Find Out What’s New in Media Composer 8.0

By in Media Composer Updates, Video Editing

Announced at NAB 2014, Media Composer | Software is now available for purchase and download!

This brings us the following important changes:

• 3 types of Licenses for Media Composer | Software (Subscription, Perpetual and Floating)
• NewsCutter is now an option, with  iNEWS and ENPS integration through the NRCS Tool
• Introducing the Application Manager to manage your Subscriptions & Licenses

The new Application Manager will keep your Media Composer | Software more than ever “up-to-date”.

In this article I will be highlighting these changes, point out some new features in Media Composer | Software, and comment on previous NewsCutter features, that are now available in Media composer | Software. You can find the complete documentation of this release in this Knowledge Base Article.

It’s also worth mentioning that more NEW features will be coming very soon!

Thanks to the new way of releasing versions with Media Composer | Software through the Application Manager, great new updates will roll out much faster, without having to wait for a new .0 or .5 release.

Perpetual, Floating or Subscription License

Media Composer | Software gives you more choices in how you acquire and use the software. There are 3 License Models for the latest Software:


Subscription License (“rent it”)

Monthly and yearly subscriptions are one of the new licensing choices for those who want to add Media Composer | Software seats instantly, and at a very low cost. This enables you to add editing systems, based on your individual or business needs. With the annual subscriptions, you can save even more on your monthly costs. Find more details on pricing and subscription plans in this document: Media Composer | Software Licensing Options (PDF).

A standard Avid Support plan is included with all Media Composer | Software subscriptions and purchases. But if your support needs are more demanding, you can buy an upgrade to Elite support, either as a monthly or annual subscription plan. 


Perpetual License (“own it”)

With the Perpetual License, you can purchase and own the Software. These perpetual licenses will function forever.  Keep in mind that, with a perpetual license, you will need to renew your annual support plan each year to ensure that you continue to receive the latest updates and get access to world-class customer support if you need help.  If you cancel your auto-renewing annual Avid Support plan, you will have to purchase a full new license if you wish to continue receiving software updates and support. To take advantage of the $299 price for the Avid Support plan, you MUST renew in 2014 or renew when your existing support contract expires.

Dongles will be supported as part of Avid’s perpetual license. In this case, the only difference is that you will need to purchase a yearly Avid Support plan, which will provide new features, patches, and enhancements as well as access to standard Avid Support. Find more info on Perpetual Licenses in this document: Media Composer | Software Licensing Options (PDF).


Floating License (“lease it”)

Avid offers a Floating License Server for large sites such as broadcast and educational facilities. Floating Licenses allow you to purchase a pack of licenses and ‘lease’ them out as needed. It’s a cost effective solution to those sites that previously might have purchased 100 Media Composer applications but only had 50 users at one time: once a user closes the editing application, that license is available for another user. For information on setting up a Floating License Server, see the FlexNet Device Manager for Avid Administration Guide. You can find more info on Floating Licenses here: Media Composer | Software Floating Licensing and Benefits (PDF).

Do you still have some doubts or questions? Check out this handy Media Composer | Software Licensing FAQ .

NewsCutter Option

With the release of Media Composer | Software, the NewsCutter editing application is no longer sold as a separate application. Now you can buy the seperate NewsCutter option. This allows you to access the NRCS tool in the Media Composer editing application.

The Newsroom Computer System (NRCS) tool lets you use one computer to view stories and rundowns located on an Avid iNEWS® server or on an Electronic News Production System (ENPS®) server and to edit sequences in your Avid editing application. You use the NRCS tool to connect to an iNEWS server to access story scripts and to edit stories on Avid Media Composer | Software with NewsCutter Option. When you open a story in the NRCS tool, you can make formatting and content changes to the story instead of moving to an iNEWS workstation to do the editing. Using the duration of the story, you can build a sequence and add footage to match the scripted story. After some quick video editing, the story is ready to air.

Application Manager

Media Composer | Software comes with a new Application Manager that keeps you up-to-date with your software.

See what Avid software, AMA plug-ins, and related third-party applications you have installed on your system and get notified when new updates, upgrades, and renewals are available. Activate and download new software, updates, and upgrades from within the interface. And if you’re interested in a new product or upgrade, you can even see if a software trial is available to try it out first.

Application Manager also offers you info about your dongle, and the possibility to upgrade it to the latest version. It will even alert you about special offers, upcoming webinars, events and the latest Avid news.

Use Border Colors and Icons in Frame View

In the Bin Settings you can enable: Use Border Colors and Icons in Frame View. When selected, a colored border appears around the following:

  • Blue – Precomputes and source side motion effects
  • Green – Master clips
  • Dark Green – Subclips and Group clips
  • Red – Sequences
  • Purple – Media files in the Media Tool

Show local media icons

In the Bin Settings, you can enable Show local media icons.

Clip icons will appear blue to indicate the media is local or pink to indicate mixed resolution.

Audio Mix Mode button

An Audio Mix Mode button is now a mappable button from the More tab of the Command Palette.

Lassoing transitions behavior

Timeline Settings:  Lassoing transitions enters Trim Mode.

In Media Composer, lassoing transitions enters Trim Mode. This is the default.

Timeline Settings: Lassoing transitions enters Segment Mode.

If you are a NewsCutter user, lassoing transitions entered Segment Mode.
Select this option if you want the editing application to enter Segment Mode when lassoing transitions.

Previous NewsCutter Features

Now available in Media Composer | Software

Source/Record Toggle button

This button allows you to switch between the Source and Record Monitor. This is helpful when working on a laptop and you have resized the Source/Record monitor to one monitor. Use the Source/Record toggle button on the top left of the monitor to switch between Source and Record monitors.

Alternate Edit

Using Alternate Edit mode allows you to overwrite a selected clip in a sequence with several clips located in a special bin called Alternate Edits. To do this, you place the position indicator on a clip in the Timeline and click the Alternate Edit button. Each Alternate Edit replaces the clip where the position indicator is located with a clip from the Alternate Edits bin.

Quick Record Mode

Quick Record mode allows the deck to control the capture of media into Avid editing systems. In Quick Record mode, your Avid editing application starts capturing automatically whenever the servo-lock signal is detected from the deck. When Servo Lock mode is detected (the deck is playing), capturing begins and continues until play is stopped, at which point it will wait for the next servo-lock signal.

Satellite Mode

Satellite Mode through LTC (longitudinal or linear timecode) from an external source lets you capture from multiple sources at the same time while recording to tape. If your facility has a central timecode generator you can use that clock to send identical timecode to all systems. You can run this timecode output directly to your Avid system through the LTC IN connection available on some Avid input/output hardware. Satellite mode using external timecode is especially useful for live events, dramatic multicamera shows, and video material coming in on routers that do not support timecode. You can start editing immediately after the shoot without waiting to capture from the backup reference tapes.

Automatic Voice-Over

The Automatic Voice-Over feature (Auto VO) lets you automatically remove certain segments from a sequence based upon their relationship to a selected audio track.

Recording Voice Over Narration Using the Capture Tool

The Capture tool lets you record up to two channels of audio directly into the Timeline for voice-over narration. Make sure to enable voice-over in the Capture Settings, under the Edit Tab.

Don’t forget to get the latest AMA plugins for use with Media Composer | Software.

If you have any questions about these changes and new features,  just join the Avid Pro Video Community, we will be happy to assist!

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I'm Social Media Manager for Avid and editor-in-chief of Avid Blogs. You can find me on Twitter at @editorbelga.