And in the beginning …

If computer software had a book about it’s family tree, then it would start something like “And in the beginning …” (that sounds eerily familiar…).

Today’s spreadsheet of choice is Microsoft Excel, but w-a-y back, when operating systems were called TRSDOS, LDOS, CP/M and the like, there was VisiCalc.

Before Access we had dBase II, and Word was long preceded by Wordstar.

Of course, there were many other pretenders to the current thrones in between then – around 1979 – and now, including one that tried to meld all the genres of spreadsheet, database and word processing into a single unified package, and that was the ill-fated Lotus Symphony which never caught the imagination or the market penetration and success of its sibling, Lotus 1-2-3.

And now I digress for a minute.

After the success of StarWars, the best ever of the sci-fi “space movies” did an advertising blitz saying “before StarWars, there was, is, and always will be… 2001: A Space Odyssey”.

And so it is with video editing. Before Vegas Pro, Final Cut X, Corel VideoStudio and even before Adobe Premiere, there was AVID Media Composer.

Allegedly, designed on Sun Apollo workstations, it was first released in 1989 on a Mac II and later on specific Intel based machines running Windows NT (and these had to be certified by AVID and you couldn’t just “buy” the software by itself).

Since then, AVID has been at the forefront of video editing and especially dominant for year after year years in the film and television industry.

I would suggest it is not generally seen as a “consumer” product and therefore doesn’t get the noise generated by the likes of those mentioned earlier, but make no bones about it, AVID Media Composer is a more than capable editing suite that has grown with the times and expectations and shows its maturity.

And major 3rd party developers in the professional arena fully support the AVID APIs (application programming interface) including Blackmagic Design. AJA Video Systems, MATROX and MOTU plus AVID has its own DX hardware to add to the list.

Now this is not a review of AVID Media Composer; I wrote this piece simply out of interest initially as it occurred to me that many who now edit video from smartphones, VLOGGING cameras, action cams and the like may probably have never even heard of AVID.

So what if I haven’t you say. I don’t need an atom bomb sized NLE to crack my walnut size blog video on a weekly basis.

Maybe not, but I bet if you knew there was a freebie version that is one hell of an editor in its own right and ran on Mac or PC you might interested, right?

So do yourself a favour and nip on over to this website location and have a look. If you are using one of the basic freebie systems such as MovieMaker, OpenShot etc, and you have a play with AVID Media Composer First, the free version, you’ll most likely never go back.

And if your needs grow, of course you can update to the “big brother” versions later.

You may even be interested in the new AVID Edit on Demand virtual production environment AVID are releasing (they have a freebie webinar on it coming up next week if you want to have a look).

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