Installation the Old Fashioned Way

Why is Media Composer installation so antiquated? The whole thing feels so 1995 to me that I have to wonder what newbies, who are comparing MC with FCP, will think.

In the old days, MC was installed by a priesthood — technicians whose job it was to get our systems working. Today, MC will increasingly be used and maintained by editors — people who don’t want to read a manual just to get the thing running. If Avid wants to compete in this new world it has to win the hearts and minds of editors at the first exposure, and that’s during installation.

Here are some of the problems:

  • No automatic software update. MC is the only piece of software I use that doesn’t go out on the net and check for new versions. You have to go to the Avid site yourself and hunt around till you find it.
  • Uninstall before installing. Want an update? You’ll have to uninstall the old version first. And worse, you have to find and use a separate application to do it. The least Avid could do is let the installer take care of this.
  • Need to register. Seems like dongle copy protection ought to be enough, but if you want an upgrade you have to register, as well.
  • Lots of extra installers. In addition to Media Composer, the disk includes way too many additional installers. What are they for? Some should be included as options in the main installer, others are just trial versions. How does the newbie sort this out?
  • And then there’s the readme. Sixty four endless pages long. Clearly designed for the priesthood, with 20 pages of known bugs. Yes, I appreciate Avid’s candor, but for a newbie, it’s got to be pretty intimidating.

I could go on, but you get the point. If Avid wants average editors to buy and maintain their own software, they’ve got to start looking at the system through their eyes. And that means simplifying and modernizing the installation process. It should be one-button simple — for the initial installation and for upgrades, too.

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2 Comments on “Installation the Old Fashioned Way”

  1. DougL Says:

    Avid is leveraging a 20 year-old code base that’s been patched beyond reason as their flagship product, and you’re wondering why the install is antiquated?

    Maybe we’ll be saying the same things about Final Cut Pro in another 15 years, but I doubt it. Avid’s just falling futher and further into becoming a relic of editing days gone bye.

  2. editblog Says:

    Absolutely. Just the download of a dot update is a pain with system ids and links and such. They really need to move into a more modern way of updating.


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