The Book Arrives

Today, I’m pleased to announce the release of my new book, Avid Agility. It’s the culmination of nearly two years of work, and represents a big fraction of what I know about about the Media Composer. Whether you’ve just upgraded to version 5 or or are still using version 4, I would humbly suggest that you need this book. There’s so much in it, so many tips and so much clear explanation, that I’ll wager that whatever your level of expertise, you’ll learn things from it that will be well worth your time. My first book became something of an underground classic in the early days of the nonlinear revolution. I hope this one will, too.

Long time Media Composer users will find detailed discussion of the new features in version 5, along with material about hidden features you may never have heard about. People who are relatively new to the system, or moving to it from Final Cut or Premiere, will find clear, straightforward explanations of basic Media Composer concepts and techniques. Fair warning: it’s not a beginner’s book, and it doesn’t cover everything. But if you’re looking to get more out of Media Composer, you should check it out.

The style is similar to this blog, so if you like the writing here, you’ll feel at home with the book. You’ll find chapters on timeline editing, visual effects, mixing, stereo audio and audio effects, trim mode, multi-camera editing, titles, color correction, film and film lists, settings, workspaces and lots more. Because so much of the MC interface is color-dependent, the book is printed in color. I’m especially proud of the illustrations, all 500 of them. Editors are by nature visual people and the images go a long way toward making the book easy to absorb and use.

In general, if you’re using Media Composer and want to get the most out of the system, this book is for you. It’s available now from the publisher, CreateSpace (a division of Amazon) and will be available through Amazon itself in a couple of weeks. I hope you get as much out of reading it as I did writing it. But most of all, I hope it helps you create work you’re proud of.

Purchase Avid Agility Here

Explore posts in the same categories: Avid, Avid Agility, Avid Technical Tips, Education

20 Comments on “The Book Arrives”

  1. Andy Says:

    Congrats Steve!

  2. Great stuff – I ordered it right away as I’ve been reading your helpful blog since I started using AVID.

  3. Marco Würz Says:

    Nice when can you order it on amazon?

  4. Piri Says:

    Congratulations Steve! Sure I’ll be picking up a copy.

  5. E. S. Says:

    Hey Steve,

    That’s great news. Now, could I ask you to give us a sneak peek? like a few pages, contents etc? I’m specially curious about editing faster, timeline, keyboard and trim tool tips.



  6. Steve Says:

    Thanks for the support, everyone. In answer to Marco’s question, Amazon should have it sometime next week (maybe Sept 29?). On Amazon, the “Look Inside” feature will work, so you’ll be able to get a preview that way. I’ll also try to post something this weekend.

    I hope you all like the book!


  7. Andrew Says:


    Any chance there will be a digital version available on Amazon or iBooks? Would love to get it for my iPad.


  8. Steve Says:

    I’m hoping to do a digital version eventually. But right now the graphics capabilities of ebooks are severely limited — sort of like the web in 1995. The book is very graphics heavy and I want it to look as good on screen as it does in print. I’ve done some experiments and it looks like every image is going to have to be recreated (they all have ‘callouts’ which is the problem). That’s a big job and it won’t happen any time soon, I’m afraid.

  9. Steve Says:

    I’ve posted some sample pages from Avid Agility as pdfs.

    Check this page for details:

    And you can now get the book from Amazon. It’s here:

  10. Jordan Goldman Says:


    I’d like to get the book from the source that gives you the largest share of the $$… would that be Amazon?

    • Steve Says:


      Thanks for asking. The better deal for me is CreateSpace. But Amazon is now offering a discount, so they are a better deal for you, the buyer.


  11. Julian George Says:

    Hi Steve

    I will be getting a copy shortly, just wanted to ask can i get it on Kindle?

    Tried but it doesn’t seem to be there at the moment.

  12. Steve Says:

    Sadly, there’s no Kindle version yet. The book is way too graphics heavy and the lack of color is show-stopper. The iPad is promising, but to do something that’s got 500 illustrations on 250 pages and make it look good is not trivial.

  13. Julian George Says:

    Thanks Steve

    Placed an order earlier and i should be expecting delivery in a week or so.
    I’m in the UK so i have to wait that little bit longer even with express delivery.

  14. Lu Nelson Says:

    Hey Steve,

    are you also releasing a book with Peachpit called “Avid Power Skills”? There is one listed by someone called Steven Cohen. It seems it hasn’t been released yet, and the preview page shows a cover image that says “work faster and smarter in media COMPOSTER 4”.

    • Steve Says:

      At one time Peachpit and I were talking about a book project, but it did not materialize. Instead, I ended up writing Avid Agility. The page on Amazon is an artifact — there is no such book. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll try to get it removed.


      • Lu Nelson Says:

        Ah, yes I thought it must be some kind of mistake.

        The thing is it showed up as part of a rotating amazon ad on Christian Foerster’s site. So it’s definitely in Amazon’s system.

        I wonder who published the entry, with the mockup cover art and that excellent typo.

  15. Norman Says:

    Am almost finished reading the book Steve and it’s a great work. Every single person who is interested in editing (even if they’re working in a different NLE) should race right out and purchase this guy.

    I’ll talk more about it when I review it on my blog, but even after editing MC for years, I still learned things from you.

    Thanks so much for the book.

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