Avid Goes 88 MPH 'Back to the Future' with Media Composer 8.8

88 MPH Back to the Future
With today's release of Media Composer 8.8, Avid Technologies brings back two important features not seen since version 7.

It's rare in the world of software to see features return that we've lost. Usually, if a developer drops a feature, it's due to a lack of popularity, and even if a few users complain loudly about its absence, developer resources are already more focused on new features. But, sometimes, legacy features come back around, as they did today with the release of Media Composer 8.8, which resurrects both PhraseFind and ScriptSync.

These features are both popular enough that they have kept some editors and post houses on MC 7 in order to maintain their functionality. Built on Emmy-award-winning technology from Nexidia, PhraseFind and ScriptSync are tools that help editors quickly manage tremendous volumes of footage in a sophisticated fashion. PhraseFind is a powerful dialogue search tool that allows editors to search through all the footage available for specific words and phrases spoken by the subjects, without the use of a transcription.

Especially for doc editors—but for anyone with a lot of footage to sort through—this is an amazing feature.

Especially for doc editors—but for anyone with a lot of footage to sort through—this is an amazing feature. When you know that at some point, somewhere in your footage, someone talked about how much they like orange juice, but you can't remember where, instead of having to scrub every shot looking for the individual sound bite, you simply type "orange juice" into the search menu and it shows you every time anyone says orange juice anywhere in your footage.

Somewhere deep in your footage someone mentioned Orange Juice. PhraseFind makes it easier to find.Credit: Shutterstock

Phrase find even allows phonetic spelling, so you could type "oranj joose" and it would likely find the right moments in your footage. This is especially helpful when searching for proper names you might not know how to spell correctly, or when looking for utterances like whoops of joy. Today's release integrates MC 8.8 with ScriptSync and PhraseFind version 2,  with improvements in the way dialects and accents are searched and with improved ability to index unclear audio.

Script Sync WindowCredit: Avid

ScriptSync builds on that technology for scripted projects. It will automatically index all of your dialogue, then connect it to your script, so you can search by page or scene number and evaluate all the available takes for a given line of dialogue.

Unfortunately, these features are not bundled in with your Avid software, so they require an extra purchase on top of your Avid license or subscription. The price depends on whether you are upgrading from a previous version and or buying both together, but they do offer a generous $49 combination purchase of both tools for academic users.

PhraseFind Features:

  • More powerful phonetic indexing engine that speeds up indexing time
  • Updates to the Find window, with better visual integration with Media Composer
  • Auto-fill for the search field
  • Shorter phoneme phrases deliver more accurate results
  • Improved indexing of unclear audio
  • Supports more dialects and accents

ScriptSync Features:

  • Updated color palette
  • Video Frames support 4x3 and 16x9
  • Undo and Redo Stacks
  • User Notes
  • Edit Script Text

Your Comment


Curious to hear from someone who has significant experience with PhraseFind - how well does it work?

February 17, 2017 at 2:34PM


I works as advertised. The part of the demo that made me switch to Avid and purchase the license for PF had the instructor type in the word "Plane" and if found and put the play head on every segment that had a subject saying plane. But it also found clips which contained "Plain" but further down.

February 19, 2017 at 3:51AM

Justin Gladden

This is fantastic! Makes me want to restart my Avid subscription.

February 19, 2017 at 3:50AM

Justin Gladden