Editor's Note: A new version of this software is now available. Clicking the Buy button will take you to this version for purchase. We will evaluate, rank and review the new version when we next update the professional video editing software reviews.
Avid Media Composer is the most popular program used by professional Hollywood editors to create movies, TV shows, commercials, music videos and much more. But to use this software effectively, you must have months or even years of training. We don’t recommend this product for the amateur or prosumer; only the truly professional, properly trained should consider this software. It would simply be wasted money and effort for anyone else. Additionally, you need specialized hardware to use it to its fullest potential. If you want to use this powerful software, you should invest some time and money in learning how it works and possibly use another program to master the basics of editing video.
Few words describe the breadth of the array of editing tools found in Media Composer. “Everything” is probably the most accurate description. Animatte, time warp, color correction, stereoscopic editing, chromakey and keyframing are just a small sample of the tools in this application. And they’re all excellent. An application doesn’t achieve what Avid has by delivering substandard editing tools.
One of the best features in Media Composer is the ability to edit remotely via the cloud. This is a huge leap forward for this software because pro video editors no longer need to be at their physical stations at an editing house to perform their work. Only one other product in our lineup has this ability.
When you choose Media Composer to edit a project, it's a near certainty that you’ll be dealing with many different media types and file formats, as well as hundreds or thousands of individual bits of video footage and audio files. Avid understands this and offers several powerful tools to help you organize all your media. One of the most useful of these is what Avid calls Dynamic Media Folders. These folders allow you to automate certain aspects of the editing workflow. For example, you can create a folder that automatically transfers footage from a certain type of camera when it’s connected. Alternatively, you can program a folder to perform tasks such as transcoding files when they’re placed there. This can be a terrific time-saver when you are dealing with a project that requires you to do repetitive minutia like copying and transcoding.
When you’re done producing your project, you need to have the right options to fit the type of media you’re creating. This application allows you to export to most file types and formats – not as many as you can with some other professional video editors, but there are no omissions that would lead an editor to reject the software.
Media Composer doesn’t have the ability to author optical discs like DVD and Blu-ray directly within the program. This may seem superfluous and not the purview of a professional video editor. However, more and more of the best professional video editing programs are including this ability.
Avid Media Composer is a behemoth in the world of video production. Most mainstream movies and TV shows use Avid as their editing program. The reason is that it is a trusted name, provides incredibly powerful tools and leaves professional editors wanting for nothing.