Among the big four editing platforms currently with large market share (Premiere, Final Cut X, Resolve and Avid's Media Composer), MC sometimes gets a bad wrap for not innovating as quickly as some of it's competitors.

That is not true, of course, since there are countless features Avid was the first to roll out (or the first to at least roll it out properly). ScriptSync and PhraseFind are still the gold standard for automated text analysis, for instance. 

However, there is one area where MC has lagged a bit behind, and that is UI (user interface). While you can customize it quite a bit and create a very modern look, the default installation UI for MC has always felt a bit 90s.  

At NAB 2019, Avid announced that they have completely redesigned the UI. Now, Avid has one of the longest and largest installed userbases in the country, so it will be possible to recreate the original UI.

Editors who got Avid Certified in 2005 and have used it every day since aren't likely to care about a brand new UI; they want it to keep working like it has, and might integrate new features slowly. So who is this for?

It's likely more exciting for younger editors who are considering picking up Media Composer as the new UI promises to make it easier to learn the platform and all its possibilities.


In addition to new media navigation metadata tools, the new design features a fluid timeline and, most importantly, task-based layouts. Sound familiar?

Maybe because they are similar for Resolve, Premiere, and FC-X users already. You look at the same timeline, but as you switch between "edit" and "color" views, the interface changes dramatically around it. Of course, there were always pre-built window layouts in Media Composer that populated certain key windows for given tasks, the new tasked based layouts should take that design further to make tasks less technically onerous and more creatively fruitful.

What else

Well under the hood there is an entirely new, end to end, 32-bit floating point color pipeline.

What this means for end users is that there will no longer be destructive steps in the image pipeline, so say you decide to clip out the sky in the top of a shot, you should be able to bring it back in the next step in the process.  So if you are combining multiple Color Corrector effects in on your clip, those effects should be less destructive on your source shot because the processing is designed to reserve extra detail.  

All of this is available as of today to subscribers to Media Composer software, which can cost as little as $19.95/month.

There also continues to be the Media Composer First free option available, which is limited in the number of tracks and doesn't allow projects to move over to full Media Composer.

  • New 32-bit color processing engine
  • Completely redesigned UI
  • Task-based layouts
  • Fluid timeline