Avid have recently announced that they are selling off some Audio and Video components in order to focus back on its core market. That said, in the current financial climate and the poor share performance of the company the question would be... “If Avid disappeared tomorrow what would happen for the rest of us?”
In the short term the answer would be nothing. Most people who have invested heavily in the ‘purple one’ would continue to run them into the ground. Stable releases such as MC5 would still be able to continue in to the short term. Facilities running the likes of ISIS and Unity MediaNetwork would also continue as long as hardware support does not become an issue with them. Large sites still running Interplay releases would also be able to continue into the short and mid terms, as long as workflows don’t vary too much.
But with camera manufacturers ever exploding codecs, it wouldn’t be long until certain cameras would not be able to function with a legacy products such as Media Composer and Unity.
With rich code and long standing customer base I’m sure that the code would be up for grabs, but I’m also sure that not many people would be willing to take on the big toys that Avid have brought to the market such as Unity ISIS, which is in essence proprietary hardware that would be costly to maintain. Without joined up code then, would Avid be such an attractive package for the professional who would be looking to renew his NLE platform?
Adobe have recently sured up their commitment to the Professional
with the release of Premiere Pro CS6 which has had glowing reviews, and when taken as a suite offers an amazing package with the recent addition of Speed Grade which brings Avid’s Symphony offering into question!?
Apple have at long last started to get their act together with the latest release of FCPX now supporting a client monitor, but that said there market is very firmly NOT aimed at the Professional market and there does not appear to any concerted effort from Apple to help streamline a facilities workflow with Cloud based offerings from within FCPX!?
So those are the 2 obvious choices but who else could we look to?
SONY. Sony have long been in and out of the prefessional NLE sphere, and sadly it has never really cracked it, and while Sony Vegas has a great set of tools it just doesn’t seam to have the right feel about it to convince the end user.
GrassValley. Edius has been with us for some time now but it rare that I bump into it unless I come across a GV installation. From my experience Edius has a very neat tool set but again does suffer from a rather clunky workflow when using shared resources, which may not be such as issue to a lot of users.
Who would my money be on? I think I would go with Adobe on their current commitments in their applications, but I would love to see would buy Avids Media Composer code and what they would do with it, if anything. Some have said that the likes of BlackMagic would buy the code and others have said the likes of SONY would by it, lets hope not as they showed how not to do with when they teamed up with Medias100! In any case it would be big shoes to fill if Avid were to disappear overnight, and it would also need a change in mind set from users as Avid have brought in some technologies and tools that are now very common practice across the industry.
We all love to bitch about Avid, but what would we do without them?