Avid has created a completely free version of its popular online video editor called Media Composer First. In most cases, the free version offers the same functionality as its commercial version, however, it has a number of restrictions on the number of involved tracks and video and audio codecs.
Media Composer First will be of interest to both beginners and advanced users. Avid made an abbreviated version of their professional tool called Media Composer First because there was a request from users. After all, this program is used not only by highly paid professionals in the field of cinematography, but also by students of specialized higher educational institutions who cannot pay a lot of money for using it.
As you might have guessed, Avid Media Composer First does not have all the features of the full version of the program. The corresponding reduction in functionality was a big problem for the manufacturer, because, on the one hand, it was necessary to keep professionals with paid versions, and on the other hand, to provide valuable software for people who were just starting out.
Initially, it was announced that the interface would be simplified, but in the end Avid Media Composer First received … almost all the tools from the paid version of the program. Avid says that not even Hollywood editors were able to tell the difference. The limitations are mainly related to file handling.
The free version of Media Composer First only offers 4 video and 8 audio tracks, and exports are limited to 1080p file formats at 59.94 frames per second. Therefore, if you want to output 4K video, Media Composer First cannot be used. Full HD will be the limit of its capabilities. You can only import and process 4K files if all or part of the footage has been shot in high resolution.
Of course, the differences are actually much larger, but they all touch on rather detailed issues that, rather, do not worry potential filmmakers who are not involved in editing.
This popular program can be downloaded for free for Windows and macOS. By the way, it’s worth mentioning that Avid Media Composer First is another large and extensive editing program that is distributed free of charge.
The standard version of Media Composer has been in use for nearly thirty years, so it should come as no surprise that the software is very extensive. Therefore, it is surprising that in terms of many tools, the free version is very close to the paid version in terms of its functionality.