing system. Media Composer | First is a brand new, fully featured video editing solution that provides aspiring creative professionals, students, and those just starting their professional careers with free access to the same creative tools used by the most successful and acclaimed filmmakers and television program creators in the world. And because it’s powered by the Avid MediaCentral® Platform, “First” users can also easily connect and collaborate with other aspiring creative and media professionals through the Avid Artist Community. Avid will showcase Media Composer | First at the Avid booth during NAB 2017 (Booth #SU902).

“It can be really difficult for up-and-coming filmmakers, television program creators and digital media producers to get access to the right tools to tell their stories in a compelling way. Consumer applications are fun to play with but will only take you so far,” said Dana Ruzicka, chief product officer, Avid. “With Media Composer | First, we’re giving any aspiring creative pros access to the same tools used by top industry professionals—for free! And with access to the Avid Artist Community, First users can connect with other aspiring creatives and media professionals, collaborate and get their work out there for others to see.”

Media Composer | First provides users with a comprehensive yet simple-to-use editing toolset with many of the same features and functionality that award-winning Media Composer editors rely on, in a new powerful, streamlined interface. With four video tracks, eight audio tracks, and a host of built-in visual effects, transitions, color correction presets and titling templates, users can quickly cut together layers of video, dialog, music and sound effects to produce captivating, professional-quality video content. Media Composer | First also allows easy sharing, with easy publishing to popular social media channels including YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook.

“I’ve worked with other tools, but Avid’s model is the most efficient by far,” said Emmy® Award-winning editor, Stuart Bass, ACE (The Office, Arrested Development, Pushing Daisies). “Learning Avid’s industry-standard tools has been essential in making me the successful editor that I am today.”

Avid’s vibrant Artist Community, an online community designed to foster creative connections and professional opportunities, together with Media Composer | First and Pro Tools® | First, enables emerging creative and media talent to more easily connect, fostering creative and professional growth and opportunities.

Avid Media Composer | First will be available in June 2017 as a free software download through the Avid website.

Tags: Post & VFX