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Old November 6th, 2007, 10:42 PM   #1
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What Avid Needs to Do

I have been watching and reading some threads over on the Avid Forum reagarding a "Open Letter to Avid" expressing many many concerns and frustrations with a lack of many things reagrding the overall platform.

Without turning this into an Avid vs. FCP, Adobe, Edius, thread, I would like to have Avid users list some of their overriding issues. It can be cost, interface, lack of certain project settings and technical or feature set suggestions. But I swear I will ask Chris Hurd to shut down this thread if it turns into a discussion of FCP is better than Avid or that Avid is better than FCP. That type disussion doesn't give Avid clear look at us and our needs.

I can now tell you that Avid is starting to listen again, like it did back in the 90's.

I've had my frustrations with Avid, but let's keep it cool. I know for a fact that Avid is reading this thread.

Cheers
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Old November 6th, 2007, 11:08 PM   #2
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Okay here's my list for Avid.

Products:
1. Make version 3.0 Media Composer, price it at around $2,000 or less.
2. Get rid of Xpress or price it at around $800
3. Open up the DNXHD codec for 3rd party development, I could see a Convergent type recording device with DNXHD. Or develop a DNXHD codec recorder.
4. Develop a low cost PCIe I/O card for Xpress/Media Composer like Black Magic Design and Aja or see point #3 and let Aja or BLack Magic do it for you.
5. Work with Red on Red codec compatibility with Media Composer
6. Drop the Avid DS and reposition Symphony as the ultimate 4k fiinishing system.

Features:
1. Integrated DVD burning and eventually BluRay HDDVD. Must be within the interface, not some bundled 3rd party application.
2. Integrated 2d motion grfx
3. Redesign the transcoding process to be a little simpler. Like when you switch the timeline pane, it trancodes clips.
4. NEED A NEW TITLE TOOL. Take the Liquid titler if you have to or use something from DEko. This tool hasn't changed much at all in 10 years.

Problems:

1. Need to keep up much better with new camera and recording codecs. I know this is hard, but that will determine if you survive. We can't wait 2 years for Avid to develop support for a camera like HDV24p on the JVC.
Everyone else support it. That needs to change.

2. Drop the DNA I/O boxes or redesignn them to run on PCI/e. I mean Firewire 400 from the main box to the computer is a big bottleneck for you. I've noticed that the Mojo really slows everything down a bit. Same for the Adrenaline. Besides this technology is over 4 years old. Time to catch up
or open your standard for 3rd party support of DNXHD.

That's my list. Again keep it cool, don't bash or get angry because it won't do any good.

I know for a fact someone from Avid is reading this.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 02:10 AM   #3
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I am a Avid Liquid Chrome Xe user and with the recent changes taking place with Liquid I would like to see some upgrade path for Chrome Xe users who would like to move up.

I know about the MC upgrade offer but we are all used to working with uncompressed HD material and MC with just the Mojo just isn't going to cut it for us. It is my understanding in order to get a high quality HD I/O system for MC it has to be Adrenaline with the Dnx board. I checked and I found a used price of $30,000.00. That is a lot compared to the $2,500.00 cost of Chrome Xe. (minus the HP system of course)

Very few if any of the Chrome Xe users can afford to move up to the cost of Adrenaline but that is what we need for the type of work we do.

Chrome Xe is a pretty new product and a lot of the Xe users are a little uncomfortable right now with what options they have in the future. The nextgen product sounds like it just will not cut it for Xe users.

I understand Xe is now a Pinnacle product and I happen to be the moderator of that forum on the Pinnacle website but any upgrade offers would have to come from you.

I also agree with David about the 3rd party hardware support. The Chrome Xe users already have a Xena LHE board and it sure would be nice if we could still use it in something.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 11:45 AM   #4
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My list is pretty short.

1) It would be incredibly nice to be able to apply effects to source clips, and modify clip settings. (Like being able to flip footage 180 for use 35mm adapture users).

2) This is an echo from before, but the time it takes for Avid to recognize new cameras is pretty ridiculous. I still can't capture Canon's 24f in Avid Xpress Pro.

That's all for now. Thanks for listening! :-D
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Old November 11th, 2007, 10:06 PM   #5
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Great Comments

David you said it all well, you stole much of my thunder.

Product distinction is I believe one of their major flaws...I want to purchase another Avid soon, and am having a hard time understanding the feature set differences between Xpress & MCA (I've owned a PC MCA for 3 years, and an Xpress before that)...should I buy the Xpress with Mojo SDI, for roughly the same money as MCA without MOJO or Adrenaline? Do I really need these boxes as mostly this second unit will be used to bring I/O P2 footage thru firewire? Could I buy them and then get a "box" from someone else (AJA) for I/O as David suggests? Help us understand, maybe we'll buy more.

The other item is AVID ASSURANCE. We pay $1995 a year so that we can get software updates and technical support. But really, what do we get for that money? Minor software updates and phone answers to user questions (dont get me wrong- Avid Tech Support people are very helpful). My Avid rarely breaks (95% of the time it's USER ERRORS). However, I always tell my freelancers to call Tech Support even if they dont know simple tasks because I am paying so much YEARLY.

I used to update my support every 16 months, that way I could save a little cash, but still keep relatively current on software. A few days ago I got a call from Avid saying that if I let my contract expire, and not renew by the end of the year, they would need to charge a "reinstatement fee". TO CLARIFY, I am going to be charged money, so that they can charge me MORE money to answer a few questions and give me phone support unless I act now. This is an OUTRAGE....literally, I could have bought a new system with the amount Ive spent on Avid Assurance. Not to mention this is an OPTIONAL purchase that many of my friends with Avids dont do [they just run older versions of the software].

A friend of mine who has FCP says that for $400 [correct me if Im wrong] Apple Care takes care of the computer AND FCP. That is more like it, more reasonable. Realistically, does it cost you anything to let us download the current version of software? Give us an option to just upgrade software without phone support, and price it reasonably ($500?). I would bet a lot of people would take this option.

Avid, be more customer friendly, dont charge to charge, and keep your prices more in line.
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Old November 19th, 2007, 08:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mike Poglitsch View Post
A friend of mine who has FCP says that for $400 [correct me if Im wrong] Apple Care takes care of the computer AND FCP. That is more like it, more reasonable. Realistically, does it cost you anything to let us download the current version of software? Give us an option to just upgrade software without phone support, and price it reasonably ($500?). I would bet a lot of people would take this option.
Actually, Apple charges an extra $250 to add 2 more years of "warranty" to the hardware; $120 for "Pro Support" which means that if you have a problem you go to the front of the line at the Genius Bar at an Apple store and if there's a hardware problem replacement parts are sent next day and; $800 a year Pro Phone support for Final Cut Studio. Although less expensive it's not as all-encompassing as I've seen from Avid's offerings.

I'm watching this board because after almost 2 years of hassling with Apple/FCP issues I'm considering replacing our FCP edit suite with Avid, but who knows, maybe Apple will surprise me and get up to speed on the areas I feel they are seriously lacking.
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 11:45 PM   #7
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A file-based workflow that's as nailed down as their tape-based workflow (the best in the business). But file-based workflows is SORELY lacking in Avid. Tape is almost dead.

3:2 Pulldown should be available directly from files, not just tapes (hey, Cineform's Neo HDV can do it for $250, why not Avid!).

Maybe a mechanism for changing the project type AFTER you have captured the footage (something like a combination of Transcode and After Effects' Interpret Footage options).
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Old December 26th, 2007, 12:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Parks View Post
<snip> I would like to have Avid users list some of their overriding issues.
1. the ability to modify clips

2. PRICE!!!! What the hell is so hard about developing a software based Media Composer with w decent color corrector for under $2K??

3. Support MAc users more! Seems as if Avid updates to their Mac products are an afterthought.

4. Integrate "segment mode" better. Why do I have to come "in and out" of this mode to be able to move clips in the timeline.7

5. Learn to speak Quicktime

6. Drop the "old school editor" thinking. Basically Avid is designed to work most efficiently if you work like...let's say..."old school" editors think-
"mark in - mark out - hit record. Whereas FCP is much more computer intuitive - it's more about cut and paste, move and replace, etc..)
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Old December 26th, 2007, 06:50 PM   #9
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I'm pretty much on board with David's wish list. Essentially, merge XpressPro and MC into ONE product, open it up to 3rd party 'boards' like Aja, and price it competitively with FCP.

I know that the powers that be are struggling with not cutting off their nose to spite their collective faces. How not to pissoff the high end people by 'giving away more' for a lower price, now that they've invested.

I've also outlined what I think is a solution. We've all been caught in the 'upgrade path pinch' where you buy a product and VERY shortly afterwards, you could have gotten more for less, or something better for the same... you feel 'cheated'.(I have personally spent as much acquiring and upgrading my AXP from 3.5/With FILM package to current level, as I would have if I'd bought MC) Part of that is just the inevitable tech accelleration. But I think if AVID essentially released a MEDIA COMPOSER EXPRESS - the MC software, open to third party boards, for a price like FCP. Then to placate AXP and MC users - offer this exchange

Upgrade from AXP for.... $750 - 1000?
If you already HACE MC, then GET A SECOND COPY & Dongle for...? Half Price? I dunno... the exact costs would have to be worked out. But it seems those people already running MCA might be larger shops who could benefit from a SECOND MACHINE running a copy, while those people running AXP are more likely to only need ONE COPY anyway? Make the offer for a limited, one year window.

Just my thoughts
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Old December 27th, 2007, 12:12 PM   #10
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I could definitely get on board with that upgrade approach Richard. Also, Avid is also in a bind with how to change an interface used by lots of editors for a long time.

Mike: BTW, You can move clips around like FCP. Copy, paste,etc. is the same on both. Also, you don't have to be in segment mode to move clips around. There are 2 choices, segment and overwrite mode. It is important to have this choice or you will completely screw up you sequence timeline if you're not careful. So I hope Avid doesn't make this change. I use both depending on what I'm changing to the sequence. True that you have to be in a mode, but I like the protection from screwing up a timeline. There is nothing worse.

So far as old school, it is just a matter of choice. If you want to drag clips into a timeline, then edit, you can with Avid just as easy as FCP. If you use 3 point editing, then you can. It's not right, wrong , or even old. It depends on how you want to work.

BTW, if you are in a supervised edit session with a client in the room the last thing you want to do is start randomly dragging clips into a sequence. You will confuse them and hack them off real fast. You have to build your sequence in a collaborative, step by step fashion. Which means 3 point editing and then trimming. Both FCP and Avid work exactly the same in this regard. No difference.

I have been on a FCP system for several weeks now at a client location and most basic edit functions translated from Avid to FCP very easily.

But after seeing FCP, the main reason Avid is limping in the marketplace is price. That's it pure and simple. As an overall editor, I think Avid is much faster and responsive and given a choice now, my main edit system will stay Avid. But, because I know Avid, FCP was pretty easy to figure out. And now I can market myself on both platforms.

Cheers.
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Old December 28th, 2007, 09:07 AM   #11
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Hi all,
I want to get the new Sony EX1, that records onto SXS cards... currently AXP can import only the 25Mb/s files (HDV) and not the 35Mb/s files.
So my hope is that Avid upgrades, to allow for true HD import from this new camera.
Also, and this isn't a biggie, but I wish the error messages, when I get them, were more straightforward. Tell me what I did wrong, instead of presenting me with a string of hieroglyphics that makes no sense to anyone except the code engineer who created it.
Other than this, I'm a big fan of Avid Xpress Pro; I do want Avid to keep up with the other NLEs, though.
Cheers,
Malcolm
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Old December 28th, 2007, 09:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Parks View Post
<snip>Mike: BTW, You can move clips around like FCP. Copy, paste,etc. is the same on both. Also, you don't have to be in segment mode to move clips around. There are 2 choices, segment and overwrite mode.
Yes - that's my point you have to go in and out of segment or overwrite mode in order to move clips around on the timeline. As opposed to FCP where you can just pick up a clip and move it.

I know - I'm probably just being a picky pain in the butt. But when I've got my head in a project and I'm really moving - that little slowdown bothers me. Again - just me being nit-picky.

Since I usually don't work with clients sitting behind me the "client confusion" part is not applicable - but it is a good point if you are in that situation.

All I can tell you is I've worked with Avid systems since the early 90's. I remember when AVR 5 was a big deal ("wow - you can actually tell when a shot is out of focus!") and when 3-gig drives were the size of shoe boxes.

Yes - I am old!

I just started using FCP regularly a few years ago. These days, I find that when I work a project on FCP and then go to a project on Avid, The Avid feels slow, clunky and unintuitive in comparison.

Oh - one other Avid wish list -

I want to be able to remap ALL of the keys and have ALL of the functions mappable.

again - that's just me

mike
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Old December 28th, 2007, 10:31 AM   #13
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It's price point, and hardware support that are killing AVID in the 'mid level' market... pure and simple. As David says, in terms of workflow for the basic editing functions, there's really not a lot of difference between FCP and AVID. Whether you're a drag and drop dude or a keyboard king, you can work in any manner you want.

It's the price point, and locking Avid to Mojo and/or adrenaline DNA that keeps AVID tied up and slowed down in the midlevel market. The one man bands don't want to spring for the more expensive (albeit more EXPANSIVE) power and interface of something like Adrenaline, when they can get FCP and Kona/Majic/Aja FCP etc. Avid made Media Composer 'software only' as a direct result, but that's only half measure. They are going to have to open it up for third party boards/cards. Will they do it?

Will APPLE open up Final Cut PRO to run on PC Machines? Can you IMAGINE what would happen if Final Cut were as OPEN as Avid is, when it comes to PLATFORM SUPPORT? Do you think it would make a difference in THEIR 'hardware sales' if they opened up Final Cut to run on PC's?(Talking windows OS here, not chips) Imagine if Apple announced, "Final Cut Pro, now shipping with a copy for WINDOWS VISTA in every box!"the way that AVID ships with Mac and Win right now.

Not a chance in hell they are going to do that. Apple sells COMPUTERS, FINAL CUT PRO is barely making them money as a software app. Some sources say it's a 'loss leader', to prime the hardware sales. Without it, there would be 'hardware drain'.

So you can hardly blame AVID for not wanting to open itself to 'hardware drain' by allowing other companies to connect THEIR hardware boards and speed up the app?

It's frustrating as hell, but that's the business model we're looking at. Avid has to decide if it wants to run the risk of loosing 'hardware' sales of high end systems and support contracts but boosting 'software sales' by opening up the code.

APPLE won't do it, why should AVID?

P.S. - "Hardware support" extends to camera/format adoption speed as well. Avid is always slow to adjust, perhaps it's just the inherent problems in retooling a more sophisticated code, but it hurts.
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Old December 28th, 2007, 09:05 PM   #14
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So you can hardly blame AVID for not wanting to open itself to 'hardware drain' by allowing other companies to connect THEIR hardware boards and speed up the app?

It's frustrating as hell, but that's the business model we're looking at. Avid has to decide if it wants to run the risk of loosing 'hardware' sales of high end systems and support contracts but boosting 'software sales' by opening up the code.
Well, one thing is the big high end adrenaline, but mojo. There is no way in hell Mojo is that expensive to make, you get HD boards for that price from different manufactures.

Of course Avid has the disadvantage that they don't make a penny on sales of computers, Apple is just selling cheap software to sell you expensive workstations. BUT why are for example the HP systems certified for Avid more expensive or as expensive as the Mac Pro? Basically it's about the same machine, but the Pc is more expensive or equals the mac...
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 11:29 AM   #15
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Avid should change its specification policy - it works only with INTEL and only with NIVDIA and so on. Hardware requirements are high, I am sure this is not necessary as others show.

EX-Avid User
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