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3 things that Adobe needs to copy from Avid

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Daniel Frome
3 things that Adobe needs to copy from Avid
on Oct 2, 2011 at 1:30:19 am

(disclaimer - this is just a personal opinion piece, so feel free to disagree or share your take on it):

With the recent purchases and partnerships with automatic duck, it seems obvious that Adobe is hell bent on capitalizing on Apple's FCPX blunder.

In my circles of television, however, Avid is eating up the gap that FCP7 has left. Don't get me wrong - I like Avid. But I'm not too happy about a future where Avid once again enjoys a huge lead in the professional market. I want healthy competition. It's ironic because I feel that Premiere Pro is finally entering an era where it truly has some edge.

I'm going to present some of the features (which are strictly opinion) that keep producers and editors running back to Avid, no matter what new bling Adobe throws into the next build of Premiere. There's a few baseline features that somehow got left behind and it's time they got some attention:

1) A Native Codec

Adobe prides itself on being "native everything" and probably spends a lot of time fine tuning this aspect of their software. However, what about graphic files? Animation? Stuff that's rendered on a computer and not shot on a camera? What if studios want all of their finished edits in 1 codec, ensuring future compatibility and consistency? Apple has ProRes. Avid has DNxHD. Hell, even Grassvalley Edius has HQX. Adobe has? Maybe they should have also bought cineform before it was bought by GoPro.

2) A Better Timecode Generator

Television and Film productions need something much better than Adobe's current timecode generator. What if you're editing in 23.98p (non-drop timecode), but need to see the 29.97 drop-frame timecode equivalent? Premiere can't do it, and it's annoying as hell. Avid's timecode generator not only allows you to see the equivalent timecode of multiple formats at the same time, it can also display things such as the filename of what's on screen (or the audio filename of what's being heard), and even the source timecode of that file too.

3) A "Secure Mode" of media management

Avid is trusted for large projects because everything, and that means everything, is always copied into the AvidMediaFiles/MXF folder (AMA exempted). Files are even automatically renamed to avoid collisions. Large productions don't care so much for complex folder structures of their media. They just want know it's there. Avid does that. Premiere's flexibility with media is actually a disadvantage here, allowing too much diversion which stagnates a complex post-production workflow. Premiere should come with a such an option and, when turned on, every imported file is actually duplicated and placed into a designated folder, ensuring that every piece of media is always contained in that folder. No straggler files needed here!

In conclusion, Avid isn't resting much either. They are undergoing aggressive beta testing of Media Composer 6 (their first 64bit rewrite) which is bound to once again make Premiere a less favorable option. If Adobe wants to truly capitalize on FCPX it needs to address these above issues before adding the next "gee wiz" feature.

Well.. at least that's my opinion anyway...

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