At its Avid Connect event prceding the opening of the NAB Show floor, Avid positioned new versions of its flagship Media Composer NLE that seem designed in part to go head-to-head with Adobe’s subscription-based Creative Cloud tools.

Media Composer First, which the company said has had more than 100,000 activations, will remain free as an introduction to the world of Avid editing.

Avid Media Composer screenshot

Avid Media Composer

A new version of Media Composer is available as a cloud subscription starting at less than $20/month with a one-year commitment ($24.99 on a month-to-month basis) and includes a full editorial feature set with 24 video tracks, 64 audio tracks, and unlimited bins. This version also has a refined UI and support for 4K, 8K and HDR.

What’s the catch? Media Composer is designed for independent editors, Avid said. That means anyone working with creative teams needs Media Composer Ultimate, which is the only way to get access to collaborative capabilities like shared storage support as well as the popular ScriptSync and PhraseFind options.

Avid On Demand

Avid also announced Avid On Demand, a new cloud software-as-a-service platform designed to let facilities spin up sophisticated services as needed, without sizable investments in time or capital.

Among the services available in On Demand are transcoding and packaging, Media Composer seats and storage, closed-captioning and language verification, and phonetic search capabilities that allow users to find content that matches a given word or phrase.

Some of the new offerings are part of a suite called Avid AI that incorporates machine-learning technology from Avid, Microsoft, and other third parties. Hosted on Microsoft Azure, the On Demand offerings are expected to become available in the second half of this year, the company said.

The Latest Avid Artist Hardware

Avid Artist DNxID product shot

Avid Artist DNxID

New hardware from Avid includes the Artist DNxID, a portable desktop I/O interface allowing HD, UHD and 4K monitoring along with hardware-accelerated DNxHD and DNxHR encoding, as well as the ability to record live audio to the timeline. It has an SDXC card slot and a Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port for Mac connectivity. And the Artist DNxIP is another portable box with the ability to stream HD and 2K video over an IP network via Ethernet. It also supports voiceover recording and eight-channel audio monitoring.

Also new from Avid this year is Nexis E5 NL, a high-density nearline storage system, and an expansion of the NEXIS E2 SSD, now with a 40 Gbps client providing the required speed for 4K finishing.