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M100 or FCP

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Mark Frazier
M100 or FCP
on Mar 8, 2008 at 9:12:48 pm

Since I'm a 10-year M100 user (I'm happily using 8.2.2 right now), a friend asked me for my opinion on M100 vs FCP (although I've never touched FCP.) He needs an edit system where he can quickly import DV footage (mainly short interviews) and quickly play them back on a jumbo-tron. His shooter/editor is pretty green, so a short learning curve is a big plus.

I assume from reading the cow that the SW version of M100 would have similar computer component requirements as FCP, but real-world details on this would be helpful as well. The only other info he's given me is that he'll be integrating Photoshop and Illustrator files, but this has never been an issue for me with M100 & Boris Red. He'll be building a new Mac to run whichever system he decides on, so at least he's not limited by existing hardware.

Any opinions out there are greatly appreciated, especially since, as he put it, "yesterday would be a good day to have this info."



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Chris Clephane
Re: M100 or FCP
on Mar 9, 2008 at 6:19:26 am

I offer this at dire risk of receiving hundreds of flaming replies/threats from overly religious FCP zealots....

"Based on our experiences, Media100 IS much easier to learn."

1) We start all of our High School interns on Media100 and they are working with it within minutes. ((They often request to try they have usually heard about it in school. With FCP it takes most of them the better part of a day to figure out the basics.))

2) The last freelancer we hired to help edit a short-term project was an Avid guy. He lived and breathed Avid. His resume read: Avid, Avid, Avid. Needless to say he was visibly disappointed when he found out he had to work the project on a Media100HD system.(Long-form documentary)
When he arrived he (very professionally) asked for the manual so that he could learn the system.
I politely told him that he didn't need the manual.....and asked him to please get to work (Time is money! right!?). He was again, visibly disturbed at my insistence...yet 10 minutes later he was digitizing and creating timelines/programs. 2 weeks later, project completed on-time...he later joked that I was right...he really didn't need the manual.

Point being:
Compared to Media100, FCP is NOT intuitive.

Just FYI, we do maintain 2 seats of FCP. We occasionally have clients who (due to workflow) demand we use it for their projects. We simply prefer Media100.
All of our heavy compositing is done in AECS3 and we use the integrated Boris Red for titling in timeline. (Making use of PSD and AI files sometimes as well.)

We also use FCP because it still has a few features (regarding P2 footage) that Media100 doesn't not quite have yet. But those are relatively trivial. (Shooting Native Mode footage to increase shooting time...we use FCP to import it..then export it to a fully compliant stream that M100 can handle.)

So the further point being we are not casual users of either package. The preference expressed for ease of operability and learning curve--definitely Media100.


The producer SW works great in the DV realm. For DV/SD ANY new machine will handle it just fine. (We use it on a G4 1.67 Laptop in the field SD and HD (DVCPRo HD with fast external drives))

Ask the Media100 guys for a demo. That's the best way to determine if it works for you.

Good Luck.


I edit video. I post sometimes.
I fix things. I eat marshmallows.
I play drums. I drink scotch.
I like TV.

Done typing now.

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Floh Peters
Re: M100 or FCP
on Mar 9, 2008 at 7:56:51 am

I can only agree: Media 100 is much easier to learn, and it is much easier to maintain. Plus, it has a lot fewer settings that could cause problems in the end. If you are working with FinalCutPro you have to be extremely careful about your system settings. Media 100 is much more forgiving there.
And, maybe important for somebody who comes fresh to video editing, Media 100 is much more "Mac-like" than FCP (although FCP is done by Apple). The Media 100 guys do follow Apples recommendations for designing Applications much more closely than the FCP (and the whole ProApps) team. So you feel much more at home in Media 100 if you have some basic Apple knowledge.
Here is an example of the stuff I am talking about: if you are working in Media 100 and you want to move your media files to another HD (e.g. for backup purposes or on a portable drive if you want to edit on the road/at home/...), you simply copy or move your media folders in the Finder. No problem with that. Open your timeline, relink media and you are there.
With FCP, moving a media file in the Finder is a good way of getting into complete chaos. The way FCP handles its media files is very problematic with that for several reasons. One is that if you want to relink a media file, FCP only searches for the filename and suggests you files for relinking, that could have nothing to do with your project and only have the same name than the file you are searching for. So you could end up with wrong clips in your timeline without knowing. And if you move clips in the Finder, especially in the case you are working with Multicam clips, you can be sure that even if you relink to the correct clips you will end up with the wrong parts of the clips being relinked to your timeline, and audio and video will get out of sync.
Just one example of where you have to be much more careful in FCP than in Media 100...


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