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old Media 100 user considering new Media 100

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Timothy Gassen
old Media 100 user considering new Media 100
on Aug 28, 2012 at 6:53:40 pm

I've been very happy with my Media 100 on the PC side for more than a decade now (much preferred to AVID), and I'm considering building a new Media 100 system for my first foray into the world of Mac.

So I'd like to hear current users' suggestions about configurations & their general perception of Media 100 today. Do you think it will survive for the forseeable future?

I've made queries to the company itself, searched through this forum, and gone through the company web site, but perhaps users here can help with a few other questions about the current Media 100:

1) Is there a complete list of supported import/export codecs available? Are there any important ones it does NOT support?
2) Can Media 100 QT exports avoid the Gamma-shift I see on FCP exports? What is the best full-res file output option?
3) Is the Matrox 02 breakout box the best choice? Does this take the place of previous Media 100 encoding cards, rendering cards and I/O breakout box?
4) Does the new Media 100 still convert DV into their superior MJPEG format on fireweire in? I don't anticipate a lot of DV-tape work now, but nice to have the best option available!
5) does Media 100 have its own 5.1 audio mixer, or can it run some other multi-channel audio app inside of it? Suggestions?
6) Can apps like AE and Magic Bullet run inside Media 100?
7) lastly, any chance it can open legacy media encoded on a PC in the Media 100 codec, or perhaps even open old PC projects in Bootcamp or some other virtual-PC process on a Mac?

Thank you for any and all thoughts and information. I really do want to stick with Media 100 if I can!

Timothy Gassen


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Gerry Condez
Re: old Media 100 user considering new Media 100
on Aug 31, 2012 at 6:31:42 pm

Hi Timothy,
You'll probably be happy again with the HD Suite, but same feeling you'll have like the old one, just happy. They made it easy so not much changes except its in HD. haha! Well its fast after all your clips are in the bin but if you need to run plugins like Magic Bullet, no way within media 100. Youll be able to use Boris with some cool fx but requires a lot of rendering, learn FCX instead. I have been using different media from DV, HDV, jvc .mov files and bunch of DSLR files goes well. Matrox mxo2 and with MAX runs well with M100. I prefer with the MAX, I tried exporting MOV files and it takes only 5 mins, without MAX took me 28mins of same 4 min edited video. Aja Kona3 runs well also with no problems just make sure you have the right drivers for both. Some quicktime codecs need to be downloaded for free. If you need more details, you can check their Release notes of what is compatible. Not sure about PC but I think M100 use the same QT codecs, so might be possible import older files. Cheers


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Marcus Warren
Re: old Media 100 user considering new Media 100
on Sep 1, 2012 at 1:30:02 am

Greetings. I have used Media 100 for about three years now, so I am not as knowledgeable as others on this list, but I will try to help where I can.

Do I think that M100 will survive for the foreseeable future? My short answer is "yes" but the guys at Artel Software/Boris FX are notoriously closed-lip about M100's development and about presenting a general, public "this is where we are going" outlook, plus there is very little marketing going on, so make your own judgements.

I'll try to answer your other inquiries as you have numbered them:

1) Supported Codecs: Gerry had a nice response concerning this question in his reply post to you. I also recommend downloading the M100 user guide and release notes. These will help you somewhat. If you are concerned about a particular codec, just post on this forum to get the answer. Some codecs require that you purchase third party applications if you want to use them with M100. Hopefully, this will not be the case with the next version of M100.

2) QT Gamma Shift: I don't know the answer to that one for sure, but I believe that historically, M100 is suppose to handle this very well.

3) Breakout boxes: I think Gerry gave you a good answer on this one. The latest M100 suite version has updated support for the Matrox MX02 family, so that is a good sign. There are no longer any Media 100 branded breakout boxes. All of these functions are handled by third party choices, with AJA cards and the MX02 family appearing to be the top choices, with some Boris-approved Blackmagic Design options available as well. Again, Gerry's response is a good source of info.

4) DV to Motion JPEG import: You do have the option to import DV as Motion JPEG. I assume that the current MJPEG is the same version that you are use to working with.

5) 5.1 audio mix: Not available in M100 Suite. Unknown if this this is a future feature.

6) AE and Magic Bullet: No, these apps do not work in Media 100. In fact, there are (to my knowledge) no third party plug-ins that support the Media 100 editor directly. However, M100 is suppose to have very tight integration with After Effects, so that is a plus; you just have to use AE as an external program. Keep in mind, that Boris RED 5.x is included with Media 100 Suite, and quite frankly, after learning RED, you will probably spend most of your time in RED as opposed to exporting to After Effects. RED is very underrated and very,very good. There are *some* third party plug-ins that support RED, but these days, it's hard to know which ones since the vendors don't mention RED very much these days for some reason. But RED is very comprehensive. One side note is the Media 100 does support XML so *some* apps and plug-ins that support import/export using XML in Final Cut Pro 7 (and earlier) *may* also support XML import and export with M100 (that's how M100 works with AE). It's my understanding that M100 does not support the FCP X implementation of XML.

7) Legacy support: I don't have experience with this, but supposedly one of the strengths of Media 100 Suite is its ability to open legacy programs and files.

I hope this helps. Others on this list can flesh out my answers. As for my impressions of Media 100 Suite: It is professional, stable, solid. It is probably all of things that you like about your current system and a whole lot more (like an additional 99 video tracks and 24 audio tracks plus audio bus), and the power of RED will make you say "wow!".

M100 *appears* to be on a steady development path, but keep in mind that as far as resources Boris FX is not Adobe, Apple, Autodesk or Avid, Grass Valley and Sony so new features and capabilities will probably come out at a gentler pace than the others will produce in their products. Still, Media 100 plays in the same league, doing some things better than others and doing other things not quite as well. Again, if you are happy with your current M100 system, I think that you will be ecstatic with the current version of Media 100 Suite.


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Michael Slowe
Re: old Media 100 user considering new Media 100
on Sep 1, 2012 at 10:21:30 am

Very fair Marcus, just when I thought that you were going all 'flaky' on Media 100! Of course the damage done over the whole Optibase fiasco will never be made good but Boris has done well considering all that. I know editors who, though mainly working with FCP, still use Media 100 and admire it. For me, I'll never change at my advanced time of life, whatever version I'm on when (if) it all stops should keep me going.

A greater concern surely is Apple? What are they playing at? Rumours of the demise of the MacPro computer are disturbing. A flimsy laptop surely would not be good enough to do our job. All Apple seem to be interested in is selling stupid i products to kids. Sure they make money, for now, but they aren't going to let down all the graphic houses throughout the world using MacPros are they?

Michael Slowe


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Timothy Gassen
Re: old Media 100 user considering new Media 100
on Sep 2, 2012 at 8:24:14 pm

Thank you, all, for sharing your thoughts with me.

Gary, when you wrote, "You'll be able to use Boris with some cool fx but requires a lot of rendering, learn FCX instead." -- did you mean "learn After Effects instead" or that you prefer Final Cut X instead of Media 100?

And since third-party apps like AE and Magic Bullet can't run inside Media 100, I'm interested to hear how users here are round-tripping files for FX work out and back in to the latest Media 100.

And after weeks of searching I still can't find an answer for what NLEs, if any, can import & export gamma-correct QT files. After talking with many FCP users (at TV stations and other professionals) it seems that FCP cannot do this essential task. In a tapeless world this seems to be a major problem!

So, if I'm not going out to some kind of tape format, can I make gamma-correct master output files from Media 100?

Thank you again, all for your help!

Timothy Gassen
Director/Producer

http://www.purple-cactus.tv


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Floh Peters
Re: old Media 100 user considering new Media 100
on Sep 3, 2012 at 8:56:43 am

[Timothy Gassen] "And since third-party apps like AE and Magic Bullet can't run inside Media 100, I'm interested to hear how users here are round-tripping files for FX work out and back in to the latest Media 100. "

Media 100 does include an exporter to AfterEffects, keeping your clips and layers intact, so that you can access your trim handles in AE. And of course you also can use Shake, Nuke, Cinema4d, Motion,… with Media 100 on a QuickTime basis. Since Media 100 does read ProRes files among other formats natively, there is no lengthy import process.

[Timothy Gassen] "And after weeks of searching I still can't find an answer for what NLEs, if any, can import & export gamma-correct QT files."

What do you mean by "gamma correct"? If you capture a file in Media 100 or FCP, and you play it out again by Media 100 or FCP (or hopefully any other editing application) the gamma will be correct. If you transfer files (e.g. in ProRes) from Media 100 to FCP or Avid, the gamma will be correct. There may be playout systems that use a different Gamma for ProRes files, but I am not sure about that. And to decide if the FCP gamma or the Gamma from the other system is correct is a pretty broad guess.

If you are speaking about the difference between a computer screen and a video monitor, this is another topic. Basically I don´t know any editing system (except maybe for Smoke) where it is a good idea to watch your footage on a computer screen. FCP is somewhat tricky there, because there were changes in how the default Gamma is handled by QuickTime and FCP, but since most editing Computer screens are not calibrated anyway (and especially not to Rec709 for HD Video work) I would not trust them anyway.



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Timothy Gassen
Re: old Media 100 user considering new Media 100
on Sep 3, 2012 at 5:52:41 pm

Hi Floh,

Good to hear from you -- I've read MANY helpful posts form you!

Gamma shift with FCP QT files is a widely known issue for years now -- basically QT and FCP add a gamma tag to QT on export (or on import of DV footage through firewire, some say), and the resulting export files (and DV tape output) are noticably lighter (gamma shifted) than the original footage. I am not referring to how computer screens and TVs display differently -- the gamma shift can be seen in encodes for web video, DVD, bluray and master export files at full resolution. Gamma can display incorrectly on both Macs and PCs and in applications on both platforms. (See my recent post in the FCP forum explaining this again and again, lol.)

Ater reading hundreds of online posts and talking with numerous FCP users -- there appears to be no fix other than adjusting the gamma on export through Compressor.

With my Media 100 on PC I can export gamma-correct QT AND excellent quality to DV tape through firewire that look exactly like my timeline and original footage. It appears I can do neither in FCP.

Since I'll only be doing tape-out for legacy media with a new Media 100, file-only export is obviously important -- so I was wondering if the new Media 100 was able to export gamma-correct files.

Thank youu again for your help!

Timothy Gassen
Director/Producer

http://www.purple-cactus.tv


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Floh Peters
Re: old Media 100 user considering new Media 100
on Sep 3, 2012 at 6:15:52 pm

[Timothy Gassen] "With my Media 100 on PC I can export gamma-correct QT AND excellent quality to DV tape through firewire that look exactly like my timeline and original footage. It appears I can do neither in FCP.

Since I'll only be doing tape-out for legacy media with a new Media 100, file-only export is obviously important -- so I was wondering if the new Media 100 was able to export gamma-correct files."


My DVD and BluRay exports from Media 100 are identical to the output via HD-SDI. We don´t do output via FireWire, though.

If you want, you can upload a Media 100/PC timeline with media files somewhere, where I can download it, and I could do an export for you. Then you could compare the exported file to what you would expect (or your export from iFinish).



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Timothy Gassen
Re: old Media 100 user considering new Media 100
on Sep 3, 2012 at 6:29:51 pm

Many thanks for your kind offer to help, Floh!

Perhaps this a simpler (smaller file) way to test: I send a still frame (or short QT export) from my PC Media 100 for you to import into your Mac Media 100, then you export as an uncompressed QT file for me to compare?

Timothy Gassen
Director/Producer

http://www.purple-cactus.tv


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Floh Peters
Re: old Media 100 user considering new Media 100
on Sep 4, 2012 at 10:47:13 am

Yeah, no problem.



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Timothy Gassen
Re: old Media 100 user considering new Media 100
on Sep 4, 2012 at 3:12:53 pm

Floh,

Would you like me to e-mail you privately with a file link location, or post it here? Thanks again for your help!

Timothy Gassen
Director/Producer

http://www.purple-cactus.tv


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Floh Peters
Re: old Media 100 user considering new Media 100
on Sep 5, 2012 at 12:12:42 pm

You can email me: floh at mac dot com



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Timothy Gassen
Re: old Media 100 user considering new Media 100
on Sep 4, 2012 at 9:32:21 pm

Floh,

I've uploaded a zipped folder with some small test Media 100 QT files and a READ ME file here:

http://www.sendspace.com/file/9blvap

Click on the blue box midway down the page that says "click here to download from sendspace" to avoid the spam links.

Let me know if this works for you, and thank you again for your help!

Timothy Gassen
Director/Producer

http://www.purple-cactus.tv


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Floh Peters
Re: old Media 100 user considering new Media 100
on Sep 5, 2012 at 1:25:27 pm

[Timothy Gassen] "I've uploaded a zipped folder with some small test Media 100 QT files and a READ ME file here: "

Hi Tim,

I´ve uploaded 2 versions of the export here.

Both clips are exported as ProRes, Clip one with "full range RGB" (0-255), and Clip 2 with "Studio Range" (16-235).

Now…

Clip 1 (the "Full Range" export) looks different from your clip in QuickTime Player, AfterEffects and probably most applications that work with QuickTime files. But if you re-import it into Media 100 Suite it will import instantly (without conversion), and on the Media 100 video output it will look identical to your clip, since the ProRes codec uses 0-255 RGB Range, while the Media 100 codec uses 16-235.

Clip 2 (the "Studio Range" export) does look a little bit different from your export in QuickTime player, but it looks 100% identical in AE, since QuickTime player by default does not adjust for Color profiles. AfterEffects sees that my exported file contains a video profile, and displays it corrected. Now there is the question if it is correct to handle files with 16-235 colorspace inside AE or with 0-255, but that depends on your workflow.

Both clips could be burnt to a DVD with the right encoder and match the file you sent me. When using Apple Compressor I would need to use the Clip 1 to get it to DVD, and with e.g. BitVice or other applications that do support both RGB-spaces I could use both files.

Regarding your question about the Media 100 timeline, it looks like Media 100 suite cannot read the old iFinish timelines, unfortunately.



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Timothy Gassen
Re: old Media 100 user considering new Media 100
on Sep 7, 2012 at 1:26:41 am

Thank you again for all your help, Floh. I'll get your clips back into a Mac ASAP and I'm excited to see them!

Timothy Gassen
Director/Producer

http://www.purple-cactus.tv


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Gerry Condez
Re: old Media 100 user considering new Media 100
on Sep 3, 2012 at 5:15:43 pm

Hi Tim,
As a long time Media100 user, I still prefer to use it because it easy, fast and hardly encountered problems unless you screw up yourself. But now we see more people using cool easy film FX and would like to use plugins which are common like magic bullet. I can use some Boris effects too but time is limited for me to learn all the controls and sometimes cant find what I need fast, and rendering for me is not an option. It all boils down to what nature of production or business you are doing. I get busy during summer but for practical reasons I can not use Snow Effects, Mr. Mercury etc. I probably have seen those since media 100 have After Effects on Ice. They are just too lazy to develop cool stuff for media 100 so they throw in more stuff that you think is cool but not necessary needed. IMHO
Here comes FCPx, if you want fx fast, you can preview them in realtime or almost realtime. Plenty out there are developing useful plugins and you can purchase specific FX that you might want to use for just a particular project.
You can download them both M100 and FCPx for free so you can try both. If you are using Matrox or Kona, you have to have a separate boot locations because the drivers are different versions for M100 and FCPx.
I dont do round tripping, most of our clients want same day editing where we shoot the entire event and show the final movie later that day, we only have an hour to an hour to edit the entire highlights. We do this almost every weekend so we depend on Media100.
I'm not really concerned with Gamma and almost what we see on the screen is almost as accurate when viewed on large LCD panels. I am sure that for other productions gamma is critical but I think its more how you set your levels or exposure of highlights details upon shooting, other than that regular people who watch does not even know how to adjust their sets at home they would rather select from the presets found on their remote control.
What do I prefer? Media100. BUT, once I get my FCPx system bug free, then I'll decide again.
This month we are taking both system on location and test 2 actual units side by side which can deliver fast same day editing of same footage. Cheers


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Timothy Gassen
Re: old Media 100 user considering new Media 100
on Sep 3, 2012 at 5:59:11 pm

Many thanks for your thoughts, Gerry!

I've had to use Avid and now FCP for specific productions, but Media 100 (on the PC side) is by far the most productive NLE I've ever used. I really hope I can avoid having to build a FCP system - there is nothing about it I find superior.

Getting quality QT out of any system is a priority to me -- we certainly cannot control how users have their own displays set, but as the creators we should be able to export an image-accurate final master file or tape!

Yes, I've heard that Boris FX is very powerful (and complex/non-intuitive) -- I'm betitng an FX work I'd do with a new Media 100 would be done in AE and Magic Bullet, so those workflows are what I am investigating with a new Media 100...

Thank you again!

Timothy Gassen
Director/Producer

http://www.purple-cactus.tv


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Marcus Warren
Re: old Media 100 user considering new Media 100
on Sep 4, 2012 at 1:45:41 am

Michael, apparently the rumors of the death of the MacPro are just that; rumors. After the release earlier this year of the slightly revised MacPr, the current Apple CEO has reportedly said that a new, more advanced MacPro is due out next year. I think the CEO's name is Tim Cook, so you can Google Cook and new MacPro and get more information, just not any details on the MacPro itself.


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Michael Slowe
Re: old Media 100 user considering new Media 100
on Sep 4, 2012 at 11:23:52 am

Presumably the new MacPro will have 'Thunderbolt' capability, not that we really need more speed do we? I'll probably upgrade to that computer and then call it a day. My current MacPro is exactly three years old so it might be worth it. What Media 100 version are you on, I have Suite 2.1 and will probably upgrade when my current project is completed just before Christmas.

Michael Slowe


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Marcus Warren
Re: old Media 100 user considering new Media 100
on Sep 5, 2012 at 2:55:03 am

I am on 2.1.

I am hoping for a major point release before the end of the year (like a 2.5) since I paid for a subscription that covers all of the paid upgrades over the course of a year (and there have been none so far and I am very, very close to the end of my year).


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Sam Bowling
Re: old Media 100 user considering new Media 100
on Nov 7, 2012 at 8:26:20 pm

Media 100 is easily the buggiest program I have ever used. Bug include trashing the audio in the original media clips when exporting projects, randomly locking up after editing a boris graphic and extremely slow undos (about 10 times longer on intel mac pros as they were on old g5's with the same projects). I'm here to day to try to find out if there are any bug fixes in the 2.1.2 release because they don't mention anything in the release notes other than support for OSX mountain lion.

They also have an extremely tiny user base and bug fixes can take years. All the bugs I have mentioned have been in the program at least a year (including the one that will trash your media files audio requiring you to rebuild your entire project if you have backups of the files. if you don't have backups, you're screwed). I have to wonder if they have more than one person working on this program and if he is even working on it full time or part time. We have been using Media 100 for over 10 years and it just keeps getting buggier and buggier. If it was up to me we would be using something else, but my boss doesn't want to have to rebuild all of our projects, which we reuse a lot.

My advice is to use something else.


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Floh Peters
Re: old Media 100 user considering new Media 100
on Nov 8, 2012 at 11:25:44 am

[Sam Bowling] "All the bugs I have mentioned have been in the program at least a year (including the one that will trash your media files audio requiring you to rebuild your entire project if you have backups of the files. if you don't have backups, you're screwed)."

Sorry to hear that you are not happy about Media 100. I would agree that there are bugs in Media 100, but there are bugs in each application I´ve ever worked with. But overall Media 100 is much more stable and reliable for us than any other editing system, including FCP, Avid and others.
I haven´t heard about your bug where you lose audio files. Could you please describe what is going on there? In over 15 years using Media 100 we never encountered anything (software related), that caused a media file loss. Only drive problems gave us problems in this regard.



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