Ways to Import Videos into Avid Media Composer

Published on by Chris King

Learn how to import video files into your Avid Media Composer 5/6/7 projects. import-video-to-media-composer1.jpg

Whether you're new to Avid's popular non-linear editor (also known as "The Avid") or are a seasoned digital video professional just looking to better acquaint yourself with Media Composer, you're sure to enjoy this free software tutorial. For detailed instructions, and get started importing media into Avid Media Composer. Now take a look.

How to Import video into Avid Media Composer?

First, make sure the right bin or folder is selected, otherwise the ‘Import…’ option might be greyed out. Then, go to File > Import…. You will be prompted to select the video or stills you want to import.

Important Note: You must choose a transcode format if you are using this method. I recommend DNxHD while you’re in Avid. That means if you want to transfer unsupported files into Avid Media Composer including 108060p AVCHD .MTS, MXF, Sony XDCAM, 4K XAVC, MPG, MKV, MP4 or VOB etc, you’d better transcode them to Avid most likely format DNxHD .mov.

Brorsoft Video Converter(or the Mac) version is highly recommended to you.

Reviews: Overall, it’s the optimal video converter for you, which can help you convert MTS, (P2) MXF, MKV, AVI, MPG, VOB, Sony XDCAM/XDCAM EX, XAVC/XAVC S files into a different, and more edit friendly format like DNxHD .mov for Media Composer. So you can edit any video with Avid MC smoothly.

Well, many would prefer to use AMA to avoid transcoding to any intermediary codec. In this case, you must first open AMA by going to File > AMA Link…

Note: Only the codecs you have installed individually will show up. If you’re editing regularly with a varied client-base, it might be a good idea to install all the plug-ins at the beginning. Who wants to scramble for the right plug-in at the last moment while the client is watching? Avid puts this down to the ease with which they can update plug-ins when necessary, but that’s just them being lazy. I think they should consider your convenience above their own.

Avid Supported Codecs:

H.264
H.264 is the ubiquitous codec, and it looks like it will stay for quite some time. Avid Media Composer supports H.264 natively, via AMA as mentioned above.

AVCHD
AVCHD is a ‘version’ of the MPEG-4 AVC specification, or H.264, and Avid Media Composer supports AVCHD natively with the default plug-in (only in the MOV wrapper), via AMA as mentioned above. Avid says you’ll need to perform a one-time-only free activation of the Dolby AC-3 codec to use the plug-in, which happens in the background if you have an active Internet connection.

XDCAM
Avid Media Composer treats XDCAM with kid gloves, so to speak. XDCAM and XDCAM HD follow the MXF OP1a standard, and need to be converted to MXF OP Atom. Similarly, XDCAM EX is MP4, and needs to be converted to the same. Download the XDCAM plug-ins first.

XAVC
At the time of this writing, there isn’t a plug-in for 4K XAVC, though XAVC Intra 100 is supported within Media Composer.

CANON XF (MXF)
This applies to files from both the XF series cameras as well as the Cinema EOS line (Cxxx). You’ll need to install the Canon XF and MXF plug-in.
Once that is installed, restart Avid Media Composer. You can then import it natively via AMA as mentioned above.

MPEG-4
Like H.264, Avid Media Composer supports MPEG-4 natively, via AMA as mentioned above.

DNxHD
This is Avid’s baby. All kinds of DNxHD are supported natively via either of the import methods mentioned above.

Editor’s Notes: Personally, I would prefer to transcode all my videos to DNxHD .mov before importing to Avid Media Composer, as most of the video codecs, formats are not natively supported by Avid, plug-in is always needed. It would be a complex process to download, install a pile of video codecs and plug-ins. Everyone of you would like an easy and fast way to import video to Avid Media Composer, right?

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