Avid Lowers Prices and Drops Xpress

Avid lowered prices for the software-only Media Composer today, dropped Xpress Pro from the product line and launched a new “community” web site with video tutorials and other resources.

The new price for Media Composer software is $2495. Any college student with an ID can get it for $295 (the old policy restricted student discounts to a few big institutions). Existing Xpress Pro customers can upgrade to MC for $495.

The press release is here. The new community site is here.

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10 Comments on “Avid Lowers Prices and Drops Xpress”

  1. Luke Pebler Says:

    Amen. Good sense has finally prevailed.

  2. alex Says:

    close but no cigar. For any one full license of Media Composer, a shop can buy two Final Cut Studios licenses, or for $2500, I can get FCS and a 3rd party I/O card/solution with HD rez included. $5000 for the new price MC and a Mojo SDI-where’s the savings again?

  3. DKG Says:

    “Good sense”? What?

    Last time I checked Final Cut Pro is retailing for $1299, which includes DVD Studio Pro, Color, Sound Track Pro, etc…


  4. Michael Hancock Says:

    Is price really the only factor anymore? I’m sorry, but I still consider Media Composer a much better editor than FCP. There are things about FCP I really like, but for pure cutting I’ll take a Media Composer any day. And it’s just over $1,000 more. I’ll pay that for the media management and backwards compatability with software versions, as well as the ability to take a project to PCs or Macs.


  5. Acmade Says:

    It’s a good price. Media Composer is still worth a premium over FCP to a lot of editors, and if editing is your trade the price difference is more or less negligible. The extra stuff in FCP Studio is nice if you are a jack-of-all-trades or a post boutique, but the “roundtripping” philosophy of the FCP suite fits poorly with the way I and many others work.

    I edit on other people’s Avids, and have found it hard to justify anything more than Xpress Pro for my own laptop. After today’s announcement I can’t wait to upgrade. I think a 50% price cut is pretty brave, anything more would run the risk of upsetting their existing customers.

    Happy to see Avid move forward.

  6. Grant Says:

    Simplifying the product line is a great move; as is the student price. Now for a ground-up, complete code rewrite of the whole app and we’ll all be happy….

  7. CHL Says:

    “There are things about FCP I really like, but for pure cutting I’ll take a Media Composer any day. And it’s just over $1,000 more.”

    But how many editors out there are purely cutting these days? The number of pure film editor who can just concentrate on cutting are far and few in between. I do a lot of long form tv docs and it’s not purely about cutting. You have to jump back and forth between AE, Motion, DVDSP. I spent the last 18 months cutting on Avid and it’s a waiting game exporting a QT ref to AE from Avid, and then render out from AE, reimport to OMF/MXF into Avid.

    I do think the trimming is great but effects systems (step in/out, color correct one clip on top affects all clips underneath, etc) is terrible compared to FCP. Media Management is great indeed but the current FCP media management is not as terrible as people make it out to be. My experience is that people tried FCP back in v3 and haven’t seriously tried it again since.

    All said, I’ll prob upgrade my Xpro to MC Soft for $500. It’s a good price. But I don’t myself using it a good majority of the time. If I was hired to purely edit a traditional doc or a feature, then I can see myself using it over FCP.

  8. Michael Hancock Says:

    I’m not an editor only. I spend many days in After Effects, creating DVDs…even putting together print ads in Illustrator when necessary. But being able to cut fast, print to tape fast (without having to render everything), and being able to back up my projects fast and without fear of the program screwing something up is worth more than $1,000. Besides, exporting a quicktime reference takes about 5 seconds, and if you’re working in AE–you have to render whether you’re in Avid or FCP. I’ll take the import time hit to play back an alpha channel in realtime in Avid–never could get that to work well with FCP. Plus, if you render to an Avid codec it’s a fast import–you wait maybe 30 seconds on a fast machine.

    All I’m saying is that the price/value between Media Composer and FCP are (in my opinion) much more on par. I’d go so far as to call Media Composer the better value. I don’t do most of my effects in Avid, I do them in After Effects. To me, it’s still purely a cutting machine with basic effects, and I’ll go to the program that works best for anything else that needs to be done.


  9. CHL Says:

    To each his own. You don’t mind the AE workflow, it bothers the hell out of me. The other issue is that you have two sets of media now, the AE render plus the Avid OMF/MXF.

    I don’t know how you don’t have to render everything before you go out to tape? What’s your machine spec? I always have to render my sequences before I go out to tape. What’s your secret? (seriously, not being facetious)

    If you compare the price of the two between Media Composer and FCP, then one could go along with your reasoning. But the $1299 is for the whole studio package with DVDSP being almost an industry standard for DVD authoring. Does MC soft come with an DVD authoring? I don’t think it does.

    To be completely truthful, I’ve never had to worry about FCP screwing up when I use it. I’ve cut broadcast long forms to reality shows and I’ve never had major output problems, media managements issues, or any other problems that prevented me from making delivery dates. I don’t think I have magic powers or know any secret FCP mojo. I honestly think that when people have issues with FCP, they’ve never been properly trained on it. I see many people run FCP like they run an Avid which is where you get issues. I’ve been using FCP since v2 so I’ve learned it quirks and know how it likes to think and work. It’s the same on Avid – but most people who are long time Avid users have been properly trained when they started – back then you had to, you couldn’t set one up on your own back in the mid 90s. You had to work in a shop and be trained on it. I personally think a lot of Avid editors who hop on FCP and have a bad time is that they don’t have proper support. And their avid assistants are no help cuz they haven’t been trained themselves either.

    Anyways, the Avid news is good news. But it will stop the bleeding a bit but I wonder if it’s enough to get people to switch back. And more importantly, whether facilities and production houses will switch back?

  10. Michael Hancock Says:

    If I have large sections that have only a lower third, it will play back in realtime without dropping frames. If I start stacking a lot of effects, it starts to choke, but I can usually get by with a title or two and color correction before I have to render. Before I lay to tape I do an expert render, and usually there are a couple of sections don’t require rendering because they’re realtime.

    System specs: 2 dual-core 3.2GHz processors, 4GB RAM, with two SATA drives in RAID0, nVidia Quadro FX3450, and it’s a PC. It really helps that I’m only cutting SD–I’ll render much, much more when we go to HD.

    Avid Media Composer bundles Sorenson Squeeze, Boris CC effects, and comes with Avid DVD software, but I believe the DVD software is PC only. You’re definitely right that it’s not a full bundle like FCP, and with Color now in the mix FCP is a great value. But how often do you use LiveType? And if you start authoring BluRay, you’ll need to buy another DVD authoring app until DVDSP supports it. I just don’t think any one company will ever provide total support across the board, so I work more ala carte, and Avid is my editing choice.

    Regarding the AE workflow…I prefer the duplicate media–I can back up the AE file in case I kill the Avid media–then I just batch import and I’m back on track. It’s the security of automatically having a backup that I prefer, although it does require more disk space and you take a small hit on import time. In my workflow, it’s acceptable right now.

    I agree 100% with your first statement…to each his own. The way I think when I edit falls more in line with how Avid operates. FCP does that for others. I’m glad to see the price dropping on Avid software, and while I don’t expect it will cause anyone to leave FCP, it will probably prompt many to now own both. And why not–if you have a nice Mac, you can run them both on the same machine, and now you’re available on twice the platforms.

    Happy cutting CHL, whichever software you use!


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