Monday, April 7, 2014

Avid Everywhere Strategic Vision

Whilst you were deeply ensconced in baseball's opening weekend, Avid shifted gears completely - as announced at Avid Connect.

Avid just announced their new AvidCentral platform - or Avid in the cloud. This means that they've embraced Adobe's Creative Cloud vision for software as a service, but with a very significant difference.

This from Avid's web site:

"Whether you create music, movies, television shows, news broadcasts, video, or other media, competition and consumer demand have led to overwhelming pressure for greater efficiency. But today’s workflows often involve piecing together a puzzle of disparate products, services, and technologies to build your digital media value chain, from media creation and management tools, to monetization solutions.

We’re solving this challenge by introducing the Avid MediaCentral Platform — an open, extensible, and customizable foundation that streamlines and simplifies workflows by tightly integrating all products and services that run on top of it, bringing the Avid Everywhere vision to life. The platform provides the utmost security and protection, enabling you to create and deliver content in smarter, faster, and easier ways — with the Avid and third-party solutions you choose to use.

Avid MediaCentral doesn’t require any additional software purchase or installation to access or use, as it’s built into the framework of many Avid products you may own, though additional components and installation may be needed to extend workflows. What’s more, you can customize your platform functionality by adding services and components when you need them, and turning them off when you don’t."

It looks like Media Composer will be offered both as a stand-alone software product (boxed?) and as cloud based software. Media Composer Cloud used to be called Interplay Sphere.

In any event, Media Composer has been completely overhauled to accommodate this new initiative. The interesting development is with the new Application Manager - how Media Composer is handling third-party plug-ins.

"Media Composer comes with a new application manager that keeps you up to date with your software. See what Avid software, AMA plug-ins, and related third-party applications you have installed on your system. Get notified when new updates, upgrades, and renewals are available. Activate and download new software, updates, and upgrades from the interface. And if you’re interested in a new product or upgrade, you can even see if a software trial is available to try it out first. It will even alert you about special offers, upcoming webinars, and events."

Like the problem with older versions of Photoshop, upgrading from one version to the next sometimes meant that your favorite plug-ins wouldn't work in the new version. If your plug-in vendor couldn't/wouldn't make the change and release an update, you were stuck with a choice - or two versions of PS on your computer.

So, given the way that Avid works, upgrading to the new version will cost money. How much that will cost has yet to be announced. I'm sure our friends at Ocean Systems got word of this change early on as they are Avid partners. Hopefully, they're hard at work making their popular Avid plug-ins ready for the new Application Manager environment.

So, as Avid goes chasing after Adobe, they're completely oblivious as to your needs in law enforcement. They're excited for the new creative options that this new initiative will bring their Hollywood customers. For law enforcement, you'll need to up your budget a bit to take advantage of this new technology. Or … you can do as I did and select a purpose built solution that accommodates both your qualitative and quantitative needs. Currently, there are just a few options that fit this bill - Cognitech and Amped Software's FIVE. Of these two, FIVE is by far the least expensive (total cost of ownership) and easiest to use.

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