I've been using Avid software for what must be more than ten years now and honestly, I can't imagine editing with anything else. I even named my company Match Frame Media after a timeline function that I use a lot! I've been hanging onto my version 6.0 licence for a while now and a heap of cool new features in Media Composer 7.0/8.0 finally made me hand over the cash for an upgrade. 

First things first - version 8.0 is basically version 7.0 with a few minor tweaks and of course renumbered for folks who are on support contracts. Yes, some things never change - Avid is and remains an expensive editing option. It has always been a professional tool and professional tools don't come cheap. And if you do professional level work your clients would expect you to use professional tools anyway. Something else that hasn't changed is its pain-in-the-ass upgrade/dongle blasting/installation procedure. This upgrade had me pulling my hair out at times. But once I had all the upgrade crap sorted out my new editor instantly redeemed itself.

The best news by far for laptop editors like myself - improved AVCHD performance!! In MC 6 and earlier versions, AMA imported media from my Sony FS100 camera and GoPros would grind to a painful halt on my Elitebook, requiring transcoding first. Good news is I can now COMPLETE short edits with the same media. Fantastic! No more lenghty transcodes before I can start cutting. And if you need to transcode there's good news as well: it can now run as a background process allowing you to continue editing while you're creating new DNxHD media.

Other improvements include new timeline controls for audio volume, as well as a new titler and a few new items in the effect palette. I'm happy with this upgrade. Background transcoding is a big one and will probably be essential for my upcoming editing marathon on the Solar Challenge in September.