Pinnacle Studio vs. Avid

Avid Technology Inc. produced both Pinnacle Studio and the Avid Media Composer for the video editing community. Both are used in non-linear editing but designed for specific types of users in the community with different features included.

Pinnacle Studio

Pinnacle Studio is created for entry-level consumers. The number of tracks allowed for editing is limited. By default, there are two video tracks, a music track and a sound effects track. This makes the program sufficient for simpler video editing purposes.

The workspace is made up of four areas. At the top is a series of menus which includes File, Edit, View, Album, Toolbox, Setup and Help. On the left is a window with a list of media available for use on the project. A row of tools used for editing the Timeline are available on its left side. On the right most portion of the screen is the Composer window while at the bottom is the Timeline.

There are numerous built-in images and videos, music and sound, themes, titles, transitions and effects built-in for use with the software. With a clean interface, it makes it easier for users to drag and drop media taken from the built-in library or import their own media for editing.


The Avid Media Composer has a more complicated interface. A Select Project window greets users when the program is launched. Users can continue working on a project or create a new one and select options such as resolution, frame rate and Raster Dimension.

By default, there should be at least three windows open after completing the Select Project window. At the top are the menus File, Edit, Bin, Clip, Output, Special, Tools, Toolset, Windows and Help. On the left side is the Bin which has all of the media available for use with the project. The Bin is empty for new projects. Users need to import their various media into this library of clips to be used with the project. On the right is a set of two windows known as the Composer. The left window is the raw footage or image, while the right window is the edited video, showing the video which includes the transitions, effects and so on. Underneath this is the Timeline. This is where the various media are inserted. At the left is a series of tools used to edit the Timeline. Avid Media Composer allows the user to add more tracks to suit their need.

The interface on the Avid Media Composer makes it convenient for any video editor to customize their workspace. It allows editors to arrange their media in folders or bins, customize the look of their working screen and keyboard shortcuts. These settings can be saved and used on other computer systems running on Media Composer.

Pinnacle Studio has a cleaner and simpler user interface, which allows consumers to learn the program much quicker. Avid Media Composer has more features, allowing for more editing control but requires more time to learn. Besides the budget and computer requirements, users should consider the features required to edit the video for a better fit between the software, the user and the purpose.

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