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Media 100 Steps Out with Suite 1.5

COW Library : Media 100 : Nick Griffin : Media 100 Steps Out with Suite 1.5
CreativeCOW presents Media 100 Steps Out with Suite 1.5 -- Media 100 | Media 100 HD Review


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As one who frequents several of the Creative Cow's forums, I'm always struck by the questions from people using fairly old and out-dated versions of popular software programs. And while it may be understandable with people who can get by without always having the latest and greatest, nowhere does this stand out for me as much as it does within the Media 100 Cow community. Perhaps you've also noticed the posts which begin with:

"I'm using Media 100 version 8 and I ran into..."

"My Media 100i system recently began to..."


Having started on the Media 100 platform in 1995, moved away in the early part of the last decade only to rapidly return after seeing the feature set in Media100 Producer, I guess I can understand how some people and some businesses might want to try another NLE or be seduced by the latest flavor of the month. But what I simply don't get is the group that stays frozen on the same version for years and, in some cases, even more than a decade. Hello? Um... WHAT are you waiting for? Or is it that you simply don't know what modern software can do and how fast it can do it?

This is where I'm going to go into a little bit of a rant for a few paragraphs, if you want to skip ahead to the part where I talk about Media 100 Suite 1.5, just skip down to "What's it do now that it didn't do before?"

Let me throw a little perspective into the subject for anyone under 35. When non linear editing systems first came on the scene in the early nineties they were replacing three conventional ways of working: on-line/ broadcast quality editing (done in rooms using hundreds of thousands of dollars of gear), off-line editing (usually done as a less expensive way to work out in advance what you would be doing in an on-line session, but many times used for a non-broadcast products like industrials), and third of course was traditional flatbed editing which involved splicing together lengths of film. All three were expensive and the latter two were, out of necessity, almost always cuts only.

Early non linear systems we're in the low to mid tens of thousands of dollars. Media 100 was one of the first capable of working at high enough quality that for most things there was no need to take an edit decision list (EDL) from it over to an on-line system for "finishing." The picture I'm painting for you is a world in which several hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of decks, controllers, switchers, audio consoles, DVE and other specialty boxes, etc. -- along with the people needed to run them -- were replaced by off the shelf computers housing a few specialized cards, some big and fast (for the time) hard drive arrays, a single record/playback deck and a monitor all brought together for as little as $20,000 or so. What a revolution! Real work for a fraction of what it used to cost.

Jump ahead to today and we've almost taken another decimal point off the cost. In fact with many flavors of DV and with file-based rather than tape-based cameras, functional NLE systems can be assembled in the low thousands of dollars. To simplify, in twenty years the cost of being in the video editing business has gone from $400,000 to $20,000 to $2,000, or one half of one percent of what it used to cost. Oh, and don't even get me started on the fact that 1990's $400,000 facility was SD and 2010's NLE, with the right storage, is likely capable of glorious high definition.

What's my point and why have I offered a three paragraph history lesson? Because it makes me nuts that some people and some businesses are frozen in time, not updating their software for years and years when it is so unbelievably inexpensive to do so. Different production facilities have different cost structures and therefore different abilities to absorb operating expenses. I get it. But at my company the cost of a version upgrade or even a one year service agreement routinely gets earned in part of an afternoon. So why would we, or anyone else for that matter NOT want the multiple advances and improvements that come with successive upgrades? Read on to learn more about what they are.



Comments

Re: Media 100 Steps Out with Suite 1.5
by Matty O'tool
Hi Nick,
Sorry, I've been away and did not repost to clarify.
I'm in agreement with you on the upgrading.
My point is, if they want to regain market share or create some sort of buzz, they (the Boris Folks) will need to market the Product.
It isn't on anyone's radar screen at all, unless you happen to already own a Media100 system.
I'm ok with being "the only guy in town" on Media100. However, I bet that they can not sustain for long without selling the newly developed systems. We have all seen what happens when the development at media100 exceeds the sales.
Re: Media 100 Steps Out with Suite 1.5
by Chris Pettit
I have used Media 100 since the early '90s. I now use Media 100i version 8.3.2 which does everything I need at present. The main reason I haven't updated every time an update becomes available is that I have learnt through bitter experience to leave well alone! In the past I have spent days and torn my hair out trying to sort out compatibility problems that occurred after an upgrade.

However, I need to think about HD and I am very interested in using the Sony Z7 in tapeless mode (I use Canon XL2 at present). I am interested to know how well this camera integrates with the latest Media 100 system. Any information would be most welcome.
Re: Media 100 Steps Out with Suite 1.5
by Nick Griffin
[Chris Pettit] "I have spent days and torn my hair out trying to sort out compatibility problems that occurred after an upgrade."

Chris-
As Bill Clinton said, "I feel your pain." However there is less pain, in fact MUCH less pain (usually) when going up a single version rather than attempting to jump a decade. This is not just true of Media 100, but almost all software.

Media 100 Suite requires the Leopard OS so you'll need a machine able to run it. We recently upgraded to Adobe's Creative Suite 5 and it wasn't until the box arrived that I saw it required the Intel chip set. That forced a scramble to switch out the final PowerPC machine for our Intel Octocore. The good news was that M100 Suite 1.5 has both a PPC and Intel version so we were able to easily keep both seats operating. This is not the case with the CS5 products and especially not the case with Final Cut Studio. If you don't have an Intel machine you're not moving past CS4 and FCS 2.

Chris, you've gotten a good long life out of your Media 100 system and it's time to bite the bullet and get a new Mac and upgrade to Suite 1.5 -- you will be pleased with the many, many improvements. But make the change safely by keeping the old one around until you're fully debugged and running without problems. Fact of the matter is an old Mac isn't worth very much so why NOT keep it around for a while?

As to going HD, you will be pleasantly surprised how simple that is. The biggest obstacle will be the need for a fat and fast RAID. We bought CalDigit and have been quite satisfied. I understand that their latest generation is stupifyingly faster. (See David Weiss review here on the COW.)

As to:
[Chris Pettit] "I am very interested in using the Sony Z7 in tapeless mode"

This question will be lost buried this far down in a thread. Re-submit it as the start of a new thread and you're likely to get some answers.

Re: Media 100 Steps Out with Suite 1.5
by Chris Pettit
Hi Nick

Thanks for all this good advice. Plenty there for me to ponder. I will repost my Z7 question as you suggest.

Thanks

Chris
Re: Media 100 Steps Out with Suite 1.5
by Matty O'tool
So Why Are some living in the past?
Apparently they are not living in the past. They aren't even interested in the past.
After Several Weeks of this being posted; I'm still the only one that's even commented.
The newest versions of M100 have been very nice. However, if Nick Griffin's Cow Corner is the only place they talk about the software; it's over.
Re: Media 100 Steps Out with Suite 1.5
by Nick Griffin
What are you saying, Matty? One of the premises of my piece is that there are many people here on the Media 100 COW who are asking questions / having problems with versions that are MANY years old. I simply don't get how anyone can NOT stay current with the software that they use to earn their living when it is comparatively sooo inexpensive to do so. I have to assume it's because they don't realize what features/capabilities are in the current versions.

Does M100 have the same market share / buzz as FCP? Not even close and not even by a long, long shot. But that doesn't make it dead. There are any number of people out there making a living using Media 100, including me and now that it's in the hands of the Boris organization it's being updated at a much faster rate than are most products serving this market. Hardly seems dead in that regard.

Why did I come back to Media 100 from FCP? Because Media 100 is much quicker to use for so many tasks and many types/styles of editing. For me it's the better product, IMHO.


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