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Avid Xpress DV 3.5 for Mac OS XTewksbury Titan Rolls Out the Big Guns
For this report, we decided to review the Mac OS X version of the software, since the PC version was the one I focused on in our earlier review of version 3.0 on Windows 2000, the only platform supported by that version (click here to read that review, which covers many of the features in common with this new release). The lack of OS versatility somewhat limited its appeal in my opinion, since Windows 2000 was a great OS in its day but one that's been eclipsed by the higher speed, greater stability and user-friendliness of Windows XP Professional, the PC OS of choice for version 3.5. But never mind that. The big draw with version 3.5 is its Mac OS X compatibility. And we're here to tell you, this release takes advantage of the stability and aesthetic beauty of OS X. When I loaded the OS X version of Xpress DV 3.5 on a dual 1GHz Mac G4, I was pleased to see that its interface looks just like OS X, with its water droplet look and smooth, curvilinear atmosphere. Everything has that appealing look we've gotten accustomed to on Mac OS X.
When you first get started, it's a convenience to choose from one of Avid's new (with version 3.0) Customizable Workspaces. You're able to quickly switch back and forth between work arrangements, or use the nicely-arranged ones Avid provides for functions like recording, capturing, audio editing and source-record editing. This is a useful feature, where you'll find yourself jumping to different settings as the need arises. They seems to speed things along, and serve as a good starting point when you're just getting used to the software, suggesting certain tools for certain tasks.
|Click for enlargement -- Avid Xpress DV 3.5 screen shot|
|Click for enlargement -- Xpress DV 3.5 recording workspace, showing the easily-adjustable preroll time|
It's also nice to see an old Avid friend, Dupe Detection, a Power Pack feature annoyingly absent in Final Cut Pro, that tells you if you've used a shot already on a show. Another welcome old friend is the Avid-standard Quick Transition window (see graphic at right), a totally active graphic representation of the transition you choose. It defaults to a simple dissolve but there are a half dozen dips and fades available in a pulldown menu. In the Quick Transition window you have mouse control over most parameters of the transition. Drag the dissolve handles to lengthen or shorten the duration. A pulldown menu gives you the standard center, start-at-cut or end-at-cut choices or you can drag the entire dissolve left or right for a custom start.. I also like the easy way of managing your data and clips that Avid had nailed down years ago but where others are just now getting started, like the Find Bin command, which is useful if you're working on an hour-long documentary and need to find out where one of 1000 shots came from among 100 bins.
Related Keywords:Charlie White, Avid Xpress DV, PC, new version, Digital Media Net, Avid Xpress DV 3.5 Mac OS X , sophisticated color correction controls, interface, Media Composer, Symphony, Mac OS X, Windows XP, review
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