Avid has been working on Avid Link to replace Application Manager. We announced that Avid Link went into public beta when we were at IBC 2018 in September last year and now on the first day of NAMM 2019 we can announce the first full version of Avid Link app - 2019.1.
Avid Link - The Replacement To The Avid Application Manager App
Avid have now released Avid Link which although at first glance looks like a replacement for the the ill-fated Avid Application Manager that for many users was, at best, a little buggy to, at worst, so unreliable that we needed to show how to uninstall it, actually does a whole lot more, which we will reveal in this article.
In this exclusive tour of the first release version of Avid Link - 2019.1, Pro Tools Expert Editor, Mike Thornton gives you a tour around the Avid Link app and shows that it can do so much more than its predecessor the Avid Application Manager.
What Do The Different Tabs in the Avid Link App do?
Profile is where you tell the Avid Pro Community about yourself and what you can offer to other members of the community of Avid Link users. Avid has created this so that “users can get discovered and increase their creative opportunities by tagging their profile with specific skills, specialties and expertise, making it easier for others to find and connect”.
The Home Tab is a combination of the Manage My Feeds Tab in the old App Manager and the Home page of a web site and has a slideshow at the top covering headlines like the Main Stage Presentations from NAMM, and special offers like being able to save $750 on the Pro Sound Effects Essentials Collection.
Beneath that is the news feed section which you can filter by genre including Notation, Audio, Video, Live Sound and Broadcast, reflecting the different markets Avid operates in.
Products is the replacement for Managing Your Applications and helps you to keep track of all your Avid software and Avid plug-ins. This is where you can manage, download, install, update, redeem, and renew your purchases and plans.
Messages is a new feature added with Avid Link, where you can keep in touch with people you team up with in the Avid community. Avid have designed this to make it easy for users to stay in touch with one another. You can share ideas and discuss projects in real time with collaborators, or seek and give advice by forming mentorships within your own network.
Find Talent is another new feature where you can search the Avid Community for someone you might want to collaborate with or someone you need to help you with a project. Maybe you are looking for other artists, musicians, composers, video editors, producers, mixers, filmmakers and media professionals to collaborate with and follow. In the Find Talent tab you can view people’s profiles, review their work, invite them to connect, and send messages about working together.
Lounges has been designed so that users can “hang out in the Lounges and start or join a conversation, exchange ideas, and contribute to discussions about products, workflows, and the industry—all in real time”.
At the top level of the Lounges tab we have options for Avid Link Feedback, although this one may disappear now that Avid Link is out of public beta. Then there are lounges for each of the main Avid products, Sibelius, Pro Tools and Media Composer, each of which have their own relevant sub categories. For example the Pro Tools Lounge has 4 - Audio Post & mixing, Music Creation & Mixing, Podcast & Radio and Helpful Links to topics like the Pro Tools OS Compatibility Chart, Pro Tools Release Notes and About the Avid Master Account. At the bottom beneath the product lounges is Features Request which is the only way to communicate feature requests to Avid.
Marketplace is anther new feature where users can “further expand their creative capabilities by shopping the conveniently accessible Marketplace for new tools and add-ons”. There are sections for each of the main Avid products - Pro Tools, Sibelius and Media Composer. For example, on the Pro Tools page you have the option to buy Pro Tools rental subscriptions as well as add-ons like UVI products like the foley tool Walker and Avid’s Space plug-in. Below the Pro Tools, Sibelius and Media Composer sections are 4 more buttons - Plugins & Software, Hardware, Training and Stock Content. the Plug-ins & Software section has 339 plug-ins or software you can search and then purchase. Hardware has a range of Avid hardware both video and audio like the Eleven Rack and Artist Mix.
Pro Tools Projects is the last tab in the new Avid Link app which has been designed so you “can easily invite and add any of your contacts to collaborate on projects. You can accept or decline invitations to collaborate on others’ projects; view what content and changes have been shared; send messages to fellow collaborators; and get notified when others have done the same”.
iOS and Android Versions
As well a Mac and Windows Desktop app Avid have also made and released iOS and Android versions which help you to manage and keep in touch when you are on the move.
What Do We Think About The Avid Link App
We have watched and contributed to the development of the public beta of the Avid Link and seen it develop into the product that Avid has now released. Let’s start by looking at each of the tabs in turn…
Profile - This is effectively your shop window into the Avid Community. if you are looking to get work this way then it is worth spending time on your profile in the Profile tab at the top of the Avid Link app.
Home - This is a curated news feed from Avid and also where you can access streamed media like all the Main Stage Presentations from NAMM 2019.
However, during the day here in the UK the videos that have been playing did have not had any sound. I posted this issue in the Avid Link Feedback Lounge and community member John Heaton chinmed in that it wasn’t working in Windows 10 either. I also checked the iOS app and that was fine and then Keith Gerrard from Avid replied saying that “We are working on this now. The iOS and Android versions (available on respective app stores) are working as expected. It's the desktop version that we are straightening out this morning. Thanks for the heads up!”
At 5:45pm, just before NAMM 2019 opens I checked again and all is well I can both watch and listen to the videos they are streaming. What’s more there is a clock set to LA time in the top left hand corner of the video window. Well done team for getting this all working just in time.
As we have been putting the finishing touches to this article we have been enjoying the Mix With The Masters presentation live form The Avid Main Stage at NAMM 2019.
Products - This feels a lot better than the App Manager and the earlier beta versions. I find the GUI clean and easy to read and follow. There are some interesting applications in my list like AudioScore First, which seems to be a new version of AudioScore Lite, that is a free audio transcription program included with Sibelius designed to turn CD tracks into digital notation and send to Sibelius for editing. Then there is Photoscore and NotateMe First, which like AudioScore First maybe a new version of PhotoScore & NotateMe Lite, which has been developed by Neuratron and is a free music scanning program included with Sibelius.
Strangely Nugen Audio’s A|B Assist is included with an Avid logo by the side of it, as well as another strangely Avid branded plug-in ‘Q3D’, which would appear to be Volko Audio’s Q3D free EQ plug-in.
Finally at the bottom of this page there are redeem codes, in my case for the Avid Complete Plug-in Bundle, which is bundled in with Pro Tools Ultimate and also a redeem code for 50 music tracks from Sound Ideas. Nice touch.
Messages - This is for me the weakest tab in the Avid Link as channels of communication are already many and so can get fragmented easily, with the likes email, Facebook, Linked In, Whatsapp and so on. Do we really need another channel of communication?
Find Talent - The effectiveness of the Find Talent tab is surely only as good as the the size and quality of the Avid Community using the Avid Link app and quality of the profiles people create. Let’s hope people engage with this and make it useful. Avd have done their stuff in providing the platform. We how need to make sure that there are plenty of high-quality people on the platform.
Lounges - This tab is for me the best bit of the Avid Link app as this is where I can feedback to Avid and offer Feature Requests. In fact since Avid closed the Pro Tools Ideascale the Avid Link, even whilst in public beta, is now the only way to submit feature requests to Avid.
I would commend any user of an Avid product to use the Features Request section to feedback feature ideas to Avid. As we had with the Pro Tools Ideascale you can comment of others suggestions and vote them up by ‘liking’ the feature request suggestion.
A really nice find is the Helpful Links, which are especially helpful for those users who struggle to find their way round the Avid site.
Marketplace - Only time will tell if this feature proves to be more useful than accessing the Avid Store. Maybe this is a stepping stone to bringing a fully featured store into Pro Tools to enhance the plug-in store that is already there so that you can choose and buy media as well as buy plug-ins, all without leaving Pro Tools.
Pro Tools Projects - This is a useful way of keeping track of projects if you use the Avid Cloud Collaboration features.
Where is The Settings Tab?
In the Public Beta version there was a settings tab at the top, which in the release version had disappeared. After a bit of a panic whilst trying to troubleshoot the lack of audio on the streaming, I found all the options that were in the Setting Tab in the 2018.9 version in the Menu for the Avid Link App in the Menu bar at the top of my main window in the 2019.1 release version.
Overall, the release version is a significant improvement on the public beta versions and its chalk and cheese compared to the old Application Manager. Avid tell us that Avid Link will be included in the installers of future releases of their software.
If you have tried an earlier version of the Avid Link or just given up on the old App Manager then do try the release version of the Avid Link App, as it is so much better than what has gone before.