I'm writing this at the end of a particularly frustrating day, where a "should take 10 minutes" task ended up taking the best part of 9 hours, so forgive the grumpy attitude.
As a professional editor with 20+ years of experience, Avid Media Composer user is my programme of choice when doing my day job. As a bloke trying to make home videos for his kid's Instagram, it's a disaster.
I can sort-of forgive the big differences in the user interface between MC and MC First. It's designed for people with zero knowledge of editing software and it uses more "common sense" commands than the ones the Avid pros are used to. Heaven help them if they decide to fork out for the paid version, but whatever.
I can't forgive the baffling incompatibility with H.264 / MP4 media. This is what 90% of the people Avid is aiming this at will shoot on. Lightworks can do it. Premiere can do it. My First Fisher Price Edit Software can probable do it, but when it comes to MC First: "computer says no". Sure, you can fork out 100+beans on a special plug-in that will handle it, providing you don't mind spending a few hours searching for this as a solution and another few hours trying to actually implement it. You can also fanny around with free file converters with interfaces that look like something out of the 1990s, but what sort of zero knowledge person is going to jump through those hoops?
Maybe I'm missing something here, but apart from brand loyalty, what can First do that the less challenging editing packages can't do?
The WHOLE POINT of MC First is for people to learn how to use Avid Media Composer. A free way to allow them to learn the system. It lacks a lot of ability to deliver high high quality finished products because it is a learning tool only.
Avid MC First is a "training app." It's a way to dip your toes into the water.
[Martin Sole]"I can't forgive the baffling incompatibility with H.264 / MP4 media. This is what 90% of the people Avid is aiming this at will shoot on"
This isn't a "consumer level" Avid version...so they aren't aiming this at them. They are aiming this at students, or people who want to do simple edits so they can learn the interface without paying money to do so. YES, they have a trial period for Avid MC (30 days)...and that is longer than what Adobe offers (14 days). But this is for those people who might need a little longer than that. But no necessarily for those to create projects clear enough to post.
Yes, I think that's a little odd, but that is what this is.
[Martin Sole]"what can First do that the less challenging editing packages can't do?"
It's not designed for what you are thinking. If you need a free app for this stuff, you can use Resolve. Or if you work a lot with H.264/MP4...use Premiere. MC First is a crippled trainer.
I'm not sure that First has enough similarities with MC for it to be described as a trainer.
I guess you do get an insight into the things that have been driving us nuts for years, namely Avid's super fussiness about hardware, codecs and drivers and it's preference for end customers to do the beta testing on every new release.