Inside Out

Get an uncensored look at our products and the people who make and use them.

Important Message about ScriptSync

Only published comments... Jun 11 2010, 10:15 PM by Dave Avid PM

As the product manager for Media Composer, I wanted to take a minute to share some thoughts on version 5 that just began shipping yesterday.  We’re really excited about this version, and personally, I’m really proud of the steps our team has taken to incorporate new features that so many users have requested.  Some customers, however, have raised a concern around a change we made to the availability of ScriptSync – which lets users phonetically index text and dialog and then "sync" source clips automatically with an actual script.  (To learn more about script-based editing, check out ScriptSync.)

The specific change I’m talking about is that we previously offered ScriptSync as a standard feature in Media Composer, but now we’re it is a purchasable option. Wait. What?!  Now I have to purchase something that you used to get for free?!  Not exactly, but that’s a topic that many of you are talking about.  It’s no surprise that this change is difficult for some customers, especially because it feels like people who were using ScriptSync for free now have to pay for it – but that’s not exactly how it will work, and so I want to provide some additional context behind the change.

In addition to our patented ScriptSync technology, part of what ScriptSync offers is amazing functionality that comes from a great company. Nexidia makes audio and video analytics software.  Nexidia has been increasingly successful in recent years, blazing new trails with their patented technology in the area of phonetics and speech analytics.

As our original licensing deal with Nexidia was due to expire, we set out to work with them on new terms that would allow both companies to capitalize on the success of ScriptSync and give both incentive to continue improving and expanding on the product. Although Avid explored other technologies, the fact is that Nexidia has the best capabilities in the market and changing this would have resulted in us relying on different technology that might have weakened the capability of ScriptSync.  That’s not an option. Our users have come to expect the quality and richness of ScriptSync.

So what licensing options did we consider? We took a look at our customer base and recognized that a large percentage of Media Composer users don’t actually use ScriptSync in their daily work.  This certainly doesn’t make ScriptSync any less important or less valuable for customers who DO use it regularly (believe me… we know how it can save you countless hours on a project!), but it was an important point for us to factor in to how we might address the new license deal.  More specifically, it helped us to understand that a blanket cost increase for every customer – and every potential new customer – would be unfair, since the majority of people using Media Composer aren’t actively working with ScriptSync. On the other hand, we also knew that we needed to keep current customers “whole” – meaning that anyone actively using ScriptSync today wouldn’t experience a cost increase.

We designed a program that would minimize the impact to current ScriptSync users while allowing us to offer it as an option for purchase to the larger Media Composer population. There is no cost increase for those already using ScriptSync.   Price increases are a bummer – and it’s difficult to figure out how to navigate them in a way that will be a win-win for everyone.  I hope this additional context gives you a sense as to why a change needed to take place, and how we worked to implement it in a way that that would cause the least impact to most of our customers.  And although I can’t share details yet, we are working on enhancing ScriptSync in future releases (based on your feedback) which we are confident will further increase the value of ScriptSync to you over time.

Leave a Comment

login or create an account to post a comment.

© Copyright 2011 Avid Technology, Inc.  Terms of Use |  Privacy Policy |  Site Map |  Find a Reseller