Future Francis Ford Coppolas have a new option for producing movies on the go. Avid has released its home non-linear video editing software, Avid Studio, for the iPad. Will iMovie users be enticed to try it?

Lights. Camera. Action

Avid has long been a pro at video software, but the release of Avid Studio to the iPad is a little surprising, because the software maker doesn’t currently support the Mac on the desktop. Maybe it’s a statement about the future of computing; I don’t know. What is certain is that Apple’s iMovie has a little more competition. Avid is offering its software for an introductory price of US$ 4.99, which happens to be the same price as iMovie. It’s likely not a coincidence.

The iPad version of Avid Studio has a number of attractive features:

  • Frame level video editing
  • Support for adding special effects like picture in picture and fades
  • Multi-layer 3-D animations and transitions
  • Audio editing
  • Video sharing to YouTube, Facebook and email
  • Exporting of projects to Avid Studio for the PC

Complete details on the software are available on iTunes.

The software specs indicate that the software supports iPad1 and iPad2. The software is promising, but the initial reviews aren’t glowing. One reviewer wrote,

Luckily my plans are to buy Ipad 3. In the meantime, with a 64GB wifi Ipad 1 with 40% free it crashes repeatedly and it would not render even the small size of a small test video. I suspect the Ipad 1 is just not capable of dealing with the video. I did a soft reset but that did not help--its just not a good choice for Ipad 1.”

Comments from other reviewers seem to support the position. Video editing is notoriously memory intense, and Avid hasn’t quite resolved the issue in its first tablet release. The user interface for Avid Studio closely resembles the desktop application. It will be interesting to see if Avid optimizes the appearance and memory use in subsequent releases.

What This Means

The iPad has been accused of being more a device for content consumption than production. However, that seems to be changing as new options like Avid Studio are released for the device. However, app makers will have to be conscious of the tablet’s limitations, as initial reviews of Avid Studio show. Consumers will definitely benefit from the increased competition as app makers add new features to differentiate themselves from their competitors.