Today Avid will announce a new license model for their Media Composer line up of products giving users more choices in the way that they operate their Avid editing workstations.
The first significant change is the removal of NewsCutter from the Media line up as an entirely separate product. In the same way that Symphony was removed from the line up with the introduction of Media Composer version 7, users requiring the News oriented features of NewsCutter (for example the NRCS Tool) will be able to purchase Media Composer and add the Media Composer | NewsCutter Option.
Avid have chosen to use a new nomenclature for the Media Composer line (which extends across many of their products) which uses the “pipe” separator. And so the new stable of Media Composer products and add-on options is as follows:
- Media Composer | Software (Effectively the base version)
- Media Composer | Symphony Option
- Media Composer | NewsCutter Option
- Media Composer | ScriptSync Option
- Media Composer | PhraseFind Option
- Avid Production Pack (A set of advanced 3rd party supporting products)
- Dongle License Option
Note that the Media Composer | Software option as well as the Media Composer | Symphony and Media Composer | NewsCutter options can be used with Avid Nitris DX, Avid Mojo DX and indeed many other hardware device options available from 3rd parties through the Avid Open I/O program.
A further option is also available for those wishing to use Media Composer from a location separate from the main production facility:
- Media Composer | Cloud (This option is effectively a renaming of the previous Interplay Sphere product)
The second significant change to the Avid licensing model for Media Composer is the addition of several licensing method options.
Previously a prospective Media Composer purchaser could take the default software activated license option or select to purchase the product with a Dongle protected license at an added cost. These two methods have always been perpetual license models – that is to say that once purchased the product is not time limited and can continue to be used without restriction.
The Dongle method makes the transfer of licenses between workstations relatively easy (for example between traditional workstations and more portable laptop based machines) especially where internet access is limited, however there is always the risk of hardware failure or loss preventing the use of the Avid product.
The software activation method provides a straightforward method of activating and associating a license with a specific workstation. This method does allow the transfer of the license to another machine by deactivating on the first machine and re-activating the product on the second. However this method does require an internet connection at some point to activate and de-activate the software – this is not ideal for all users especially those with large deployments.
Avid are announcing two new mechanisms for Media Composer version 8 in addition to the previous two perpetual license methods.
The first is an all new (to Avid) subscription model where users can purchase the use of Media Composer in monthly or yearly increments. This licensing method is ideal for facilities requiring a core number of Media Composer workstations to operate with perhaps a dongle based or software based license but which sometimes need to augment the existing core with additional workstations to accommodate larger than normal workloads or demand. This method is also ideal for organisations which frequently run short term or temporary projects such as seasonal shows or perhaps sports. It also allows for flexibility in terms of financial planning where potentially, the cost of software licenses could come from other budget silos. Included with this model is access to the latest version of the product.
Avid have previously offered a licensing mechanism to educational organisations where a license server could be installed in the facility to allow a floating license model. The second new licensing initiative then is the widening of access to the floating license model to non-educational use facilities. This method offers larger facilities and organisations the flexibility to manage Media Composer licenses from servers based within the organisation and enabling the control and deployment of Editing workstations as required by the needs of the organisation. In this model licenses are not bound to specific machines until they are required. Licenses are “checked out” from a pool of licenses controlled by a central licensing server.
As further information about the implementation of the new licensing methods becomes available I hope to be able to offer more of a comparison of each license method along with some discussion of the pros and cons of each in an additional article. In the meantime Avid’s Knowledgebase offers a good “Frequently Asked Questions” page on the new options that will be released with Media Composer 8 here: Media Composer Licensing Frequently Asked Questions