What To Do With Avid MediaLog?

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Back in the days of tapes-based workflows, MediaLog was a handy tool to provide loggers, producers and other contributing collaborators to  participate in the dailies prep process. It still has deck control, timecode support, clip creation, logging, ALE import/export and the ability to open Avid projects and bins. It was a key solution in the editing process of Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedian” posted in 2002 with all 500 hours of DV material viewed and logged via MediaLog controlling a DV deck. This was before the price of Media Composer was $995 and was cost prohibitive to have at home for logging purposes. 

MediaLog has also been used as a companion tool for metadata management when prepping lists such as cutlists and EDL’s used in the downstream conform process. Its ability to set bin display to see all elements of the sequence and make corrections as needed made it a useful tool anywhere in the post process.

But with the demise of tape-based acquisition, MediaLog is quickly showing its age, but is still part of the Media Composer installer.  I gave it a quick look to see if anything had changed with it and whether or not it had inherited any new functionality from Media Composer. Unfortunately it has not.

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None of the new UI or control has been added, which is not that big of deal but in the example above, the new clip color cannot be assigned, and the clip icon does not indicate that these clips are AMA linked. So its use as a metadata handler for file based workflows, or working with newer versions of Media Composer is diminished. 

So what to do with MediaLog? It could become more of a file-based preparation tool for Media Composer the same way that Prelude is that tool for Premiere Pro.  Adobe Prelude has a great feature set, quick logging, and can transcode as part of the process. MediaLog could become that tool for Avid, even one that users may pay for.

What could it do?

  • Update UI and all bin logging capabilities currently available with the version of Media Composer with which it is being shipped.  
  • Enable MediaLog to have AMA and AMA Plug-in support for those working in the field preparing footage for Avid editorial. 
  • Add a single pop-up monitor for viewing, and the addition of single and spanned markers
  • Background transcode and GUI for DMF on its own CPU. DMF right now can be a timesaver, but only being available on the same system as Media Composer doesn’t make it as valuable as it could be when compared to background transcode. This could be the paid option.
  • Import ALE, but create bins only to be used by Media Composer
  • Source settings for color management and FrameFlex
  • Basic sumcheck copy and reporting
  • Make this a separate downloadable application from Avid.com and not part of the Media Composer installer.

This would become a tool used by shooters, producers and assistants where a full-on editing system is either overfill, complex, or overpriced for the task at hand. Seeing as MediaLog is basically a re-compile of a subset of existing Media Composer functionality, this isn’t a start from scratch type effort.

Maybe other third party tools have taken the place of what a file-based MediaLog could do, but direct bin support of all logged material from set is a compelling solution to offer Media Composer based productions. Or… Kill it? Right now it bloats the installer download size for something very few people probably use in its current state.

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