Avid Touts Xpress, Holds Ground Against Final Cut Line

Avid is alive and well at Macworld Creative Pro, showing off two versions of its video editing software, Xpress Pro and Xpress DV 3.5, as well as Mojo, a real-time, frame-accurate D-to-A and A-to-D conversion breakout box. We took time to speak with Steve Chazin, Senior Manager of Product Marketing for Avid, to find out more about Avidis Mac offerings, and the companyis take on the DV market.

Xpress is aimed squarely at the same market as Final Cut Pro, but Avid stoutly claims that their product, not Final Cut, is the industry benchmark for semi-professional video editing. The company has been around since the late 1980s making ultra-high-end systems, and entered the PC-video market in the late 90s with their first version of Xpress. Both Xpress and Final Cut are in their fourth generations.

Avid takes the attitude that Xpress borders on slumming in the video-editing world. After all, an Xpress/Mojo setup would cost a mere US$2,600; higher-end Avid solutions can run up above US$10,000. "For the rest of us," as Steve Jobs might put it, Apple covers the range from US$0 (with iMovie) to US$1,000 (with Final Cut Pro).

In this sense, Avid sees the Mac video market as very healthy, though Mr. Chazin did tell us that "Apple hasnit left any room for Adobe," referring to Adobeis recent cancellation of the Mac version of Premiere. Even without Premier, amateurs, experts, and everyone in between has access to a solid product.

Of course, in that sweet spot at around US$1,000, there seems to be some good old fashioned competition, and that canit be a bad thing.