Avid Studio review

Price when reviewed

Avid software dominates the broadcast video market, but it has been many years since it launched anything for non-professional users. In fact, after acquiring Pinnacle Systems in 2005, one of its first moves was to cease development of Pinnacle Liquid, an excellent mid-price editor. Avid’s handling of the consumer-oriented Pinnacle Studio has been more positive. Since 2005 it has been transformed from a bug-riddled disaster to one of the best beginner-friendly editors around.

Now Avid has a brand new editor, going by the name Avid Studio. Anyone hoping for a cut-down version of Avid’s professional products is out of luck – this is essentially another version of Pinnacle Studio. The core timeline tools are the same, and the effects, transitions and disc menu libraries are drawn from bundled and bolt-on packages already available for Pinnacle’s editor.

But the interface has been redesigned – it looks more businesslike than Pinnacle – and there are deeper changes under its skin. A new media library manages everything from raw media and project files to effects, animated text templates and music clips.

Avid Studio - Studio FX

The library does a good job of showing off the vast amount of bundled content, and keeps it manageable too. Any of the above can be grouped into Collections, and the tabbed panels in the main editing environment can be customised to show whatever group of assets is pertinent to the task in hand.

The best news for those hoping to layer up lots of media is that Avid Studio supports unlimited timeline tracks, with each one accommodating any type of media. It’s a far cry from Pinnacle Studio’s two video tracks, and transforms its potential for sophisticated intro sequences and animated graphics.

It’s backed up by impressive preview performance, with smooth playback of five simultaneous AVCHD clips on our Core i7-870 test PC – one more than Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum. There’s nothing to match Vegas’s extensive options for balancing preview quality against frame rate – previews appear to be fixed at 960×540 for 1080p projects. However, it compensates with a background rendering function, which generates temporary files when playback is paused.


Software subcategoryVideo editing software

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported?yes
Operating system Windows XP supported?no
Operating system Linux supported?no

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