AVID Media Composer 2020.4 makes the switch to 64-bit.
That wait is over. AVID Media Composer now supports 64-bit applications making it compatible with macOS Catalina. Version 2020.4 not only adds the popular operating system to its repertoire, but integrates Windows ProRes support, boosts performance, and improves the interface.
Media Composer is now compatible with 64-bit applications which includes Catalina v10.15.4. That said, 32-bit applications will no longer run, and there are a caveats with the new version.
When running Catalina, there is no support for DMF, Nitirs DX and Mojo DX, the Avid Title Tool or Marquee as well as Media Central. Also, if your setup connects to Production Management, you won't be able to upgrade. For Media Composer Enterprise users, the admin tool is not yet supported but the client will run on Catalina.
Some of the QuickTime functionality in macOS Catalina is limited as well. You cannot:
- MP4 export
- Link to MOV or MP4 files using DNxHD with Alpha, Meridien, MPEG 50, DV, MPEG 4 (H.263), or other formats that require a QuickTime Codec
- Link to 3GP, 3G2, AU, AVI, BMP, DV, GIF, M4V, MID, MP2, MP3, MPE
- WAV and AIFF import/export containing uncompressed PCM audio at 8 and 32-bit
- Link, import or export QuickTime Reference, Same as Source
- Link, import or export Variable Frame Rate (VFR) H.264 in MOV, MP4
Universal Media Engine
AVID no longer completely relies on QuickTime with its new Universal Media Engine (UME) plug-in for linking, importing, playback, editing, and exporting. If you've updated to version 2020.4 on a system with QuickTime still installed, you may not experience changes immediately with files that rely on QuickTime. The new UME should support improve performance for H.264 files, but how much will be machine dependent.
With UME, DNxHD media has been update to support the ADHRv2 standard. Now MOV files containing DNxHD with Alpha that were generated in earlier versions of AVID and third-party software, will be converted to MXF OP1a upon linking.
It also means that DNxHD MOV files created using UME will require an updated QuickTime PE/LE codec package to be supported by the previous version of Media Composer and third-party software. AVID says it plans to update older versions and provide an installer for third-party programs. Until then, it's something to be keen on.
Media Composer now supports Apple ProRes media in OP-Atom, MXF OP1a, and MOV containers on both Mac and Windows. Windows users can now create, edit, collaborate, and export ProRes media natively with full decoding and encoding. AVID has also added Apple ProRes to the Media Creation settings, including options for 422 HQ, 422 LT, 422, and 422 proxy.
For those waiting for Apple ProRes RAW support, which was announced in September of 2019 during IBC, you'll have to wait a little longer.
S1 Control Surface
Version 2020.4 adds support for audio channel meters in both AVID S1 Control Surface and Control app. Avid Control is essentially a mobile control surface that allows you to record and mix audio directly from a iOS, Android, Fire OS tablet or smartphone. It can be used independently or in concert with the S1 which is great if you have a client who wants to get hands on with a mix.
If you are Windows 7 user, version 2020.4 will not support the operating system. Only Windows 10 64-bit is now being supported.