New Avid subscription service/Avid Media Composer 8
Avid Media Composer 8 can be bought as either a permanent licence or as a subscription. There has been a reasonable amount of confusion over the different options so we aim to clarify this here. You can always email us @firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or ring 01273 205700 .
Adobe introduced this service for their Creative Cloud versions of the software in 2013 and now Avid followed suit in may 2014. Unlike Adobe Avid are still letting you buy a "permanent" licence of the software - where you pay for the whole thing up front and it carries on working for ever (or as long as you have a computer that can run it). If you want to keep up to date then you pay Avid an upgrade fee at the end of the year, although if you don't have to, and if you don't the software keeps working. Full details of both packages are available below.
You pay a fee per month and if you stop paying the fee the software no longer works. All upgrades to the software that are released during the subscription are included in the price. You can rent for one month or commit for a year. You have slightly more software included with the subscription option than with the permanent licence. The software licence includes:
Avid Media Composer with Symphony option (superior colour correction to regular Media Composer), NewBlue Titler Pro v2, Sorenson Squeeze Lite & Boris Continuum Complete Lite. This also includes some calls to Avid support.
We do not current have information on what is in these "lite" versions of the software. The subscription costs:
- £35.75 per month if you commit to a year ($39.99 if you already own MC 6.5 and above) = £429+VAT per year.
- If you own Media Composer 6.5 or 7 you can get a reduced subscription for the first year of £349+VAT. In the second year this raises to the normal subscription price.
- $74.99 for 1 month subscription. We do not yet have a UK price for the 1 month subscription currently and this may possibly only be available from the Avid website, with the year subscription available from us at DVC.
This includes: Avid Media Composer and NewBlue Titler Pro v2. Avid support for 1 year. Subscribers get V2.5 of Titler Pro plus Boris Continuum Lite - 5 filters from the full BCC package - and the Symphony grading options for Media Composer. Of these the Symphony grading options are by far the most useful. These are available as add-ons for Media Composer perpetual licence.
Media Composer perpetual licence: £939+VAT
Symphony option with Boris Continuum Lite : £539+VAT
1 year Avid support contract : gives you all software updates to a permanent licence for 1 year (see more info below) : £190+VAT
Newscutter option : £359+VAT
Avid Production Pack (NewBlue Titler Pro 2, Sorenson Squeeze & IZotope Insight): £429+VAT
Dongle option (use a USB dongle to activate the licence rather than activating over the internet): £360+VAT
The price of £939 also includes all software updates, major or minor, for the first year. In the second year you will have the option of buying a support/upgrade package for Media Composer for £190+VAT. This will entitle you to all software updates for the second year and Avid support. In year 3 you can pay another £190+VAT to keep receiving updates. If you miss out a year- for example you pay for upgrades in year 2, but do not pay for anything in year 3, then when year 4 starts you cannot upgrade the software any more, but have to buy a completely new version for £939+VAT. So the permanent licence is a but like a subscription in that you have to pay Avid money every year if you want to keep the software up to date, but if you decide to stop paying them then you still have the current version which you can use for as long as you want.
Upgrading an old version of Media Composer to the new MC8 permanent licence
From the start of 2015 you can only upgrade to the latest version from a version that you have bought in the last 12 months. Until the end of 2014 Avid were letting people update from ANY version but from the start of 2015 this has finished. If you have an earlier version and want to update you have to buy a new permanent licence or subscription. You cannot use your old dongle either on a new version. You must either switch to software activation or buy a new dongle. At the end of March Avid introduced a special offer for owners of earlier version which does let them update to the current Avid at a reduced cost. This offer ends on the 15th May 2015. See below for more details.
Comparing the cost
The main decision about whether to choose a subscription or permanent licence is probably how much does it cost. The following table compares the cost of 5 years:
Avid Media Composer permanent licence : Year 1: £939+VAT, Year 2: £1,158, Year 3: £1,377, Year 4: £1,596, Year 5: £1,815
Avid Media Composer Permanent licence with similar add on software as subscription: Year 1: £1,478+VAT , Year 2: £1,697, Year 3: £1,916, Year 4: £2,135, Year 5: £2,354
Avid Media Composer subscription Year 1 £429, Year 2 £858,Year 3 £1,287, Year 4 £1,716, Year 5 £2,145
All prices are ex-VAT. These prices show how much each option will cost over 5 years. The figures are cumulative so the amount for 5 years is how much in total you will have paid in those 5 years. What they are proving is that if you keep your permanent licence up to date the cost is pretty much the same as paying for Avid with a yearly subscription.
The permanent licence with "similar" software to the subscription version is the permanent licence plus the "Symphony option" which adds the Symphony-style colour correction and Boris Continuum to Avid Media Composer. The subscription will still have NewBlue Titler Pro 2 included which this permanent licence option will not have. You can add this too buy adding the production pack, however, this also adds some iZoTope plug-ins and the full version of Squeeze so would give you more than the subscription, hence we left it out. We are not trying to convince you that you should buy a subscription or a permanent licence (something we sometimes get accused of by subscription hating people!) just trying to lay out the facts so that you can decide what is best for you.
What happened to Avid FX?
Avid FX is a compositing program, which is also sold under the name of Boris RED. It is a very powerful compositing program and some thing which has been a major asset to Media Composer for many years as it has been bundled with the software. With the advent of Media Composer 8 it is no longer bundled and you need to buy it separately. We have been told that Avid FX 6, which shipped with Avid Media Composer 6.5 & 7 will work with Media Composer 8; presumably some time in the future you will need to pay to upgrade to a new version when we reach Media Composer 9 or 10, but not at the moment.
If you want to buy Avid FX the best option is to buy Boris RED which is £629+VAT and available here: http://www.dvc.uk.com/acatalog/Boris_Red.html. If you owne Avid FX already you can upgarde to Boris Red for £184+VAT (http://www.dvc.uk.com/acatalog/Avid-FX-to-Boris-Red-5.5-upgrade.html)
You can do many of the thing that you could do in Boris RED, like animated masks, painting and high quality slow motion in Avid itself so you may decide you do not need it, but there are many things you can do in RED that you cannot do in Avid on its own.
What happened to Avid DVD?
Avid DVD is the DVD and Blu-ray authoring program which up to now shipped with Avid Media Composer. Although this program will still be available to anyone who currently owns Avid it does not ship with MC8. It will also not be getting any updates. The program has not been updated in the last few years anyway, so the lack of any improvements is not unexpected, however, now Avid users won't get an authoring tool at all and will have to look elsewhere. This is almost like Adobe, who have said that Adobe Encore will not be updated, although if you rent Adobe software via the Creative Cloud you still get access to Encore CS6, even if you know it will not get any improvements.
A good option is to buy Sony DVD Architect which is a very comprehensive authoring program and works withAvid Quicktime reference files.