Digital video editing company
Avid Technology Inc.
last week released
Avid Free DV, a free version of their nonlinear video editing software developed to give curious users a taste of what their commercial products are like. Writing for
The Boston Globe
, columnist John P. Mello Jr. said that Apple’s iMovie hasn’t anything to fear in a new Personal Tech column entitled
Free DV: Don’t try this at home.
Mello calls Free DV “a pale version” of the company’s upscale Express products. He said that pros who use competitive products to Avid’s own may value the chance to sample the Avid interface, “this software is a nightmare” for the inexperienced curious.
“It obfuscates its functions with jargon. And its interface is daunting. That’s quite a checklist of negatives when you take into account there are no tutorials to explain the workings of the program, its help files are unhelpful, and there’s no technical support,” Mello added.
Mello — who ran the software on a PC (it’s also available for the Mac) said that installation was the easiest procedure. “After that, it was all downhill,” he mused.
Calling Apple’s own iMovie “intuitive,” Mello explained that users need simply to connect their video camera to a FireWire port, click capture, and transfer video. (Like Avid Free DV, iMovie is also available for free, from Apple’s Web site, or bundled as part of its commercial iLife package.)
“When I followed those procedures with Free DV, my video camera started running for about 30 seconds, then I received a message that the audio and video settings were incompatible. The program offered to make the proper adjustments for me, and I permitted it do so. But all the video I’d captured to that point was lost,” Mello said.
More hilarity ensued, according to Mello — ultimately, he failed to capture any video.
“Annoyed and frustrated, I closed the bin window. Up popped the welcome screen. Welcome to the Avid Famiy! [sic] Enjoy your Avid editing experience! My response was not suitable for publication,” he said.